Oliver Markus Malloy is a cartoonist and writer. Born and raised in Germany, he currently lives in Los Angeles, CA.
He is the author of the Bad Choices Make Good Stories series, which tell the true story of his journey when he left Germany and moved to USA.
Let’s see what he answered to my questions!!!
Please tell us a little about yourself.
I grew up in Germany. As a teenager I was a bit of a computer nerd (well, I guess I still am) and a hacker. But back then hacking wasn’t about all that evil stuff hackers do today. Back then we just used to remove the copy-protection from video games, so we could share the games with our friends who couldn’t afford to buy them.
That’s how I met Donna. She lived in New York. I flew to America to visit her, and I kind of got stuck here. A lot of crazy stuff happened, and at one point I was so depressed, I thought I was going to lose my mind. So I wrote it all down. First I wrote it just for myself. But then I figured, I might as well make a book out of it. Maybe someone else can learn a thing or two from my mistakes, and they’ll avoid the heartache I went through.
It’s just the perfect motto for my life. The German FBI raided my house twice, and on my first day in New York I got into a street fight. And those were the calm days. The real insanity happened in Florida. I almost got myself killed a few times.
What is your favorite character of “Bad Choices Make Good Stories”?
Since it’s a true story based on my life, I guess that would be me. Haha!
What genre do you enjoy writing the most and why?
I’m a humorist, first and foremost. I started out drawing cartoons for a living. They were published in various magazines. Then they ended up in books. Eventually I began to write short humorous essays for a couple of different entertainment blogs, and those turned into a few books.
People who know me say that the way I write sounds exactly like the way I talk. Not sure if that’s a good or a bad thing. And I’m a bit of a minimalist. I try to say things in the least amount of words. Sometimes I write a paragraph, re-read it, delete it, and say everything the paragraph said in one sentence. And there are almost no descriptions of scenery in Bad Choices Make Good Stories. I leave most of the visualization to the reader’s imagination.
What authors inspire your writing?
Growing up, I used to read a lot of Stephen King. He didn’t waste pages upon pages describing sunsets and sceneries. He got right to the point. I think that has inspired my writing. And I really liked that his books felt uncensored and raw. I absolutely hate America’s obsession with censorship.
What would you like to be if you weren’t a writer?
I’m living the dream. I’m a writer and cartoonist, and there’s nothing else I’d rather be. The last time I had a “real” job was as production manager for a newspaper in Brooklyn, NY. I quit in May of 2000 and I haven’t had a 9-5 job since. Life is good. (Well, except the almost getting killed part.)
What are you working on now?
Bad Choices Make Good Stories is actually a trilogy. Each of them describe a part of my life. The first one, Going to New York, is all about growing up in Europe and my life in New York. It ends when I move to Fort Myers, FL. The second book is all about my life in Florida and the insane things that happened there. Right now I’m working on the third book, my life in Los Angeles. Each of the three books can be read as a stand-alone, or as part of the trilogy.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
The secret to good writing is to use small words for big ideas, not to use big words for small ideas.
Albert Einstein once said: “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.” and “If you can’t explain it to a six year old, you don’t understand it yourself.”
I think effective communication is all about the art of expressing complex thoughts in simple language that anyone can understand.
I hate it when people who have absolutely nothing original or thought-provoking to say, try to use big words to sound smart, and then write a bunch of trivial garbage, while hiding behind a facade of high falootin’ vocabulary.
And find your own voice, instead of copying someone else. Be true to yourself. Don’t worry about offending people with your thoughts.