AuThorsday with John C. Adams

Today I’d like to welcome John C. Adams, horror and fantasy author of Souls for the Master, Aspatria, and Dagmar of the Northlands.

Can you give us your quickest description of your books?

My latest fantasy novel is called Dagmar of the Northlands, but really it’s everyone’s story. Dagmar is only one in a cast of characters, but each has their own challenges. The Gortah van Murkar books are set in a universe with lots of pitched battles involving sword and sorcery, but there’s also plenty of romance and focus on characters, too. Both Dagmar and Gortah are exploring their sexual identity with new partners, for instance.

Some of the main characters also appeared in the prequel Aspatria, but Dagmar and the Men of the North appear for the first time in this novel. Aspatria was inspired more by an Anglo-Saxon universe whereas the Men of the North, who live in the Northlands, feel like a Nordic culture. When Dagmar and her fellow Men of the North sail off to raid Orkna one autumn morning this brings them into conflict with Gortah, who claims the island as part of his empire.

I also write horror.

I really enjoyed how well your characters are developed, as well as the historical feel of your setting.  There’s plenty of fantasy, but it also feels like it could be real history.  Do you research a lot of history/cultures to add to the context before you write?

I’m English, but we live very close to the border with Scotland. I did a lot of research for Aspatria to get the Anglo-Saxon feel right, and then the same for Dagmar of the Northlands, which is Nordic inspired. Orkna is based on the Orkneys, of course, which I’ve visited and researched, too. And Murkar has a Dutch feel to it in some ways. I do read a lot of period history before writing a fantasy novel, and it’s well worth the investment of time to do this to get the everyday details right.

What are you working on currently?

My next novel will be a horror one, the sequel to my first novel Souls for the Master. It’s called Blackacre Rising. It’s due out in September, so the text is finished of course, but I’m already moving on to my next project: writing the sequel to Dagmar of the Northlands. I haven’t settled on a title just yet, but it features new characters in a Russian-inspired culture alongside old friends like Gortah and Khan Nicholai of the Albins. I’m about halfway through the first draft.

Great!  Do you find that it’s easy for you to move from book to book and genre to genre, or do you like focusing on one at a time?

Any writer who works in more than one genre will tell you that it’s always a bit of a jump from one to the other. In longer fiction, I’m either writing a horror novel or a fantasy novel at any point in time and these can easily take over a year to finish up if not longer. However, I review both genres and write short fiction and articles in each constantly, so in some senses it feels like I’ve never been away because I’m constantly immersed in both.

What is your favorite scene you’ve written?  Can you give us a peek?

I’m an incurable romantic, so my favourite scene ever is from Aspatria when Gortah, who is 48 and who has been a widower for ten years, takes his son Eugene to visit a new queen Dextra who has risen to the throne when every man in her family is killed in battle. She’s inexperienced as a ruler, but she’s already making her authority felt and he is unprepared for the potent mix of her beauty and her position, which is equal to his. She puts him right in his place, and good for her.

Gortah smiled down at Dextra. The young queen’s delicate beauty was working the same charm on the king as it did on every man she met.

Dextra was routinely described as the most beautiful woman in the world for good reason. She had blossomed from a gangly, awkward child into a lovely young woman and, in the last year, her beauty had become radiant and rich. Now, the sorrow of her grief at the loss of her menfolk gave it a fragile quality that made it even more potent.

A blush spread across Gortah’s round face, and his eyes widened. The most powerful man in the world could still be taught a lesson about female beauty when he was least expecting it.

As Dextra looked up at Gortah her expression hardened.

“I am your equal, sir, get down off your horse and greet me accordingly.”

A gasp of surprise went round the square at Dextra’s rudeness to the king. She’d entirely misunderstood Gortah’s manner of greeting her.

Gortah rolled his eyes. He kicked his leg over the pommel of his saddle and slid to the ground. He thumped down with a crash as his boots hit the stone flags. He took a single step forwards and dropped to his knees right in front of Dextra. He was grinning. She looked around surreptitiously.

