Ever had someone ask how you can sit and read a book for hours? My kids ask all the time.
I recently did some judging for a contest and yesterday I got an email from one of the coordinators asking for some last minute judging. It seems a judge went awol and score sheets needed to be in so they were desperate for any of the judges to do another book or two. Those that know me will know that I read extremely fast so it didn’t both me that it needed to be read and the score sheet sent in by Thursday morning. Well that was yesterday and I’m now half way through the second book. It was while reading this second book that I thought about sitting and reading for hours.
I love it. I open the page and I’m sucked into a whole other world, whether it be set in contemporary time, historical time or in a make believe world the author has invented, it doesn’t matter. When I open up that book my mind is engaged in imagining all the author has discribed. From the looks of the hero and heroine to the place they are, every word has my mind turning and spinning, imagining. If the book is good I’ll get so caught up in the story that I won’t even notice the hours ticking by, in fact I’ll look up a think surely I haven’t been reading for that long. Depending on the author and genre depends on what you get out of the book. It could be a real tearjerker, a nail biting suspense or a light hearted feel good story. Whatever type you choose to read they all have one thing in common. Escaping.
They take you out of your world and into theirs, whether for five minutes or five hours, it doesn’t matter. However long you spend between those pages is an escape from your own world. Everything around you fades away and you spend some time with people you probably wouldn’t meet in your own world. I know I certainly wouldn’t come into contact with a serial killer, or a swashbuckling pirate, or famous rock star, or a multi-millionaire in my real life, but when I open those pages not only do I meet them I can be them. For just that small amount of time I can walk in someone elses shoes, be ravished by a pirate, be swept off my feet by a hunky millionaire or be the stalked victim of a killer.
While I’m in this world that isn’t my own I feel emotions that let me know I’m alive. I feel things that in my normal life I might be too tired to feel because the trudge of everyday life can make you numb, can stop you from embracing the good because of the bad. With everything we have to deal with every day, day after day, the escape you get when opening a book is like a breath of fresh air, a timeout or a long needed holiday. But most of all, even though it’s someone elses words and someone elses world for that small amount of time it yours and yours alone.
So this post is a thank you to all the authors who’ve written a book that I’ve escaped into over the course of my life. Thank you for the breath of fresh air and the break from the real world that I needed. Thank you for allowing my into your world for a small amount of time. Thank you for giving me the strength to return to my own to deal with all that life has thrown my way.
‘See’ ya soon.
I belong to a few author/reader loops and I love how authors get on there and share bits about themselves as well as their latest books. One of the places I go is Samhaincafe, Samhain is an e-publisher and a lot of my favorite authors are with them, anyway the cafe is Samhain’s yahoo group. (go here to check them out – http://groups.yahoo.com/group/samhaincafe/) One of my favorite authors on this loop is S.J. Willing, writer of futuristic erotic romance. The man never fails to crack me up and as soon as I see his name on a post I can’t wait to see what he’s come up with now. And yes you heard right, S.J. is a guy who writes romance. How cool is that? I haven’t read any of his stuff yet but I’ve not long been introduced to the futuristic genre so it’s only a matter of time, but if his posts at Samhain are anything to go by I’m gonna love him.
As I said it’s a author/reader loop so there’s often questions for authors from the readers. Sandie brave soul that she is as a tough one the other day. She wanted to know how an author got from the idea stage to the published book stage. I’m gonna share with you S.J.’s reponse, with his permission of course. You can find him here – www.sjwilling.com/ Go check him out, writing romance in any of it’s flavors is tough but doing it when you’re a guy deserve an extra pat on the back.
Here’s S.J.’s response to Sandie:
How to write a book
1. Drink beer, brandy, lsd, psychadelic drug.
2. Enjoy the hallucinations. .. get a book idea.
3. Drink beer, discuss idea with friends.
4. Decide (with friends) that the four purple-armed, six probulated alien hero would be much too weird for human/alien sex.
