Tag Archive: fiction


Why I Write What I Write

 

I don’t remember exactly when it was that I fell in love with fiction and fantasy. But I do remember there was an allure in exploring possibilities and impossibilities. Maybe it was growing up in Alabama where nothing ever happened that drove me to immerse myself in worlds where adventure was a part of everyday life, magic occurred as naturally as the wind and traveling in a spaceship was a standard practice. Reality was too bland, too boring for me, and reading was an escape from that. But reading fantasy was like dreaming while still awake. I guess fantasy and sci-fi were my Inception.

I’ve always had a vivid imagination and I’ve always been a daydreamer. I think you’d probably have to visit me in a psychiatric ward if it weren’t for a creative outlet like writing. And maybe that’s all that writers, artists, poets and other creative types are, functioning psychotics. Rather than allowing our insanity to consume us and drive us insane, we channel it and work with it to creative something…more, something beyond what we see and experience in everyday life.

I know that the world we live in holds much splendor and wonder, but sometimes all of that magnificence needs to be magnified times a thousand. I don’t want to travel in an airplane, I want to lift my arms and fly under my own will. I don’t want to simply travel to different states and nations, I want to travel to different dimensions. I want to live in the worlds I see in games like Final Fantasy, see what it would be like to have actual superpowers and have a vampire for a roommate.

For a while now I’ve been on a superhero kick. There’s just something about exploring the idea of how having superpowers changes who you are, either in a small way or a big way. Would the world be a better place if Captain America really existed? How different would the world be if it had a Captain Japan or a Captain Africa? What if the Avengers were villains instead of heroes? What if there was one person with the power to solve all of the world’s problems but they decided not to? I hope to write comic book scripts as well as novels someday, and maybe even a video game script or two. Even though I’m not up to date on the latest happenings in the comic book/graphic novel world, I’ll always be a proud comic book nerd.

When it comes to fantasy, I’m enamored with the idea of creating a new world, new rules, new races, new technology and new ideas. I believe that fantasy and sci-fi are the purest forms of creation. The genres force authors to dig deep, unravel thoughts and ideas that they’ve had since they were old enough to comprehend in order to make manifest a new universe where those thoughts and ideas don’t mean a thing. I have one idea for a fantasy story that’s been in my head for years. I dabble with it every now and then, and I’m just now starting to feel “old” enough to make an honest effort of writing it. If I do, I think I’ll have to pull  a George R.R. Martin and spend a few years on it.

As much as I love brazen, in-your-face fantasy and fiction, I also love the subtle nuances of a fiction or thriller. These are the kinds of stories that can keep me up at night wondering if the events and characters pressed between the pages of a book could actually exist. Movies like Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy make us believe that there could be a real life Bruce Wayne out there somewhere. While  characters like the Joker and Bane may not exist, the characteristics of those characters most certainly do. That is the type of fiction that I hold closest to my heart, the kind that really makes you sit down and examine your life, the world you live in and how you fit in it.

Fiction, sometimes it’s closer to the truth than reality itself.

Take care out there.

What are some of your favorite genres and why? 

P.S. Don’t forget to check out my serial DARK ON THE ROCK on JukePop Serials! Vote for it if you like it, and be sure to check back this Friday for Episode Three.

Serial Killer…Kinda

Ladies and gentlemen, I’m going serial!

I recently learned that my series DARK ON THE ROCK will be featured on JukePop Serials’ website very soon! If you’re a fan of superheroes or sci-fi, you won’t want to miss it! Even if you aren’t you still shouldn’t miss it. One of the great things about JukePop is that readers can not only vote for their favorite stories, they can also leave comments for the writer, which may have an impact on future installations/episodes.

Here is a small preview of what’s in store for you, and I’ll be sure to update as soon as JukePop launches. I’m really looking forward to this! Hopefully it’ll open some doors for me.

Take care out there.

 

 

Origin Story

I guess now is a good time to expose my roots and tell you how I discovered that I wanted to be a writer.

I’d first have to thank my Aunt Ann. Without her love for reading, I don’t think mine would’ve been so strong. I remember sitting with her at my grandma’s house reading a book. That little seed would only grow and flourish as the years went on and I started to grow up. I mostly read fantasy novels, anything that was imaginative and took me away from the “real world.”

When I was…about 14 or 15, I decided that I wanted to be a photojournalist. I think it was a combination of watching Spider-Man and The Secret World of Alex Mack (anyone remember that show?). I never actually went out and bought a fancy camera, but I do remember taking lots of pictures for a short period of time. Then somehow I stumbled on fan fiction! For the uninitiated, fan fiction is where you write your own stories for TV shows, adding your own twist to them. It was like being pushed into an ocean with no idea of how to swim. But I was more intrigued than anything else. I had discovered an underground dimension, a galaxy of parallel universes.

So I started writing fan fiction. My first was a Power Rangers fan fiction. Yep, Power Rangers. I was a HUGE fan when I was young. So I guess I have them to thank too for helping me discover my passion for writing. While attempting to come up with ideas for my storyline, I was still under the impression that I wanted to be a photojournalist, even though ideas for original stories were constantly pouring into my head.