Dextra dipped into a low curtsey. Her white dress billowed out in all directions. She bowed her head and kept her eyes fixed on the ground in front of Gortah. Their faces were only inches apart. His eyes flickered downwards and over her body. Her low-cut dress gave the king a full view of her charms. Her repentant demeanour added to the picture. His Majesty was floored by both elements.

Gortah clambered up. He was not an ungainly man, but he was heavy and muscular. The redness of his cheeks eased, and he adjusted his crown so that it was square on his silver head again. He held his hands out to Dextra once he was securely on his feet. A buzz of relief spread around the crowd. She looked up at him winningly. Then she placed her tiny white hands in his gigantic palms, and he closed his fingers around them.

I love the descriptions and language you use.  I noticed multiple times throughout your book that you make women and men equals – whether on the battlefield or in leadership roles.  Was this something that was important to you in this story?

As someone who is nonbinary, it’s important to me to portray those of both genders and none with the utmost respect. Anyone is capable of good leadership or bad, and the answer lies in character rather than in gender. I also embrace diversity of sexual orientation in my writing. Gortah is bisexual, and Dagmar is coming out as same-sex oriented.

I’ve just written my first trans character in the fantasy novel I’m drafting at the moment. These are exciting times in gender and orientation, and I hope my fiction reflects that.

What is one bit of advice you’d like to share with writers?

I’d probably ask them, ‘Have you considered reviewing?’

I review for the British Fantasy Society, the Horror Tree and Schlock! Webzine. It’s made me grow as a writer because every week, one way or another when you include reviews on Goodreads and Litsy I have a review out about that often, I’m reading awesome novels in horror and fantasy (plus a bit of science fiction here and there) and analysing what works and what doesn’t. I’ve learnt so much about those genres by really getting down into the details of the books from themes to imagery, from plot to character. And it’s worth the effort because every so often I find myself feeling like I actually know what I’m talking about!

Haha.  As a reviewer/writer, I agree. It’s amazing how much you learn from critiquing others.  Have you found you catch yourself taking your own advice, so to speak, about your own writing?

Always, because one of the things that has really helped me grow as a writer has been to see what others are doing right. I’ve learnt a lot about the genres I write in from analysing them for articles and writing reviews of specific books. I’d recommend doing that to any emerging writer.

What is one question about your books that you wish more people would ask?

Q: Why is the farmhouse in your horror universe called Blackacre?

So glad you asked! Before I became a writer I was a solicitor. At college, land law was a compulsory part of the syllabus. When you need a fictional piece of land, which includes a house, to use as an example and to compare with neighbouring properties to deal with boundary disputes for example, you call the first property ‘Blackacre’ and the second ‘Whiteacre’ and so on through red, green etc to distinguish them. I think I was far too imaginative to make a good lawyer because I always found my thoughts drifting to what a morbid, evil place it sounded and how polished and cultured Whiteacre was by comparison. So my horror fiction features an aristocratic family at Whiteacre (who are all bonkers) and an uplands farming family, the Flints, at Blackacre, which is a pretty dangerous place to live.

That’s interesting! Do you include other real-life names or details in your stories? Kind of personal Easter eggs, even if other people don’t know about them?

I think those who know me well, especially family and friends of longstanding, will have no trouble identifying people and situations that have provided inspiration. The best way to make writing vivid is to draw from real life. Blackacre is located in Cumbria, but a lot of the farming families and communities portrayed in my horror fiction are based on our lives in rural Northumberland. I often use names that reflect the meaning of the place or person to lighten the horror mood, such as the village of Hellhole near the Flint family home or Brett Flint’s mother Narcissa and his father Patrus (the head of the family). Most of what I write is liminal horror, so lightening the mood a little is often a good idea.

Who inspires you to write?

