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Get to Know Author Artie Van Why

Let's give a warm welcome to Artie Van Why, author of That Day In September. Please check out his books' Facebook page, and let me know what you think of it when you are done.

1. Please tell readers about your current book.
That Day In September is my story of 9/11. I worked across from the World Trade Center and was there in the streets the morning of the terrorist attack. The book is an adaptation of a one man theater piece I wrote; also titled That Day In September. I performed it in L.A. and Off Broadway in New York.

2. Who or what inspires your writing?
I never sat out to write a book or a play. The morning of September 12 I finally listened to all the voicemails I had gotten from concerned friends and family. I also had many emails. I knew there was no way I could answer each person so I sat down to write a basic “I’m okay” email to send to everyone. As I sat at the computer and began typing I found myself just detailing in words what it was that had happened to me the day before. It was the first time for me to put that experience down in words.
People responded to the email; thanking me for sharing what it was like to have been there. They encouraged me to continue writing. I sent out another 2 or 3 emails over the next weeks; writing about what it was like to be in New York City at that time.
After the emails, I continued writing. I guess it was a journal of sorts. Looking back I see it was a way for me to cope with what had happened. It was therapeutic.

3. When did you know you would be a writer?
I’ve always liked to write but never thought I’d write a play and then turn it into a book. One day in January of 2002 I just had the thought “I wonder if all I’ve written could be a play” and it went from there.

4. How long did it take you to write your first novel?
I spent two years on the script of That Day In September. That included workshop productions and rewriting with the input of Richard Masur, who directed the play. The book adaptation was easy. What you read in the book is basically the script of That Day In September. I did spend a good deal of time researching self-publishing websites before finally deciding on which one I wanted to go with.

5. What is the hardest part of writing for you?
The subject matter has to be about something I care about. I don’t see myself sitting down one day and just try to come up with a story for a novel. There was passion and conviction behind my writing That Day In September. I want my words to have an impact on those who read them.

6. Do you have any writing rituals?
I just write when I feel the need to.

7. Have you written anything else?
I’m a big Letter to the Editor writer to newspapers and online magazines.

8. Any advice to aspiring writers?
I would say write about what you care about.

9. Who are your favorite Authors?
Usually whoever’s book it is I’m reading at the time if it’s a book I get caught up in. The one author I have read the most of would be Stephen King. The man knows how to tell a story!

10. What are your favorite books, or which book has impacted you the most?
My favorite book would be Oh, the Places You’ll Go by Dr. Seuss.

11. What are you currently reading?
I am now reading Patti LuPone’s autobiography.

12. How do readers find out more about you?
They can email me if they’d like:
Facebook Fan Page

We all have our stories to tell of where we were the morning of September 11, 2001. This is one of them. In "That Day In September" Artie Van Why gives an eyewitness account of that fateful morning. From the moment he heard "a loud boom" in his office across from the World Trade Center, to stepping out onto the street, Artie vividly transports the reader back to the day that changed our lives and our country forever. "That Day In September" takes you beyond the events of that morning. By sharing his thoughts, fears and hopes, Artie expresses what it was like to be in New York City in the weeks and months following. The reader comes away from "That Day In September" with not only a more intimate understanding of the events of that day but also with a personal glimpse of how one person's life was dramatically changed forever.

Paperback: 108 pages
ISBN: 9781411683150
Purchase at Amazon


  1. I agree with the author that you have to write about what interests you, what you care about. The readers will sense your passion about the topic. Great interview!


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