I was very excited to be invited by bestselling author Kat Flannery to be a part of the The Writing Process Blog Hop, the blog tour that plunges into the mechanisms of how writers do what they do. We are sharing some of our secrets with the world based on the five questions below. Welcome to the controlled chaos.
What am I working on?
Speaking of controlled chaos, this may be one of the most chaotic years of my life, yet also the most rewarding. In addition to moving to Germany in January to live and write full-time in a charming little city called Luneburg, I took it upon myself to release two books.
The first is CAPTAIN SHELBY, the prequel to my #1 Amazon list bestseller, PELICAN BAY, which dives into the beginnings of the irresistibly strange fisherman, Nereus H. Shelby. The book is part of the Captain Shelby Series Trilogy, and my publisher and I hope to have it out early September. I have a big launch event planned, so stay tuned!
The second book is my first Christmas story, which I’ve wanted to write for years. I fell in love with Philip Van Doren Stern’s idea of writing a story that could be a Christmas gift. His story, originally called The Greatest Gift, later evolved to immortality as It’s a Wonderful Life. Will I be so lucky? The writer must always think BIG, as international bestselling author Cheryl Kaye Tardif would say. Thus was born, GOTH TOWN, a dystopian Christmas novella which will be released in early November. The story centers on Jake Rayner and his unsettling yet life-altering adventures as an inhabitant of a town that has very strange beliefs when it comes to Christmas.
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
This is a truly great question, but I must preface my answer by saying I believe wholeheartedly that any author can differentiate him or herself in ANY genre. The secret is writing directly from the soul to paper, no stop and go, no collecting $200. More on this later.
My work is a unique marriage of literary fiction and plot-driven fiction. I will never let go of the feeling that an author can still have it all: deep-diving, meaningful literary fiction that is also read by very many. I know, crazy, right? Many reading this will disagree, and feel free to comment. An example of such a feat, among many, is The Road by Cormac McCarthy. Here one has a novel that bleeds literary, yet embraces such universal themes and plots that even my brother, who barely has time to read, has read it.
And McCarthy’s still alive.
Why do I write what I do?
Because if I wrote any other way, I would be immediately forgotten and forfeit my moral obligation to society as an artist. And thus we come back to my “soul to paper” theory. You can write to make a living, you can write to be remembered, or you can try to do both. But if you just write to make a living, you’ll be forgotten.
I believe artists are put on this earth to do just one thing: finding their best canvas and painting on it … painting on it a lot … and letting as much of the world see it as possible.
When one writes from the soul, he brings his own beautifully crooked view of the human experience to his books, but also brings unapologetic originality. That’s what it’s all about, dear friends.
The author takes great risk when he writes this way, risk that may pay off when he least expects it … or never at all. Oh but what a journey it is.
Woody Allen wrote and produced movie after movie with the “soul to paper” mentality. A very late film, Midnight in Paris, brought him his universal success. But he did it his way. I don’t think he expected it, but perhaps he achieved the literary/plot marriage I dream of. Maybe.
How does my writing process work?
I have no writing process. I just write. If something beautiful comes out, I keep writing. If not, I try again tomorrow.
Now, let me introduce you to my guest authors
I befriended Nora D’Ecclesis on Facebook and quickly became enamored with her gentle, wise, creative approach to everything. I’m currently reading her bestselling novel Mastering Tranquility and I am learning amazing things, as well as enjoying her easy, articulate prose.
Amazon Bestselling Author Nora D’Ecclesis is a graduate of Kean University of New Jersey,holding a degree in education, graduate degree in administration and post-graduate degree including certification as a learning specialist. She worked for many years in the corporate world for a national mortgage banking company, seeing the effects of no budget planning. On March 17, 2014 The Retro Budget Presciption: Skillful Personal Planning, went to #1 on the Amazon Bestseller list in the category of finance and hot new releases. It has remained in the top ten since publication.
As the owner of Tranquil Seas Retreats,Nora D’Ecclesis has a long history of presenting events focused on wellness and stress reduction techniques. Nora has compiled a variety of effective techniques and practices from these events, and illuminated them in her other books,Mastering Tranquility: A Guide to Developing Powerful Stress Management Skills, Tranquil Seas: Applying Guided Visualization and Reiki Roundtable.
She is currently an adjunct professor of business management for the British Institute of Homeopathy International, teaching how to write mission statements, business plans and yes, budgets. She enjoys kayaking, hiking and archery. Nora lives with her family and wonderful dogs in a suburb of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
For Nora’s Amazon author page, click here.
The imaginative and benevolent Laurence St. John, writer of the Metatron Series, is a fellow author of mine at Imajin Books. The second book in his series, THE MYSTICAL BLADE, comes out very soon, and we’re all very excited about it!
Laurence A. St. John was born on January 11, 1965 in Toledo Ohio. Laurence has one older brother and two younger sisters. Laurence along with his parents, brother and sisters moved once while growing up to Genoa Ohio, just south of Toledo. While attending Genoa Area schools, He was active in track, football and baseball. Later, after he graduated from Genoa High School (Comets) in 1983, he worked for a few manufacturing companies.
At the age of 23 and after three years of dedication, hard work and sweat, in 1988, Laurence received his first-degree black belt (Shodan) in Tae Kwon Do. This gave him the self-confidence and perseverance needed to surmount anything that came his way.
When Laurence was 25 years old he fell in love then married the love of his life, Julie in 1990. He then adopted her two young wonderful children Joe and Jan shortly after.
Out of high school for nearly fifteen years and after persuaded by his former manager, Laurence attended Owens State Community College where he obtained an Associates Degree in Microcomputer Business Systems while working full-time. In addition to computer classes, he enjoyed composition classes where he could free his mind and write what he wanted.
While working in the steel processing business for almost fifteen years, Laurence’s place of employment changed hands, for the third time in 2006; fighting for his job, again. In the same year his first granddaughter, Kendall, “Papa’s Angel” was born. He described this as one of the most uplifting moments of his life. In addition, it was during this time when his emotions were running wild; he became inspired as well as determined to write his penned-up thoughts on paper.
Nearly four years later, he had completed his first teen fantasy novel, Metatron: The Angel Has Risen. He has already started the process of writing his next novels in the series.
Laurence currently lives in Northwood Ohio with his wife of 24 years, Julie. His son Joe is married to his wife Cari who have three daughters, Kendall, Sadie and Harper. His daughter Jan is married to her husband Andrew who has one son, Elijah and one daughter Evelyn. Laurence currently holds the position of Administrations Manager at Precision Strip, Inc. in Perrysburg Ohio, where he works full time. He continually writes in his spare time; weekends and after work, and is endlessly inspired by his five grandkids Kendall, Eli, Sadie, Evy and Harper.