It’s actually perfectly simple. In terms of writing reviews, which I’ve been doing for about two and a half years now, and articles, which I’ve just started expanding into, I seem to have an opinion on every subject under the sun, and I can’t resist sharing them with everyone I meet. Joking aside, I love sharing my thoughts on fantasy and horror, and I always seem to have something new to talk about.

It’s great to gather ideas from all over.  Do you make notes when you come across something interesting that gives you an idea for your own writing?  Or do you let ideas roll around in your head until something comes together?

I’m the world’s worst note-taker and I don’t even have a writer’s notebook – shocking admission, I know! I use a technique called lucid dreaming, whereby you spend really quite a lot of time thinking while awake about characters, plot, action, dialogue and background but without writing any of it down. I believe this style of approach makes my creative experience more robust because the subconscious has time to reflect on the contents of the lucid dream before you set pen to paper. It takes a lot of self-control not to try to note everything down while you’re doing this but to trust to being able to come back to it spontaneously later on. However, over the years I’ve learnt to let it seep into my brain and mature there before writing a novel or a story. It always comes back, either in that form or a better one later on.

In a perfect world where you could cast your book for a movie, who would you pick for your main characters?

Like many writers, perhaps especially those who are out and out romantics, I’m utterly absorbed with my own fictional creations and to me they feel absolutely real. I think you need that sort of obsession as a writer to be able to invent, from right out of nowhere, a whole cast of characters. In both horror and fantasy I write series, so some of my characters have been alongside of me for many hundreds of pages.

My daughter Midnight is in Sixth Form and she’s about to start applying for drama school. She has recently been preparing some videos reading selections of my work. She’s doing a wonderful job with them, and I’m so looking forward to sharing them with my readers when they’re ready. Naturally, when we talk about which actors would play the key roles it is firmly tongue in cheek on my part, but for her there is a real possibility that they’ll one day be her co-stars, and that’s incredibly exciting.

In a nutshell, Leonardo di Caprio as Gortah van Murkar, because he’s pretty much bang on the right age, has a wonderful physicality for the role and there’s no one better for a romantic leading man. Dextra is smart, funny, incredibly beautiful and a superb leader who inspires those around her. It would be hard to narrow down which actress I’d like to see play her – so many stars in Hollywood fit the bill right now. I’d love to see Vanessa Redgrave, Maggie Smith or Helen Mirren play Queen Riley o’Eira, she’s so feisty and individual, so much her own person that it’s a joy to write about her and I’d love to see her made real on the big screen.

Wow, that is a cool project! Sounds like creativity runs in the family.  I can completely see any of those actresses as Queen Riley. She was one of my favorite characters, even if kind of minor.  Do you have favorites?

Gortah van Murkar, probably, and in that I’m not alone. Readers who get in touch to share their responses to my novels invariably mention him. I think they respond to his complexity and depth, comparing his sense of duty to his inner vulnerability. Riley’s always popular, in part because she has a very distinctive voice. I’m 49 and as I get older I feel like I’m becoming more like her. Right now, Gortah is the most personally relatable of all my characters for me, partly because he is drawn from within in many ways and partly because we’re almost the same age.

When you get stuck in your writing, how do you make yourself keep going?

We’re quite a creative family one way or another so in truth the thing that keeps me going when I’m stuck, and that happens to any writer occasionally, is imagining the baleful expressions of sympathy on the face of my kids or my boyfriend when, at the end of a long day’s writing, they ask how much I’ve done and I have to admit it’s ‘not as much as I’d like’. Focus on that and suddenly it’s easier to just push on through to meet your quota.

Haha!  That is not an answer I’ve heard before, but that’s great.  Do you let them read what you’ve written to get feedback as you go, or wait until you’re “done” to show your work to anyone?

There’s nothing like peer pressure, is there?

