The writing process. Three simple words that can make a writer, a person who is capable of pouring a hundred thousand or more words into a story, wilt like a rose in the Sahara Desert. Who loves readers more than a writer? No one, except maybe God. But in the complex and ever changing mind of a reader, that is the number one question they ask. How do you write a story? Where does that stuff come from?
I would venture to say that the ways individual authors create a story line and characters are as numerous as fish in the ocean. Oh look, mommy, it’s a tuna fish. No, honey-that’s an ‘outline’. And look over there-see that pretty ‘epiphany’? And if you look way, way out you can see the ‘life event’.
When Victoria Adams asked me to participate in this blog hop, I was at once intrigued. Intrigue was soon followed by ‘what have I gotten myself into’, which morphed into ‘didn’t grandma always say think-think before you speak-especially the word yes’? Victoria is an amazing person. She always seems to have the answers I need, when I need them. On the off chance that she doesn’t have the answer on the tip of her tongue, she will point me in the right direction to find it. Her blogs are awesome by any standards. Be sure to stop by and see for yourself at: http://victoriasreadingalcove.wordpress.com/2014/06/10/second-time-around.
I hate the tuna fish…I mean the outline. I cannot do it. Some can see the beginning, middle and end. From there they fill in the blanks. Not me…for whatever reason. The story unfolds in my brain and falls onto the paper as fast as my fingers can fly over the keys. I don’t have any idea what road the tale will take until my brain dictates it. So far it has worked well for me.
How does one tell a compelling story? Speaking for myself and my first novel, Lancer, Inc., you must have a compelling subject. What is compelling to one author may be commonplace to another. My husband’s problems with PTSD inspired me to create Lancer, Inc. using important parts of his childhood as well as traumatic events during his time in Vietnam. PTSD is a difficult and often debilitating disorder that affects every aspect of the person’s life. It only gets worse without treatment. When he finally sought therapy, I was able to get him involved in the story, to share the trauma that had been locked away for thirty-five years. It was therapy, not only for him, but for me as well. You will find as much fact as fiction in the pages of the series.
Let me introduce you to some very intriguing individuals. First, Clay Gilbert would like to tell you a little bit about himself: I’m a novelist, not a short story writer, for a reason. I was born in 1971–although, as Douglas Adams rightly observed, time is relative. I’ve been writing since I was four–if a short sci-fi story about a robot, with stick- figure illustrations–counts, and I published my first short story, called “The Computer Conspiracy”, in Scholastic magazine when I was in middle school. Wrote my first novel length manuscript (you don’t want to see it ) that same year, and began my first novel of any worth my senior year of high school, and finished it my freshman year of college. I spent a lot of time in school, eventually earning a Master’s degree in English Lit and an M.F.A. in Fiction Writing (from Auburn University and U. of South Carolina, respectively). In those years, I gathered up a few more publication credits–all for my poetry–in various magazines and an anthology from Citadel Press called “The Pagan’s Muse.” I’ve also taught English composition and grammar at the college level since 2003. My goal, ultimately, though, was to become a published novelist. In February, I self published my sci-fi novel ‘Eternity’ through Amazon/CreateSpace and later that month, submitted my most recent novel, ‘Annah’, to Tc McKinney and had it accepted for publication-making that dream come true. I’m now the Editor in Chief here at PDMI, and happy to be among this wonderful community of people who love words, stories and books and want to write the books that they–and others–will delight in reading.
Next in line we have Daven Anderson: Daven grew up reading Dr. Seuss, the Encyclopaedia Britannica and dinosaur books, never suspecting that one day all of those books would play crucial parts as inspiration for the Vampire Syndrome saga. The simple, yet infallible, wisdom of Theodore Geisel serving as the model for protagonist, Jack Wendell. Encyclopaedia research inspired Daven to craft unparalleled levels of back story detail, reconciling science and folklore in ways no “vampire novel” has ever done before. And if that large meteor hadn’t impacted the Yucatan Peninsula 65 million years ago, reptiles could easily have evolved into a humanoid from that would bear resemblance to the alien Pure Vampires of Daven’s saga.
Daven accepted the challenge to craft a saga featuring a brave, wise, dignified hero with special needs, which would reach an audience that would never dream of reading a novel like “Forrest Gump.” Like “Gump”, a story where a hero with special needs proves that quick wit and cunning do not equal wisdom. Unlike “Gump”, a story where danger stalks the hero from beginning to end, from Jack’s well-meaning but devious human Vampire counterparts, to the carnivorous alien Pure Vampires that strike fear into the hearts of all human Vampires. Jack struggles to survive and find acceptance in a world where the “human” and the “monster” are one and the same.
And rounding out this group we have: Authors Jack Gannon and Cyndi Williams-Barnier who are self proclaimed “Killers on the Keyboard”, a fit slogan for their style of writing-Psychological/Suspense/Thrillers. Both live in Beaufort, South Carolina-attended high school together, the University of South Carolina-Beaufort, and Winthrop University, and as teenagers talked endlessly about writing the very books they compose today. However, after losing touch with each other for thirty-two years, the two met again by happenstance, and picked up on the stories as if it were yesterday. Now retired from newspaper media (Jack) and government emergency management (Cyndi) both decided to form an LLC business, J&C Wordsmiths, and have steadily worked on novels thereafter.
As avid readers from an early age, it’s hard to believe that Cyndi read her first full-length book at the age of ten (written by Sigmund Freud of all people!) Jack’s first full-length novel read was The Cain Mutiny, and his favorite suspense book of all time is “Gerald’s Game” by Stephen King–a near perfect psychological/suspense/thriller. For thirty-plus years the two braved their individual traumas, stressful yet educational careers, and for escapism-lost themselves in the fantasy worlds of Sci-Fi (they love ALL Star Trek episodes, and idolize William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy), not to forget futuristic or dark themed works of art, many including Jeffrey Deaver, Dean Koontz and Thomas Harris; and of course Edgar Allen Poe–the epitome of their genre.
Tenacity is the “rule” of their office, always pushing forward–in less than three years they were contracted by PDMI Publishing (a dream come true in an extremely short amount of time). With an office staff of seven cats and one dog, all of which are spoiled beyond belief, the slogan of each day is to “follow the yellow brick road,” as its led them to the creation of “Murder in Twos and Threes,” “Trail of the Talon,” and soon “The Latrodectus Murders,” “Trail of the Hunter,” and many more. The two have delved into other genres such as historical, children’s books, short stories, and others to be revealed later–and have already written one screenplay. It seems they have no end to the stories yet to be shared, fictional and non-fictional.
Both are well-versed in the art of culinary adventures, gardening escapades, animal rescue, volunteering, and the two decided to add one more thing to their crazy itinerary: create “The Annual ‘Novel ‘ Wine Tasting, Arts, and Literary Festival” in Ridgeland, South Carolina (as if they didn’t have enough to do). Both have a love of history, technology, the supernatural, life and legends of the Lowcountry, and their rigid spirituality (such a stark contradiction to their writing genre!). Should the two get sidetracked or lost in their writings, they’ve created another slogan: W-W-S-K-D (What-Would-Stephen-King-Do?)
Looking to connect? Take a peek at their sites:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/annualnovelwinetastingandliteraryfestival (nothing goes together better than books and wine!) Check out their author page at: http://www.facebook.com/2sAnd3s. Jack’s personal Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/jackgannonauthor and Cyndi’s Facebook page: https://cyndiwilliamsbarnier. Also take a look at their website at: http://www.jandcwordsmiths.com. Check out their blogs at: http://jandcwordsmiths.wordpress.com.