Author Interview: Kyle Bernier

Tell me about yourself

I am an advisor, art therapist, artist, researcher, and author who has spent years living and making creatively. I have a Master’s degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. I am currently based in Minneapolis, Minnesota where I work and create. On top of that, I’m also a printmaker who enjoys experimenting with different printing techniques and styles.

What inspired you to write?

I’ve always enjoyed writing, and have written my entire life. At some point it dawned on me that three big interests of mine – creativity, research, and writing could all be combined into a book where I could expand on creativity. In my work I’ve received many questions about how to be a more creative person. I decided to put down a lot of my advice, experiences, and (learnable) failures together in Lazy Creativity.

What is your favorite genre to read?

I read a lot of self-help books. I’m always motivated after reading them, which leads me to be more productive and think about the ways I do things. However, I also enjoy reading horror stories. Self-help and horror seem like pretty opposite genres, but I think a lot of the themes are similar (overcoming fear, learning from mistakes, etc.)

To write?

Most of my recent work has focused on self-help and creativity, but I really do enjoy writing horror pieces as well. I’m in the early stages of creating a self-help resource with horror and creative elements.

What is your favorite piece of work you’ve written?

I’m most proud of Lazy Creativity. It was a true labor of love. I’ve also written hundred-page research articles before, horror short-stories, and countless articles. However LC is such a reflection of who I am as a person, it’d feel like a disservice to not list it as my favorite. Plus, it was a ton of fun to write!

How do you handle good and bad reviews of your work?

I handle good reviews with a grain of salt, and I handle bad reviews with a grain of salt. This may sound cliche, but all reviews are useful (mostly). Both good and bad reviews tell you what people want more and less of. You’re not going to please everyone with your work, and that’s okay. If I took every bad review personally, I’m not sure I’d publish my work. Fortunately, I’ve gotten good at reading the feedback, acknowledging it, and moving on from it.

What is your favorite part about writing?

My favorite part of writing is how personal it can be. Nobody gets to read your words until you’re ready for it, and then once you’re ready, you get to choose who reads it, when, and how. Some of my writing never sees the public eye, but stays as a draft in my journals, on my computer, or as notes on my phone forever. 

Least favorite?

My least favorite part of writing is the cleanup. I love word and idea vomiting onto the page when my ideas are fresh and exciting. It’s the refinement process that involves tossing out ideas, words, and sentences that I dislike. It’s a very necessary part of the process, but one I don’t relish. 

What social media site has been the most beneficial for your writing?

I follow many writers, bookstores, and literary accounts on Instagram. It’s motivating and intimidating being on social media of any form, so I have to limit myself on those sites so I see enough to be inspired, but not too much to where I’m discouraged or distracted.

What does the future hold for you?

I’m currently working on my second formal book, which is also about the creative process. It will be called Ugly Creativity. Additionally, I’m writing a blog about my own writing process, keeping up with my other mediums, such as printmaking, and playing around with some other potentially smaller-scale projects. 

Any advice you would like to give other authors?

Look at the big picture, but don’t let it intimidate you. It was helpful for me to look at each page by itself. Also, if you really want to write a book, you need to adequately budget your resources. I’m not going to tell you you need to only take cold showers, get up at 4:30am each day, and work a 12 hour day. You don’t. I certainly didn’t. I wrote a book on laziness because, well, I can be very lazy. That’s okay if you are too. But, you do need to keep at it. Show up consistently and write even on days you don’t feel like it. 

Anything you would like to add?

Feel free to connect in any way that works for you. I’m very open to offering anything I’ve learned along the way.

Social media, website, etc. links

Published by Tyler Wittkofsky

Tyler Wittkofsky is a multi-genre author, blogger, award-winning marketing and communications professional, and fierce mental health advocate from the southern coast of North Carolina. Tyler has been writing short stories for as long as he can remember. Growing up the grandson of an English teacher, Tyler had a constant fuel to his creative fire in his grandmother. He started writing poetry in 2012 to cope with his mental health struggles with anxiety, bipolar, and depression. Using poetry as an escape, he developed a unique style of poetry that has left readers saying, “Tyler’s voice is compassionate, even while suffering, and I felt the despair and loneliness seeping out through his words.” His first poetry collection, composed of poems written from 2012 to 2016, was published in March 2020. He began his first novel in 2019. The novel, (Not) Alone, was a story based on true events surrounding the struggles of living with mental illness. Described by readers as “An Intimate Closure with Mental Illness,” this began Tyler’s revitalized passion for mental health. He decided that his writing would have a focus on mental health. His next novel, The Seeds of Love: Sunflower Kisses Book One, was his debut romance novel and debut series. Described as “a great job of relaying the realistic emotions of young love and emotional drama that is particularly difficult for young adults…”, his debut romance novel was met with much success. In 2021, Tyler began writing short stories. He was accepted into several anthologies in mid-2021, expected for publication in early 2022. He also writes supernatural horror and historical fantasy for the online magazines In the Pantheon and In the Crescent. He has work published through Five Minute Affairs as well. He built his website www.TeaButWithCoffee.com in 2021. On this site, he started his blogging journey. He began writing book reviews, interviewing indie authors, and writing on mental health. This passion sparked a new desire to connect with more people. Tyler is currently in the beginning stages of two podcasts that he hopes to be live by the end of 2021. Tyler currently lives in Leland, North Carolina with his wife, Grace, and dogs, Dutch and Belle. You can find him and his works here: https://linktr.ee/wittkofsky

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