5. Change alien’s probules to three.
6. Write idea down.
7. Scrap Idea.
8. New idea! An alien heroine!
9. Keep the three probules.
10. Plot out rough series of scenes. Five to a chapter.
11. Plot out chapters using plotted scenes.
12. Decide a one chapter novel isn’t long enough. Drink beer.
13. Plot out five chapters, one plotted scene in each. Drink beer.
14. Drunken revelation of great ending scene!
15. Replot five chapters using male alien hero with seven probules.
16. Friends say ending sucks.
17. Redo steps 7. to 12. Drink beer.
18. Sit down to write.
19. (One page later) Pace the house moaning about writers block.
20. Empty trash, mop floors, vaccuum, cook, do laundry, watch tv and complain about writer’s block.
21. Spend all week moaning about writers block, go to bar friday night with the boys complaining about writers block.
22. Get drunk.
23. Stagger home and write 150 perfect pages of prose.
24. Collapse in a drunken stupor.
25. Wake up, look at book, throw up.
26. Tear up 149 pages. Drink beer.
27. Sit down, write six pages a day, ignoring everything else.
28. Many weeks (and beers) later finish book.
29. Show to friends.
30. After laughter dies down, decide where to hide the bodies after widespread slaughter.
31. Send to Editor.
32. Editor sends back.
33. Stomp around house, wail, scream, threaten suicide/murder.
34. Send to another Editor.
35. Another editor sends back.
36. Repeat 33.
37. Repeat 34. to 36. until no new editors left.
38. Tear out hair, tear up book.
39. Drink all beer in fridge.
40. Go buy more beer.
41. Drink beer.
42. Go back to novel, self edit, lose 40 pages.
43. Drink beer, promise dog to come to bed soon.
44. Send novel to writer friends to critique. Send them beer.
45. Novel comes back minus 40 pages.
46. Drink beer, kick dog, threaten to anhilate all humanity.
47. Change to brandy.
48. Dog looks even more attractive.
49. Get new brandy bottle.
50. Feel happy. Book looks great.
51. Send book to editor.
52. Editor sends back book, asks for changes.
53. Repeat 33.
54. Drink brandy, does cautious dance with dog.
55. Change book.
56. Repeat 51.
57. Editor accepts book. Sends contract.
58. Punch boss, quit job. Drink brandy, dog is looking very attractive.
59. Editor sends back book minus 40 pages.
60. Repeat 33. and kick dog.
61. Drink brandy.
62. Reluctantly make editorial changes, return book.
63. Bite fingernails, wait. Drink brandy.
64. Wait. Drink.
65. Wait even more.
66. Drink more brandy, start to starve. Fight off ravenous dog.
67. Drink a double. Beg boss for job back. Drink another double.
68. Now working as janitor for old boss. Drink a double. Still waiting.
69. Cover art comes through.
70. Sing, dance, boast, drink many doubles, think about punching boss until hungry dog gnaws at ankle.
71. Repeat 63 to 65 and Drink more doubles.
72. Book is published. Yay!
73. Spend the next (most important promo months) in detox…
74. Come out of Detox, Drink a beer.
75. Rejoice! You are a writer!
S. J. Willing
Science Fiction Erotic Romance Author
Remember this is tongue in cheek and isn’t really how to write a book, at least I don’t think it is. Maybe that’s why I’m not published yet! I’m doing it all wrong!
‘See’ ya soon.
How did I get here and why do I keep going?
It’s an interesting question and one I’m not sure I can answer well. You see I don’t know how I got here. Well I know how I got here, there’s my mum and my dad, and well you get the picture. I’m talking about how I became a writer and I’ll be honest, I haven’t got a clue. I’ve always done it. Whether stories, poetry or just random thoughts, I’ve always written. Now the question of how I decided that’s what I’d be when I grew up is confusing. I don’t recall making the decision, ever. But here I am tapping away at the keys of my computer and writing with pen and paper. Always. And if I’m not writing I’m thinking about writing. I’m always thinking. That explains why I don’t sleep very well and why I’m always tired, so why am I still here and why do I keep going? I guess it comes back to the always writing and thinking. At the risk of sounding insane, there are just too many people in my head. They’ve got to come out or I’ll be pulling out my hair and heading for the alcohol. I can be doing anything when scenes start rolling in my head, that’s what it’s like, I’ll suddenly have front row seats to someone else’s life. I don’t plan; in fact when I try to plan those pesky characters never go along with me. I’m sure they do it on purpose.
