Posts Tagged ‘novel’

20638931_1587932687948153_447980582823745319_nIt’s National Book Lovers Day, because there is a day for everything!

I’m definitely having a reading year in twenty and seventeen, and heavy on the Dystopias for some reason! Started by re-reading Margaret Atwood’s Madaddam Trilogy – soon to be the next great HBO series. Then, a middling Atwood-lite called California by Edan Pelucki. Some speculative political fiction with Indian Country by Kurt Schlichter. More Atwood as I re-read Handmaid’s Tale for the 8th time. Even MORE Atwood with the more recent, and just-OK, The Heart Goes Last. Finally, this year’s winner so far, Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel.

What are YOU reading?

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What made you want to write? Was there a particular novel or film that inspired you? Or was it something less romantic than that?

I remember killing time in a grocery store thumbing through the paperbacks. Of course, there was the Harlequin type crap for the ladies. For the gents there was a bunch of serialized action-adventure nonsense with covers depicting some grimy, scarred-up mercenary clutching a shredded American flag silhouetted against a blood-red atomic twilight. A typical description on the back cover might read: “In the post-apocalyptic future a rag-tag band of special-ops assassins battles their zombie/mutant/space Nazi overlords!”

And I remember saying to myself, “I could write this crap!”

Believe me, I gave it hell. I thought I had a pretty interesting setting and some compelling characters. It was speculative fiction, which is what you say when you don’t want to admit to science fiction. I’d describe it for you, but you’d swear I stole it from The Matrix, even though I started writing it in 1990. Anyway, after fits and starts and long stretches of inactivity, I’ve got 200 pages in a binder somewhere that will never be completed. First of all, they went and made The Matrix. I suppose I could change some elements to make it less Matrix-y. But, truthfully, the story is very bleak and hopeless and, thank the Lord, that’s not who I am anymore.

But it was a lesson learned regarding the various divergent paths of writing. There’s always somebody who thinks they can do it better. Like some pine-head in the supermarket that thinks he can write post-apocalyptic pulp fiction better than the guys making a living at it. Or the client who’s willing to spend $5000 for website design, but decides he’s going to write the copy himself.

So, for better or worse, the Novel That Never Was is what first stoked the fires. It got me thinking about the possibility of a future of not spent lugging 300lbs of video for the rest of my life. And bit by bit I started taking the steps to transition out of full time video and into full time writing.

By the way, I am Matrix fan numero uno. Just the first one, though. Reloaded and Revolutions both have the dubious distinction, as Bart Simpson once observed, of both sucking and blowing at the same time.

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