My daughter’s interested in reading excerpts of my work for audio book and for social media such as You Tube. That’s one of our forthcoming projects. My boyfriend’s also a writer, and he’s professional enough to be my fiercest critic in private but really supportive in public. I have an amazing beta reading team, some of whom see the work partway through and some of whom see the ‘polished but not final’ draft. I mix it up, but they make an amazing difference to the finished product, and I try to repay the favour with my feedback on their writing. I also have a regular team of editors for short and long fiction, and I am constantly grateful for everything they do to improve the quality of my writing.

That’s a nice team in your corner! Do you use your personal experiences in your writing?

Almost always a character is based on real people I know or have known. It’s a good thing I’m a lawyer because I’m usually able to stay on the right side of the line and avoid being caught up in libel litigation but sometimes it’s a pretty near run thing. I also have a great poker face, so I can always face them down whenever a friend or relative asks if the character was based on them. The secret lies in making them feel they’re been unpardonably egotistical and presumptuous in imagining they inspired the character.

Sometimes you don’t know who a character is based on, but you know you’re drawing deep to create them and write about their quirks and foibles. Usually, you can convince yourself they’re really based on someone else and you don’t really know who it is, but just occasionally the last line of defence fails and you have to inwardly admit that, in this instance, you’re writing about yourself. And that’s scary.

I encounter that same realization when adding quirks to characters.  It’s so easy to draw off people you know well, and often you don’t totally do it consciously. Do you feel you learn more about yourself when you include elements of your own personality in your characters?    

Always. I couldn’t agree more. By drawing upon yourself for inspiration, you’re digging really deep. And by externalising traits or action into another character, you are bringing them to the surface and laying them bare. That’s not always comfortable, but it is productive creatively and in terms of growing as a person.

Is there anything you’ve read that made you jealous you didn’t think of it first?

The first time I read a story by my boyfriend, Jim Graves, I thought ‘Damn, you’re better at this than I am!’ Not that I’d ever tell him, of course, that kind of thing can go to a man’s head.

Perfectly reasonable response.  Haha.  Would you ever collaborate in writing something together?

We recently started writing a story together and are partway through it. I’ve never written with anyone else before so it was a big step to try. It was more for fun than anything else. I think we were both reticent about how our writer’s styles would mesh to form a single authorial voice bearing in mind that our styles are very different. So far, it’s been interesting and actually very positive. Above all, it’s been fun. The creative process has been smoother than we anticipated, and I’ve really enjoyed working with another writer for a change. We might even get round to finishing the story and writing another.

Thanks, John, for sharing!

WHERE TO FIND John C. Adams:

Website

Goodreads

Amazon

Facebook

Twitter

#AuThorsday with James Quinn

11863451_1633298326926481_3931834120665565634_nToday I’d like to welcome James Quinn, thriller writer and author of A Game for Assassins and Sentinel Five

Can you give us your quickest description of your books?

The Gorilla Grant books are old school Cold War espionage books but with a violent and gritty element to them.

Having read your first book, that’s a good sum-up.  What are you working on currently?

I’ve just finished book 2 in the series, Sentinel Five, which is set in Asia.  My next few months are going to be geared towards promoting that.  Then a break and next year I’ll begin book 3 in the series.  This is the one I am looking forward to the most….it’s my most personal book….but still with lots of action in it.

Good planning!  What is your favorite scene you’ve written?  Can you give us a peek?

My favorite scene that I’ve written so far is actually one of the final scenes from Sentinel Five.  It’s a violent scene and then ends with some tender interaction between Gorilla Grant and a “female” character.  I won’t spoil it, read the book, but it’s an emotional scene from my point of view.

What is one bit of advice you’d like to share with writers?

Don’t publish too early!!  Make sure you are happy with it first.  Then give it to a professional editor, they see things that you don’t.  That was the main problem with my first book, A Game for Assassins, I was too keen to get it out and I was just winging it.  It was only when I signed up with a publisher (Creativia) that the production values really started to kick in.

What is one question about your books that you wish more people would ask?

