A big thank you to Dot Caffery for inviting me to join My Writing Process – The Blog Tour. Dot shares my love of all things Tolkien and has just released her first fantasy novel AWAKENING POWERS: Book One in the Trilogy of Power.
What am I working on?
Soil-Man is a paranormal thriller about a farmer who doesn’t believe in God even after he’s forced by what appears to be an angel to participate in the annihilation of his own family. Stripped of all emotion, Jon Aesop must now survive the machinations and murderous intent of angelic forces while seeking the answers to the afterlife and the nature of reality itself
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I’m not sure that it does. Being more into Science Fiction and Fantasy, I have not read much in the supernatural thriller genre. My hope is that it is original. My fear is that it is not.
In fact, my fear of my story not differing from others is so great that I cannot read anything even remotely like it. On the few occasions I chanced upon similar story lines, or characters, I have freaked out so badly that my writing was stifled for months at a time.
The thing that is ridiculous, is that I know it should not bother me. I know that every story ever written is just a re-imagined, re-formed, re-worked, re-hashed, version of what came before. All creative endeavors are nothing more than blocks placed upon a great pyramid of inspiration built by earlier artists, which is just another way to quote Ecclesiastes “There is nothing new under the sun.” My work is a combination of Tolkien, Heinlein, and Pratchett, mixed together and seasoned with my own life experiences.
Why do I write what I do?
I should start by saying what it is I write, then I can explain why.
What do I write? Anything that comes to mind. I write poetry, sci/fi, fantasy, supernatural thriller, essays on philosophy, theology, science, and whatever catches my fancy.
Why do I write all this? Because I must may be cliché and trite, but is no less true for being so. I must write because I am afraid not to. I have no life beyond this one to look forward to. No second chance with reincarnation, no heaven to be with loved one again. This one chance, this singular worldly experience, is all I have, and it terrifies me to think it will pass by without me ever making a difference.
I want my words to inspire, educate, or at least entertain, long after I am dead. I want people to know me, know my mind and my thoughts.
That and the money. Writers are rich, right?
How does your writing process work?
When an idea for a story hits me, it is as if I have been struck by a curse and the only cure is to write it all down, exactly right, to be read like an incantation. Until then, I have trouble sleeping, I can’t focus at work, my wife and kids often have to repeat what they tell me. I am lost in my own head, listening to conversations between imaginary characters, contorting the world around them to force them in the direction I want them to go, over and over again until it all fits together like pieces of a puzzle.
Then, when I have the scene firmly in my head, I write it as fast as I can, an hour during my lunch break and up to two hours after work every day, hoping my fingers can out pace my demons of self-doubt. After that I don’t read it again. I move on to the next chapter or scene without looking back, because if I do, the demons catch up. I (almost) never like what I have written after the fact.
This makes editing difficult. I constantly want to just scrap everything and start over, and I have done so many, many times. I am now on the thirteenth version of my book because of this.
Thanks for reading,
Up next (June 9) is one of my dearest friends, the author of Evening Light, M. Elisabeth Howell
Few in this world are able to turn their own struggles into strength as well as she. Her blog is full of humble wisdom, and I for one am curious as to how she does it. I hope you enjoy it as much as I know I will.