We had the good fortune of connecting with Will Link and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Will, why did you pursue a creative career?
Masochism? Narcissism? Lunacy? I’m sure those all factor in, but in all seriousness, I’ve always had a burning desire to be a storyteller. That’s what’s propelled me to continue my creative endeavors. Whether it’s writing a novel or just telling someone a story at a party, there is an art to it. I’ve tried to model myself on writers and artists who have been able work in many different mediums. My first love is film, and my heart is always going to be in screenwriting, but that love has taken me to perform stories on stage, host podcasts, and eventually publish a novel. Any way I can tell someone a story, I’ll take it. And I’d like to believe I’m good at it. It’s probably the one area of work I don’t have total impostor syndrome about, which is another reason I’ve kept pursuing it. Storytelling hits that sweet spot of being something I believe I’m good at and also just plain love. I think that’s what we should all strive to find.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Pursuing the creative is never easy and the only way to overcome the challenges is to just start doing. Most people I know have a great story to tell but they never start. They want conditions to be perfect. They want their writing to be perfect. Forget all that. Conditions will never be perfect. Your work will never be perfect. Just get it out of your head and on to the page. Don’t rewrite until it’s all out. Too many aspiring writers I know will work on the same page or scene forever. Move on, go back to fix it later, just get it down on the page. As far as what sets me apart, well I don’t think it’s anything more or less special than anyone else. I have certain experiences I’ve had in my life and I believe I am the best one to tell those stories. The key is finding the things about yourself and presenting them in a way that’s universal. My novel, Crazy About Kurt, is as autobiographical as anything I’ll probably ever write, and yet it’s not autobiographical at all. The book is about teenagers on the day Kurt Cobain died. It takes place over one night, like a Dazed and Confused for the 90s. So much of this story is taken from my own high school memories, but I worked hard to make sure they were in the spirit of teenagers of any era. That just because you didn’t grow up in the dirtbag suburbs of Long Island like me, you could still relate. All teens are looking for sex, friendship, a way out of their town. I was best qualified to tell this version of that story. You have a similar story to tell from your youth and there’s a place our stories meet. We all share commonalities.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Ah! I’m a terrible tour guide. I basically hung out at the same karaoke bar every night for 12 years until it closed down! In the pre-COVID times I did do a lot of drinking at The Mini Bar on Franklin. They make my favorite cocktail in the city “The Godfather” and it’s just small enough to feel like an elite discovery but not pretentious at all. Film is my passion so anyone I’m showing around needs to go see a classic film at The Egyptian or a double feature at the New Beverly. Maybe if there’s an event downtown at one of the classic movie palaces, or a show/screening at the Ace Hotel. Or at night seeing a film at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. The point is, if you’re hanging with me, you’re going to the movies. It’s a movie town so I’m choosing to embrace that fact. Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
The amount of people I owe a debt of gratitude to is immeasurable. I’ve been lucky enough to have teachers, friends, and family who always believed in me. I think you need that in all areas of life. LA has a tremendously supportive storytelling scene, and when I began telling stories on stage, I was immediately welcomed into that. But in most creative pursuits, I’ve always preferred to have a partner in crime, so I want to shoutout a few of those. Jarrod Garcia, who I began writing scripts with and is the one who convinced me to move to LA. Sean David, who I hosted a podcast with for six years, a gig that kept me going during a creative writing lull in my life. And most recently Lorenzo Manetti, who I began writing and prepping an indie feature with during quarantine. Having someone to help carry the creative burden with in these times has been invaluable.
Other: Here’s the Amazon link to my novel Crazy About Kurt: https://www.amazon.com/Crazy-About-Kurt-Will-Link-ebook/dp/B07L2K1H1T/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8