I guess the answer to why I’m still here is that I can’t not be here. It’s who I am and what I do and whether it ever leads me to publication remains to be seen but even if it doesn’t I’ll still be here. Writing. And even when life throws things at me that make me want to quit I know I’d never be able to because I’ll never be able to stop writing. I stopped for years when the kids were young and as soon as I started again it was like an avalanche, pouring out of me. Most of it was crap and will never find its way out of the bottom draw but it was the beginning of what was to be my trip down the publication road. The road is bumpy, has detours, potholes and all sorts of debris lying on it but I keep going. Through rain, hail, sleet and snow, and of course the wonderful sunshine. Even when I feel like I’m carrying the weight of the world and dragging my feet I keep going because no matter what gets in the way or what I have to carry with me the dream is always there. And without that dream I wouldn’t be me.
‘See’ ya soon.
Yes I’m here and if you give me a second I’ll catch my breath.
Well let me see, what have I done since last post? Not much writing I’m afraid, just 1,372 words on Flash Point but that’s more to do with only having two hours of writing time. But I haven’t been sitting on my bum doing nothing, no, I’ve been getting ready for end of month at FAR but reading and reviewing three books, then there was all the unedited review that I pre-edited. Pre-editing is something I do to give our editors an easier time, basicly I check author and title spelling is correct, the url is right and that the word count doesn’t go over. Not to much really but it makes the job of editing the review so much easier for the editors. But that’s not all, do I sound like a salesman on the shopping channel? I’ve also read and judged three more books for the competition I’m judging. I’m enjoying that because it’s a little different to reviewing, not as taxing on my brilliant way with words. LOL
So as you can see I’ve been busy and as the month winds down I’ll have a bit more time for writing and reading, and by reading I mean sitting down in the sun to read a book just for the joy of turning the pages and disappearing into another world. I miss that. Unfortunately I had to forgo that this month, but once the last of the books goes off to the competition coordinator I’m grabbing a drink, my towel, my ebook reader and heading down to the pool. I reckon that’ll be in about five days, so if you’re looking for me that’s where I’ll be. Until then I’m around, reading, reviewing, judging and writing.
‘See’ ya soon.
I’ve spent the day with Trey and Lana, fighting our way through the black moment before defeating all evil and riding off into the sunset to live happily ever after. It’s been a marathon effort. Today I managed to get 4,331 words written. Go me! No seriously, I was surprised at a curve ball they threw at my in the last few pages, it actually means it’s not quite The End. But at 32,605 words I’m considering it done. When I go back to edit/polish I’ll finish off the last few pages. I know I’m going to have to chop some things and add some others, I’ve already got a clear idea of what needs to be added to fit with the end. Just last week I was sad that it was time to say goodbye and I sat on it for a while before starting it up again today. Oh, I haven’t been lazy, you’ve all read some of what I’ve been doing I’ve added to Flash Point and the ideas are flowing so I’ll be working on that tomorrow. I think after the drama of Dark Heat I’m finally moving in a more forward motion. Mind you, it wasn’t all Dark Heat’s fault, we did move last year and everyone knows how traumatic that can be but just imagine moving to another country. Anyway, I’m finally feeling more comfortable with everything and looking forward to moving forward. LOL
I’m enjoying Sven this go round, last time was a complete washout but not something I had any control over. Since Sven started on the 1st of March I’ve written 12,490 words, finished one wip and started a new one. I’m very happy with the way I’m going. Thank you to all the sponsors and fellow Sven participants for taking this journey with me. Time to go check in with Sven.
‘See’ ya soon.
Okay, so I’ve put the first excerpt up on the A taste of what’s coming page and I’m feeling sick and dizzy but I’m excited too. Feel free to leave a comment. In fact I’d really like to know what you think.
Okay, going now. Need to put my head between my legs before I pass out.
‘See’ ya soon.
Welcome to me wordpress blog. I’m planning for this to be the official blog when (notice the word when) I get published. I’ll have it linked to my website as soon as I decide exactly what I want that to look like. For now I’m playing around and getting this site set up the way I want it.