Monday, November 11, 2013

Another fabulous guest post... T. Richard Brown

Don't let plan B take over

I've always wanted to be a professional writer. Even as a young man, I enjoyed writing stories. However I was always cautioned that it was tough to get published and I'd need a plan B to make a living while I tried to get published. So I went to college studying biology got married and got a job while writing on the side but, like a lot of writers, never quite having something I thought worth sending to an agent or publisher. Of course I wrote in my spare time. I had to earn a living to support myself and my family.
As time went on I had less and less time to write because more and more was taken up by my family and job responsibilities. Then a little over five years ago something happened. When I went in for what I thought was going to be a routine doctor visit for my worsening back pain the doctor decided it had been long enough since my last M.R.I. that I needed a new one before any new procedures. The scan found something odd in my L1 vertebrae. It turned out to be cancer, lymphoma specifically. Strangely enough as nearly as they could determine it had started in my back rather than in my lymph nodes as is normal. Their followed months of chemotherapy and years of regaining my strength and trying to pay off my medical bills.
So there I was, a cancer survivor, pushing forty with a child almost ready for junior high and I'd still never published anything (outside of an undergrad research paper and some technical documents for work). Then one night I had a crazy dream about being in an accident and having my brain transplanted into a new inhuman body. I thought it might make an interesting short story and decided to try writing it thinking I might sent it in to a magazine or something. Along the way I decided that having the body of my protagonist being a different gender as wellas species might be more interesting or at least more accessible to readers. More people are familiar with gender identity disorder than with those who call themselves other kin after all. In the process though as I examined all the potential results of such a transformation I realized that I wasn't going to do the story justice in a short story. Actually as I started to flesh out the characters and situations in my mind I realized that a single novel may be too short. In fact I was half way through writing my first book when I the voice of a character whose birth I hadn't even written yet came into my head to insist on being the narrator of book three. Yes I'm an author who has the characters talk to me in my mind, I'm told it's not that uncommon.
Just under a year later I had my first book finished, edited and proofread. I decided to self publish feeling that a book about a gender confused bisexual cat girl might not have enough general appeal to get published through a conventional publisher. It took almost another year to finish my second book and now my third is under way. I'm still not selling enough books to support my family exclusively from my writing but I am making a little money off it.
The moral of my story is if you have a story to tell don't wait till after a brush with cancer to tell it. Tell your story through a conventional publisher or through the new world of e-book publishing. Tell your story. Some people may like it some won't. You may make a living off it or you may never sell a copy in your lifetime. Don't let whatever your plan b is take over your life. It will probably take up a lot of your spare time. Treat it like a second job if you want to be serious about it. Whatever story you have to tell, tell it. Stories help us look at the world in new ways and as our world constantly changes we need new perspectives.  

Monday, November 4, 2013

Lisa Day, say hello to the fans of the Emerald Seer!

Wolfkeeper...The respected warrior, and a stalwart leader of his people.

Cassie...A new wife and mother full of fear and unprepared for the future that soon would be hers.

They each share goal. Both want to keep the young child alive. Even so, they will begin their journey as enemies. While tradition and pride stands in Wolfkeeper's way. Inexperience and uncertainty of making the right choices stymies Cassie. With each passing day together their emotions swing back and forth until they reach a breaking point. One realizes only forgiveness and understanding can resolve the conflict between them. Follow Wolfkeeper efforts as he tries to make peace with Cassie in terms she never imagined.

Lisa was kind enough to share an excerpt with us:

Wolfkeeper was nowhere around. Prancing Bear was the one who returned for her son. Before he reached Timothy, Cassie stood up. She was going to defy him and keep her son.
‟No!” she said, shaking her head. She held Timothy tighter to her chest.
Wolfkeeper was nowhere around. The brave reached pleadingly for the baby. ‟Give the boy to me.”
‟No! I have had enough of this, go away,” Cassie replied. He took a step closer. Cassie swung her back to Prancing Bear and ran into the dark woods.
Prancing Bear stayed in the camp, smiling and thinking his friend had his hands full with this one. He found Wolfkeeper rubbing down his horse and told him the woman had fled with the child.
There is not anything like white-eyes swear words in his language, so he borrowed one. It didn’t take long to find her. Cassie had made so much noise a deaf and blind man could find her. He let her thrash about for a while. She had no place to go, and no way to get there if she did. It didn’t take too long for Cassie to come to the same conclusion.
It seemed she knew he was behind her. When he spoke, she wasn’t even surprised to hear his voice. He could have said, go home if you must, or come here I will slit your throat. It did not matter. She didn’t understand him. However, she was lost and they both knew it. She remained sitting on the ground humming while rocking her infant, back and forth.
This continued for a few minutes longer. A silent Wolfkeeper waited for her acceptance of the situation. Eventually, she stood up and followed his lead back to the camp. Prancing Bear approached her and reached for the boy.
‟No, he’s mine,” she protested.
Wolfkeeper faced her. Cassie watched his mouth move, but she did not hear a word. A horrendous terror filled her as she saw the rage take hold of him. She nearly threw her son into Prancing Bear’s open arms. She began to feel dizzy, for she had stopped breathing. Wolfkeeper moved toward her...…..

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Lisa Day hails from New Jersey before 'Jersey Girls' became famous. Living in the south for so long she now thinks of herself as a retired southern bell, just born in the wrong century. So, what else is a girl to do but write those pesky stories that live within her head.
Lisa has no desire to be the next big writer. She didn’t start her writing adventure till she was retired. Not having the compulsion to write while young she has no skills to fall back on, or maybe she’d say fall on as ‘fall on a sword.’ Either way, she puts her books out there for people to read with the hope they will find the story interesting enough to over look the lack of a formal training.

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Friday, November 1, 2013

It's that time of year again....

NaNoWriMo is here!!  I am sooooo excited and ready to roll.  Though several of my "buddies" have already begun, I am just getting ready to settle down for my first words.  I know this much.  IMMORTAL MACHINATIONS is going to be fabulous now that I have scrapped the previous shreds of manuscript to settle down and do it up right!

That said, my posts will be few and far between this month as I grind myself down for NaNo!