Honestly, I’m just glad that people take the time to buy and read them.  But if I was pushed I would have to say I would like readers to ask more about Gorilla’s background.  I mean…C’mon guys…I’ve dangled lots of little clues in both books….you have to search them out to be sure….but there is a whole back-story just waiting to be unpicked by an inquisitive mind.  Some people have asked and emailed me questions about him though to be fair 🙂

Interesting…  🙂  Who inspires you to write?

I have favorite writers certainly, John LeCarre, Ian Fleming, Stephen King, and they are always good motivation.  But really I am inspired by people around me, people who battle through against overwhelming odds and fight against any kind of injustice.

In a perfect world where you could cast your book for a movie, who would you pick for your main characters?

When I first wrote the books I always imagined a young Bob Hoskins as Gorilla Grant, that rough edged manner.  Then that changed, maybe Bob would have played an older Gorilla.  Now I’m torn between Tim Roth, a brilliant actor, and a lesser known UK actor from Liverpool, by the name of Stephen Graham.  Both are tough little men, very charismatic, working class heroes.  So they are the ones that I would pick….I’d even run their firearms training for the movie myself just to hang out with either of them  😉

Love Tim Roth.  And that’s a pretty good plan!  When you get stuck in your writing, how do you make yourself keep going?

I tend to write in bursts…a week here, a week there…then nothing for a while.  I don’t try to force it.  I let it happen organically.  If nothing is coming to mind I will stop and go for long walks, or go and train, anything to distract me.  So far this has worked.  Then slowly…the ideas start to work themselves out.  It’s not perfect but it suits me.

That seems to be a common approach for many authors.  Do you use your personal experiences in your writing?

Oh absolutely, very much so.  Because of my job a lot of the technical scenes in the books are taken from my role as a security consultant/investigator.  So if you read a scene that has surveillance aspects, or operating in a covert role in a non-permissive environment, or anything related to firearms/unarmed combat work, then it’s a fair bet that I’ve done most of that.  Art imitating life I guess.

You certainly have a great history of experience to draw from when writing thrillers!  Is there anything you’ve read that made you jealous you didn’t think of it first?

There is a little known book by the Scottish writer, the late William McIlvanney, called The Big Man (it was also a movie with Liam Neeson).  Such a perfect book. It deals with tough issues.  It’s a great crime novel, but it’s also about family and community.  So, that one definitely.  It had such an impact on me when I read it, but as for being jealous….Elmore Leonard.  If I can write character dialogue even half as good as him by the end of my life I’ll die a happy man!

Thanks, James, for sharing!

a1xk6esneil-_ux250_WHERE TO FIND James Quinn:
Website:  www.JamesQuinn.webs.com
Goodreads:  James Quinn
Amazon Page:  James Quinn
Facebook:  James Quinn

#AuThorsday with Marnie Cate

71ZwbnkB-4L._UX250_Today I’d like to welcome Marnie Cate, YA fantasy author of Remember.

Can you give us your quickest description of your books?

Girl finds out that she has magic and that her family is full of secrets.

Having read your first book, I agree that covers the basics.  🙂  I love how you use family, by the way.  You put a unique twist on family dynamics.  What gave you the idea for your story in the first place?  

The opening scene of Gram leading Mara to safety came to mind and I knew then that I needed to write this story.  The obvious path for me with a story with a grandmother and a granddaughter would include a sister.  The secrets of my book were really not planned and revealed themselves as we went along.

What are you working on currently?

Exigency, Protectors of the Elemental Magic (Book 2)

Can’t wait!  How many books do you plan for the series?

Book 3 has been very rude and trying to interrupt my writing of Book 2.  My original vision was to have a boxed set of eight books that spelled out the name REMEMBER.  I want the story to continue as long as it is fun and exciting to read.

That is a clever idea!  What is your favorite scene you’ve written?  Can you give us a peek?

