Everyone should have a dream. Mine is to write a novel and publish it. While I do not expect fame and fortune, I’d by lying if I said that the idea of doing an interview for my book hadn’t crossed my mind. In this interview fantasy I’m asked which authors inspired me. It’s the only part of the interview I’ve actually thought about. I have no idea what the other questions may be, or whether I’ll ever get the chance to answer this in a real interview. So, here’s a sneak peak into the future (fingers crossed) of my answer.
Stephen King laid the foundation. He was an author that I would return to time and again. Before him, I can’t think of another example of buying a book just because it had an authors name on it. Anne Rice created the walls of my literary understanding. Her rich characters and brilliant storytelling were an inspiration. Dan Brown, Ronald Moore, John Grishman, these gentlemen helped to fill my castle with stories that swept me away. Rob Guthrie, Chris James, J.D. Mader, Scott Bury, Dawn Torrens, all indie authors that gave me courage to tell my own stories. And of course, there’s Edward Lorn. He set the bar for what indie writing should be.
I am very pleased to have Edward at The Rush Room this week. The author of Bay’s End, After Three, and Dastardly Bastard, he is one of the hardest working writers, and also perhaps one of the most honest, working today. He pulls no punches and tells it exactly the way it is. When he stopped by earlier today I asked him how he’s able to do what many of us dream of doing. In true E. fashion, he got right to the heart of the matter on how he writes. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Edward Lorn…
Shut The (Expletive Deleted) Up and Write!
Writers tend to spend more time jaw-jacking about writing than they do actually putting words down. Seems they’re always looking for an easy fix, as if Mr. Jones might come along with a new drug, one that will turn them into Burroughs or Steinbeck or King without much effort from themselves. I’m going to have to play Yoda here, folks. “Do, or do not. There is no try.”
What I hear, more than anything else from new writers, is: “I don’t have time for my writing.” Really? Because I see you on Facebook, Twitter and various other social networking sites, whining about such things. If you have time to network, you have time to write. Aren’t you writing when you’re updating your timeline with that story of the bagel you had for breakfast, or that cute little something your kitty did when faced with a ball of string? When confronted with this fact, they say, “But the words just won’t come when I have time to actually write!” Oh, woe is me. Sorry, but I have no sympathy for you.
I approach my own writing in the dark, figuratively speaking. I sit down, open the laptop, and begin my journey. I never know where I’m headed, but I’m along for the ride nonetheless. Whether it’s my current work in progress or not, I write. Damn the torpedoes, I’m in it for the haul. Instead of sitting about ruminating on the whether-tos and the why-fors, I’m entering new worlds, painting canvasses and getting to know some pretty unique people. I’m not going to sit around and wait to be told where the story is going. I trust in my characters fully, and know they will not lead me astray. The web I weave may end up being a piece of flash fiction, or the beginning of a new novel; I never know. But that’s part of the fun. That’s the reason I write. I’m equal parts insane and addicted. I need this. I’m Harry the Heroin Junky, begging you for a quarter while telling the imp on my shoulder to please, “Shuddup!”
KD Rush asked me to do this guest blog, hoping I would have some knowledge to drop on you about my process. The truth is, folks, I’m blind to see how I do it. I don’t plot, and I rarely ever think about my WIP while I’m not writing. I’m not bragging—them’s just the facts. When I try and plot, the story becomes boring real quick, because I know what’s going to happen. Takes all the fun out of my prosaic meanderings. Only when a title is fresh and new in my brainpan, can I mine it for literary gold. If I become static for too long, the water goes stagnant, and we all know nothing comes from that but pond scum.
But I digress. Once you’re able to pound something out—something meaty, with a beginning, middle and end that your readers can chew on for a bit—you need an editor. Badly. I cannot express this enough. You will look over your work after you’re done, and sure, you might catch a lot, but it won’t be enough. You are the author. That is your job title. You have trudged through the muck and mire and come out the other side holding a formative manuscript. And it’s a beaut, lemme tell you! But you still need to give it to a professional. Friends and family don’t count. Let me make myself perfectly clear here: When it comes to editing, the people closest to you are about as useful as a helmet in an ass-kicking contest. If nothing else, please for the love of (insert proper deity here) have someone read your story out loud to you. Don’t read it to yourself. That’s pointless. Have Willy the Wino read it to you in exchange for a bottle of Boone’s Farm. I really don’t care, just do not trust yourself with yourself. I’ve been there, done that, and I’ve only ended up reading what I meant to put on the page.
This hobby you’ve chosen, takes time and effort. You’re not going to be an overnight success. You’ll feel like crap when you post your book and only loved-ones end up buying it at first. But, hey, we all go through that. If your story is strong enough, if you listened properly to your characters, then maybe readers—those elusive beasts with far too many other books to dive into other than yours—will come. Or they won’t. Sorry, but I can’t promise you anyone will ever read your stories. But if you love this insanity as much as I do, then you’re willing to take that chance.
In closing, social networking has done a great deal for me, even though I am of the mindset that Facebook and Twitter do not sell books. People sell books. If you’re interesting enough, readers will give you a chance. Get yourself out there, saturate the market, and they’ll either ignore your pushy ass, or, they’ll give in. If everywhere they turn, they see your face, sooner or later they will take notice. Be mindful of the attention you seek, though. People can be cruel. They may not tell you your new born child looks like an alien with a mushroom head, but be damn certain they’ll tear your book apart if you don’t come correct.
To be an author, is to know failure and rejection. It just comes with the territory. When you stumble into those lands, strap your boots on a little tighter and push through the mud, because the light at the end of the tunnel is waning, and your fifteen minutes might already be up.
♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦
There you have it. I couldn’t have said it better myself…even if I tried…and had weeks to work on it. You can make excuses for not writing, or write. It really is that simple. Edward has a way of getting his point across in a subtle fashion doesn’t he? If you want to see what inspired me to ask him to do a guest post, then read my review for his first book Bay’s End.
You can find E.’s books here:
You can find E. here: