Ian, however, is not only an amazing musician but he is also an author who has crafted quirky dark comedic tales which include Three is the Charm, Sex Stories My Wife Told Me and Transmutation Blues.
Norm: Good day Ian and thanks for participating in our interview.
How did you get started writing books and why have you been drawn to writing dark comedic tales?
Ian: I have read a book a week for many years and I felt that during my long career as a xylophone soloist I had quite a few stories to tell. Naturally a musician would experience the "dark side" in his travels and I wanted to bring these stories to everyone. Anyway it helps to keep me off of cruise ships.
Norm: How has your environment/upbringing colored your writing?
Ian: Perhaps, I do come from a show business background, my father, Fyvush Finkel, is a well known actor, we are from Brooklyn, so I developed a very decent "ear" for the insanity around me. And I must say that being brought up in Brooklyn in the 1950's there was an abundance of characters to study.
Norm: Is your work improvisational or do you have a set plan?
Ian: I try to think out the whole story ,argue it out with my wife and publisher and then put it to paper.
Norm: What do you want your work to do? Amuse people? Provoke thinking?
Ian: Hopefully both. Being a performer my job is certainly to entertain and amuse. Hopefully my writing gets the reader to think about how they are surrounded by other people they would never know about.
Norm: What's the most difficult thing for you about being a writer?
Ian: I do not find much of it difficult except for spelling! I have five dictionaries and very kind editors.
Norm: Could you briefly tell our audience about your three books, Three is the Charm, Sex Stories My Wife Told Me and Transmutation Blues.
Ian: Three is the Charm is about three prostitutes in the meat packing district of New York around 1956. It is actually a love story.
Sex Stories My Wife Told Me is a book about possession, a postman who would really like to be a stand-up comedian and his "girl next door" wife go through horror. She is taken over by an insane pornographer who committed suicide in their house before they purchased it.
Transmutation Blues is about people from many walks of life changing careers midstream, for example a bouncer sells birthday cards, a model becomes a restaurant inspector, a cigar salesman becomes an auxiliary policeman. etc.
Norm: Did you learn anything from writing your books and what was it?
Ian: I would think that most authors including myself, learn that it is a full-time lifestyle and whatever book they are working on, they want that one to be better than the last.I have learned that writing a novel is like composing a symphony where you have to be very aware of the development.
Ian: Meeting people who have read the books and hearing their comments, both as to the comedy and alternate life styles they never knew about.
Norm: Where can our readers find out more about you and your books?
Norm: What is next for Ian Finkel?
Ian: I am finishing up a novel called Vaudeville 1922 which is about a comedian who turns to murder to become famous again.
Norm: As this interview draws to a close what one question would you have liked me to ask you? Please share your answer.
Ian: What authors do I hold in awe! Should I tell you now? Charles Bukowski, William Burroughs, Hubert Selby, I could go on and on.
Norm: Thanks once again and good luck with all of your future endeavors
thank you for this fine opportunity.