You are losing him.  He is going to leave you,” she whispered in my ear.  Her breath felt so cold that my ears tingled.  “All because of your lies, he will not want you anymore.  You know you really want to be with Kai.  You crave excitement not the boring boy from your childhood.  Come with me, Mara and I will bring you what you long to have.”
“You lie,” I screamed at her trying to push her away from me.  “You are not going to destroy us.”  Tearing my arm out of her clutched fingers, I felt the burn of her fingertips.  Laughing, she faded away.
Jolted out of sleep, I awoke in the safety of my grandmother’s bed.  Trembling, I glanced around the room.  Trying to convince myself that it was just a dream and that I was safe, I vowed that I would not lose Cole.
“Cole,” I whispered.  Patting the spot where Cole should have been fast asleep, I found an empty space.
Scared that my dream was right, I searched the house for him.  He was nowhere to be found.  My mind began to race.  Where would he go?  Pacing back and forth in the kitchen, my eyes landed on the lavender journal in the center of the kitchen table and I knew where he had gone.

Very suspenseful.  I like that you so clearly seem to know Mara as a character.  How do you put yourself in a frame of mind where you can write the thoughts, feelings, and reactions of this girl?

My whole life I have always had a vivid imagination.  I could play with my Barbie dolls for hours creating a new world.  When I write, my best work comes from me talking it out as if it was a play.

That’s a great method.  What is one bit of advice you’d like to share with writers?

I read once, write the book you want to read, and I remind myself of this on the days of doubt.

Yeah, I agree with that idea – write to please yourself.  In a perfect world where you could cast your book for a movie, who would you pick for your main characters?

Judi Dench would be my main pick for Gram.  Vanessa Marano and Beau Mirchoff would be my dream Mara Stone and Cole Sands.  For my antagonists, I see Julianne Moore as Eliza and Meryl Streep as Blanche Drygen.  I would love to see Dame Judi and Meryl face off.

I actually pictured Julianne Moore as Eliza!  Too funny.  And of course I’ve seen MANY places where you share your love of Judi Dench.  🙂 When you get stuck in your writing, how do you make yourself keep going?

Love of the characters.  I am exited each day to find out what path my characters will go down.  Even the outlined storyline can take an unexpected turn.

Do you use your personal experiences in your writing?

My grandmother is my inspiration for Gram and the sister relationship is impacted greatly by my own sister.  The rest is pure imagination.

That makes sense.  Your relationships are very “real” and believable in your story. 

Thank you, Marnie, for sharing!

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WHERE TO FIND Marnie Cate: 
Website:  www.MarnieCate.com 
Goodreads:  Marnie Cate
Amazon Page:  Marnie Cate
Facebook:  Marnie Cate, author
Twitter:  @Marnie_Cate

#AuThorsday with Joe Compton

81MDpUZsTLL._UX250_Today I’d like to welcome Joe Compton, Awethor extraordinaire and author of Amongst the Killing.

Can you give us your quickest description of your book?

Amongst The Killing is a crime thriller, set in Los Angeles in the early 80’s that follows a young hotshot detective whose dream has become a nightmare thanks to an idealistic Mass Murderer.  Told in dual perspective, one chapter written by the Detective, the next by the Murderer as their story unfolds.

Ooh,  I love the dual perspective idea.  Is there one side you liked writing more than the other?

You know, it’s funny.  I set out with the excitement of writing Jack Casey (the murderer) and there was certain scenes I had that I knew I would enjoy writing for Detective Street but then as I got into it, especially in the 3rd act, I really loved writing for Detective Street.  His arch really took hold and shape for me as it went on.

What are you working on currently?

The sequel entitled “We The Moral Majority” which follows some of the characters of the first book, taking place a few years after the events of the first book, in the backdrop of a political campaign run by an organization that proclaims to be taking back the morality of city that has lost its way.

So a crime thriller spins into politics?  That seems…natural.  🙂 Do you use any real life politics, either directly or as inspiration?  