I remember one story was about a group of teenagers who were mystical ninjas with elemental based powers who had to travel to a different dimension and battle their evil twins. Another was about two sorceresses, a vampire/werewolf hybrid and a seer who were part of an evil group called The Deranteke who were attempting to bring back their dark lord…all while staving off the attempts of other baddies who wanted to curry favor with said dark lord. Sounds like bestselling material, eh?

This is where I began my dalliance with exploring the “bad guys.”

I believe I finally decided I wanted to become a writer when I started writing the Bo Quintin series. Bo was a feral (a werewolf who doesn’t transform) and bounty hunter who received his assignments from an unknown divine source. I remember how much enjoyment it brought me to sit at the keyboard fleshing out this supernatural world and coming up with ideas. I even had a playlist for when I was writing fight scenes, and to this day writing a good fight scene is one of my absolute favorite things to do when writing. I was writing the Bo Quintin series when Angel and Buffy were on, and I was most definitely influenced by the Whedon world. I even had a spin-off series for one of my characters much like Angel was a spin-off of Buffy.

This is also where I developed the habit of jumping from project to project and starting things and not finishing them.

Next I visited my good friend Noel  in Kansas where I saw the movie Sin City.

This is where I was introduced to my good friend noir.

I was immediately held in thrall by this film. The colors, the music, the dialogue, the lighting, the story. It felt like a dark angel had descended from the corners of heaven, kissed me on the lips, blew out my soul like a jittering old car engine and gave me wings of my own. I remember going back to her apartment after the movie and starting my own noir story, one about an assassin and a vigilante named Vigil and Whisper. They were both gay and lived in a world where there were no women, save one, and they only operated at night. “Sons of Entropy”, as I called it, was some of my absolute finest work up until that point. I had cowboys, clones, a femme fatal, swords, strippers, courtesans, a gritty romance, drugs and the classic twisted noir ending.

I think I need to pull that story out and take a look at it. Who knows, could get it published after I polish it!

After “Sons of Entropy” came “SanGuine” and various other short stories, some of which I tried to get published and received my first rejection letters. I’m not sure when I got the idea for my first novel, “Fury Us,” but I do remember that it was originally ” X-Treme Quarantine.” I started writing it when I realized that there was much more to the story, and that I had to go back before writing about the XQtioners.

Presently, I’ve written an ish-ton of short stories, some finished, some not, one novel, some scripts, several poems and I’ve got about three chapters to finish on my second novel. I’ve come a long way, and I know that I have even further to go. I’m glad that I decided to share this, even the part about writing Power Ranger fan fiction, which I was apprehensive about. I guess you never know where “that moment” will come from. It’s always nice to go back and retrieve wisdom, passion and smiles that you’ve experienced on a personal journey.

Now, back to working on my latest short story!

Take care out there.

The Long & Short Of It

As with many writers, I dream of having more than a few bestselling novels under my belt while I’m still senile enough to recognize myself in the mirror. Writers may sit at their laptops, notebooks and in coffeeshops trying to develop a fantastic and wholly original idea for a novel or series of novels. We come up with a cast of characters, map out chapters and might even develop a series bible if we’re really feeling ambitious. We start foaming at the mouth at the idea of starting this epic and sprawling adventure.

And then it happens…

…you run…

…out…

…of steam.

Three or four chapters in you realize that that fully realized idea was only a premature birth and needs more time in a creative incubator before it’s developed enough to run rampant through the literary world. This has happened to me on more than one occasion. I’ve realized that forcing a novel hardly ever works. I’m starting to realize that some ideas are meant to be novels, and others are short stories and should only exist as such. This isn’t to say that a short story can’t eventually become a novel, but simply that you should first write it as it’s intended to be before going back to see if there’s more underneath that pile of 5,000 words. Think of it as a buffet: rather than getting excited and heaping as much as you can on your plate, sample a few of your top favorites and see if your stomach can handle more.

Short stories are a magnificent exercise, regardless of if you’ve written several novels or have just started dabbling in writing. They allow writers to release the short bursts of creativity that may be keeping them from sleeping or fully focusing on other projects. Short stories force you to cut down on excess word fat, tell a tight, contained story and shape up your writing style.  I really enjoy variety and switching from genre to genre every now and then. In the past I would bind myself to working on my novel and only my novel.

I now realize how foolish that was.

Rather than forcing my creativity to go in a certain direction, I should instead allow my creativity to force me in a certain direction. It’s not as if my novel will evaporate or die if I don’t give it constant attention, but I also shouldn’t spend more time than necessary away from it. Switching writing projects and working on projects of different lengths is like exercising every muscle in your body as opposed to only working your upper body. Ever seen a bodybuilder who obviously spent more time working out their arms and chest than they did their legs? Do yourself and your writing body a favor and give yourself a complete writer’s workout, exercising your short story quads, your poetic pecs and your flash fiction calves. Writing isn’t just a world, but an entire galaxy! Start exploring, even if the journey may be fraught with danger and failure.

Here’s a link to an extremely helpful blog entry about writing short fiction. There you’ll also finds some ways to make some money from your short stories. Now, I’ve got your attention!

You should also check out DuoTrope to find thousands of both paid and unpaid markets for your work. I use it to find places to send my other material when I’ve hit a wall or need to step out of the world of my novel for a while.

And that’s the long and short of it!

Take care out there.