My Books & Stories (Amazon Page)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

How To Embarass A Writer

I recently had a poster on another website forum email me, essentially asking for advice, but one of the things the poster said in their message damn near made my hair stand on end.

I quote,

I downloaded a sample of Hatchings, and it seems to be a very American contribution to the British school of Guy N Smith, Graham Masterton and James Herbert. Good show, old chap, haha.

Now, of course, I denied being anywhere near as good as these Masters. In response, the poster stated,

Right, right, I meant 'in the vein of the Brits', not quite 'on the level of' :), although there's really not much difference between what I read of your style and Smith's. In fact yours may be a tad better, but he had the luck of entering the field in the middle of the 70's horror boom. Like entering the romantic werewolf field today, I guess.

If you want to embarrass a writer, this is an excellent way to go at it. Its incredibly flattering, but there's no way I believe I'm anywhere near as good as Masterson, Smith, or Herbert. I'm getting better, but I'm not there yet.

I do find it interesting that the poster noted that my work appeared to be a very American contribution in the same vein as the British Masters he cites. My early upbringing was in a household in the middle of Ohio with a very Scottish patriarchy, a very close relationship to England, and a matriarchal lineage that was also very English and German. There've been times I've been caught slipping into accented conversation when I didn't even realize I was doing it. In addition, for years I used certain wordage in my writing that was very English without even realizing I was doing it wrong for an American audience or in accordance with American English.

Don't get me wrong. I'm a proud American and I'm proud of my heritage.

I just never quite realized how deeply that heritage had actually affected everything I do.

All writers have heritages. Our stories, our characters, our mannerisms are based in our heritage, probably on a much deeper level than we realize. We show a certain face to the outside world, but our stories are dredged up from deep within our psyches. There's a point where we cannot distinguish what's in our psyche and what's flowing from our fingers in our stories.

Please, forgive us. We too, are products of our heritage.

And because I'm a product of my heritage, it's both embarrassing and incredibly elevating to be compared to, or placed in the same vein as, certain Master writers.

Mostly embarrassing right now.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Veteran's Day

One more thing - if you know a vet, thank him and shake his hand.

Today is the day to remember that, in the words of the Billy Ray Cyrus song, "All Gave Some, Some Gave All".

I'd also like to recommend the video "Waltzing Matilda" that's circulating on YouTube and the video from 3 Doors Down (I think) for "We Are One" that should also be available on YouTube.

Remember the veterans in your own family especially, but remember them all.

All gave some. Some gave all.

God bless all veterans everywhere.

Two New Short Stories

Two new short stories, Hate Music and Hunted, were posted to Amazon for the Kindle and Smashwords for all other platforms earlier this month. They are both currently available for $0.99 each.

Hate Music is a 1thousand word science fiction story set in my Fire On The Suns universe with a darkly humorous twist.

Hunted is an 1800-word horror story with action so fast and furious it will leave you gasping for breath.

I should have Infection, a 5 thousand word horror story, available by the end of this month (it just needs a final review and editing pass).

Work is progressing on Porter's Way, a western/horror short story (that's trying to turn into a novella) set in a world where magic and the Old West co-exist (but this ain't Deadlands, folks), Fire On The Suns (my military space opera novel based on my FOTS game universe) which has reached 55+ thousand words, and an as-yet untitled short story featuring the Devil being grilled by a talk show pundit on his relationship with God. That one's up to about 2 thousand words currently.

I've temporarily ceased working on The Midnight Box, a Quentin Dallas short story due to "issues" with the legendary source material. Still, I might pick it back up after the first of the year along with the novels Gated and Third Pulse, both of which I expect to finish next year.

To-date, I've finished and published 1 novel, 10 short stories, and a collection since late January when I started this 5-year project. I intend to finish at least 1 more novel and 2-5 short stories between now and the end of the year (my goal was 2 novels and 12-15 short stories when I started this thing). I've noticed that my productivity appears to have increased as the year has progressed and I'm putting up better, more polished, much more professional work as I go along.

Give me 4 more years and I might even be decent.