Well, I have been talking to someone who ran for a local office already.  I was also looking at volunteering for a political campaign just so I could get some good “inside baseball” terms and little subtle things to make the reading experience more authentic but my own personal politics are not going to be on display.  The book is really not about that, politics is just the backdrop but I also have to stay true to my characters and who they are and thus their politics will be on display; walking that fine line. 🙂

Interesting.  What is one bit of advice you’d like to share with writers?

Network, keep writing, network some more, keep writing, and…keep writing.  Also be patient, do your due diligence when it comes to networking, but know that frustrations and bad days happen, so stay the course.  Then you will understand when the Good Days happen why they are so much more powerful than the bad ones and having like-minded folk and a supportive network will enhance that tenfold.

Great advice.  Do you find it true the idea that “marketing is harder than actually writing the book” or do you enjoy all that goes into getting your book out there?

You know, I have been doing my own marketing, pitching, and sales for so long it really isn’t the aspect of this process that is harder per say for me. In the same token I wouldn’t say I enjoy it, sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t, but what I don’t enjoy, even though I know and have accepted this as truth, is that you have to play the percentages, so the more you put into it, the more you get out of it, and it’s never what you expect.  There was a great discussion going on about this on a Facebook message board I was reading just this morning.  If you want to be seen and be successful (no matter how you define success) you have to market and the effort you put forth is the result you will achieve.

In a perfect world where you could cast your book for a movie, who would you pick for your main characters?

James McAvoy of X-Men fame and tons of great films for the Detective Charles Street, and Liev Schreiber of Ray Donavan fame and several movies for the idealist mass murderer Jack Casey.

Wow, those two would pair wonderfully!  So I’m guessing there’s a fair level of intensity to your characters, based on your choices.  Is that part of what made you think of McAvoy and Schreiber – their ability to convey so much?

Yes.  The book is all about intensity, just in the way it begins with a life altering event for both characters.  However, what I really like about McAvoy and Schreiber in particular and what I think would lend itself beautifully to a film version is they can convey the moment with just a look.  The choices they make as actors when they pause or smirk, or put on their poker faces (2 of the best in business at that in my opinion) that would add a cinematic element that one might not draw from the book right away.

Do you use your personal experiences in your writing?

Not so much experiences in this particular first novel of mine but I used familiarity for sure.  Scenery, landmarks, speech patterns, and because of the realistic and authentic feel I wanted to give this novel.  I spent an enormous amount of time on research and getting factoids and terminology that I could use in authenticating the backdrop.  I do feel like I have personal stories to tell but I just don’t know if they are ready to come out.  I am not sure I can articulate them and make them interesting within a context of a story arch and give it a flow that would captive an audience for a few hundred pages.  In other words I am too chicken shit to put me out there. 🙂

LOL (I actually did).  That’s interesting you mention using familiarity with scenery, landmarks, and essentially “real life” around you.   Do you think that works especially well in your kind of fiction as opposed to, say, more fantasy-based writing?  Or do you think all authors of all genres can benefit from observing and drawing off of what they see around them rather than make it up in their heads?  

I think it’s a neat trick for writer’s block.  Go sit down somewhere and write down what you see, feel, and hear.  Describing it to the very last detail and maybe you will see how natural it is to write that way?  It might even get you creative juices flowing.  I don’t think writing the familiar has to be genre specific nor does that make a good story.  What make a good story are so many factors.  All I know is it helps me and I kind of like my friends and family finding those little subtle things.  Like for example in Amongst The Killing I mention a local pizza pallor where I grew up and couple of my long time friends got a kick out of that.  Little things like that make me smile because they would be the only ones who would have ever noticed that and for me that was kind of the point.  Plus if I put the action somewhere I know, less research I have to do because I know it was there at the time of my story. 🙂

Thanks, Joe, for sharing!

25009897WHERE TO FIND Joe Compton:
Website:
 nevermindfineprint.com
Goodreads:
 Joe Compton
Amazon Page:
 Joe Compton
Facebook:  
Never Mind the Fine Print Publishing
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 @Joedream73

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