What inspired you to write?

When posed with this question, I internally stammer, my mind races, and I feel like a bit of a fool. Such a question should be easy enough to answer right? I mean, after all, I am a writer, and explaining to someone else why I write should be one of the easiest things for me to do, but it isn’t. Sure there are many factors that contribute to my purpose for writing, but none of them are stand-alone reasons for why I write. It is strange, but I cannot answer the question in a simple sentence or two. So here is my lengthy response to what should be an easy question.

The main force that drives me to write every single day is a calling. Even if I do not feel inspired, even if I do not exactly feel like writing, I feel like there is a small hole in my soul if I neglect my writings. Writing is a part of me, like a hand or a nose. If I ignore that part of me, I don’t feel whole.

I have been inspired by Tolkien, Star Wars, random fantasy movies on the Sci-Fi (now SyFy) channel, and a few TV shows. I even found inspiration in areas I did not expect, such as dramas, comedies, and instrumental music. For me, the world is just spewing with inspiration. My inspiration comes from not just from fiction and music, but my faith and relationships as well. My son alone is a source for so much inspiration.

Like many other writers of speculative fiction, I live in the “what if” world. What I mean by this is how many people wonder what would happen if a squadron Laat/i Republic Gunships (from Star Wars) came down and confronted an orc horde. This type of thing makes play time with my son more interesting too because he and I both like to imagine and pretend.

Another reason why I write is that I wish to produce works that I would like to see. When I feel disappointed by certain elements, like a villain with no depth, I set out to correct that problem with my writings. Of course that is rather ambitious, but writing at all is ambitious. I want to make the fantasy genre better, one story at a time, and I hope that others like my works as well.

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Why I am an Indie author

When one does an online search of “indie author” or “self-published author,” he or she will get a slew of opinions.  Some are favorable, and some are not as favorable.  It seems the most common unfavorable views come from authors who are already published through a traditional service.  I can understand from the perspective of an author surviving all the hoops that come with traditional publishing that some would see self-publishing as the easier route to take.  There are a plethora of articles out there that tell the stories of why authors, even successful ones with publishing contracts, decide to go independent, so it is not necessary for me to reiterate that being an independent author, singer, or video game developer is just as viable of an option. You can search for yourself and find plenty of compelling stories.

What I want to share is why I have chosen this route.  It is not because I fear rejection from publishers, and it is not due to laziness.  No, I understand that publishers try to make an educated decision on what might sell, and an author’s work just may not fit into that.  Sure, there are low-quality, self-published works out there.  At the same time, though, I have read several poorly-written books that were published traditionally.  I have asked myself several times how certain books made it past the editors.  I chose this route out of years of research into the pros and cons of each type of publishing.  I decided that I did not need to sell millions of copies to be happy, and that I did not want to sign over the rights to all my work to someone else.  I understood from the beginning that I would have to bear all the weight of marketing my book, and I have grown to understand that this is a very difficult route.  However, at the end of the day, no one is forced to buy any book, and no matter what means of publication an author takes, there is no guarantee the book will sell.

For me, the struggle is worth it.  I am learning as I go to find what works and what doesn’t work.  I have spent over half my life dreaming of the day my writings would be available for the world to read.  I feel like, at least right now, handing over the rights to someone else would be a betrayal of my work.  I do not aim to get rich, but instead I hope to bring into the world the type of fantasy that I would like to read.

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The Purpose of The Schism

As I have stated before in previous blog posts, Goandria: The Schism is my debut short story series.  Why did I start with a series of short stories instead of a full-length novel?  Why did I chose to release The Schism instead of my novel that has been sitting, waiting to get published?  I have addressed some of these questions in other areas of this blog, but what I want to do is explain the difficult decision I made in taking this route.

I made the difficult decision to start with a short story series for a couple of reasons.  First, I feel it is easier to introduce small digestible chunks as a new author than to ask people not only to give their money to someone they have never heard of, but also a good chunk of their time.  Let’s face it, reading takes time, and with full-time jobs, families, and other hobbies all desiring a chunk of that time, asking strangers to read large chunks of fiction when they have never heard of you is probably unrealistic.  Second, I am going to do everything I can to avoid prequel syndrome.  We can all think of a movie, novel, or TV series that peaks our interest and then offers a prequel which either adds virtually nothing important to the story or creates a plethora of continuity errors.

Goandria: The Schism takes place several generations before my upcoming novel series.  It tells of a much different world than the reader will see in the future.  What I want to do is lay the foundation of Goandria and more importantly give greater depth to a character present in the future.  The short story series is meant to hone on a couple people while a war rages on in the background, a war that has taken place over several generations.  The Schism is the story of those characters. It is intended to begin within a much larger story, to introduce and focus on characters that will bring change to Goandria. The Schism is the prequel to the Goandria series and offers a small glimpse into this world.

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