A Different Sort

This week I have decided that a different sort of post from the norm of the past few weeks.  Taking a break from Character Spotlights, even though I have the availability of several hundred to choose from because of my back log of up coming novels, I decided to ponder who has inspired me over the years as a writer.  While a lot of my creative juices come from watching my favorite genres of movies and TV shows and asking what if, several of my recent writing efforts have been thrown under the train, because of the advice of some really great bloggers.

All of which have been begging all of us to nominate them for the upcoming top ten of writing blogs for the year.  I can’t just name one – or even ten.  I have eighteen regularly watched (as in daily) blogs that occupy a good amount of my writing time.  Some have been teaching me how to serialize my upcoming stories in order to push for more readers and thus make more money at this (which at this point if I sold one I would be doing better).

All of that said to say this:  Chuck Wendig made a post regarding the recent passing of a great author and has unlocked a thread for me.  So I will do my best in under 1000 words to give a brief run down of the novels and authors who made the greatest impact on me as a writeer and why I keep doing this in the hope of someday getting off of the floor (I’m a flooring installer by trade, by the way, in case that last comment threw you) and making my living doing something I love to do.

But I haven’t been loving it lately.  The aforementioned train has made a wreck of the way I used to write in the past year.  People like Larry Brooks, Jordan Rosenfeld, Alexandra Sokoloff, Joanna Penn, Collin Earl, Linda Martin, Jason Brubaker and several others, have pushed me to learn more before jumping too far in.  Although, most of them have also said not to quit doing the writing (or comic art in Jason’s case) because if it flows constantly, I will get fast, better, and have far more ideas.

So here we go:

Past Authors Who Changed The Way I Write

In school, I was always facinated with the Star Wars fan fiction novels and graphic novels.  It helped me to realize that there were so many stories that could be told from any given perspective in a story.  Shoot, the Bible itself shows us that, four different perspectives of the same happenings?  They all have different story value.  The decision to tell the Maraude Series from a different person’s perspective (though not always the Protagonist’s) was based on this idea.

Then came a few popular guys who changed everything for me.  It started with Stephen King.  I even wrote under the nick name Stephan Sabre for a while, thoughI didn’t publish anything under that name, so I may still use it someday for romance novels or something, heheh.  One thing I always noted about him, was he made his dreams into his stories.  Yup, I feel that one a lot!

Then Neil Gaiman, with Neverwhere.  OMG.  It blew me away.  He will always stay on my favorite author list for that one book.

Then came James Patterson.  Yeah everybody knows him by now.  He drives me crazy with his insane release schedule.  (God bless the Ghostwriter market?)  But, his simple writing structure and flow has emboldened me to continue many times.

Steven Lawhead wrote a two part series called Empyrion that I studied the style of quite in depth.  Just the simple concepts but the rich characterizations made the story work so well.  A style that I still am trying to assimilate into my own style.

And then there is Ted Dekker.  The guy I so despirately want to be.  This guy has made me completely rethink what I need to do to create stories!  All I can say is I can’t get enough Ted!

Then there is one book, that I realize is possible that this is his pseudonym because the same book was released under a different author just a few years before.  But Daniel Suarez‘ Daemon, actually helped to form my rethinking of the concepts behind SpeedBreaker.

W.G. Griffith’s proved to me that a person can write about a completely evil antagonist and live to tell about it.

And then The Silence by Jim Kraus – A Christian biased book that could break into mainstream with the right push.  Awesome book!

Of course, this list would not be complete without the obvious, Dean Koontz, Jonathan Kellerman, Brad Meltzer, David Morrell, and the relative newcomers, Lisa Gardener, Tami Hoag, Janet Evanovich, and so many more.

So, with all of the independant authors I am reading these days, where do the likes of Jason Halstead, Collin Earl, Brad Lockwood, Jeremy Robinson, Lindsay Buroker, Patrick E McLean, and so many more that direction too, where do they stack up in my thoughts.

Well, Jason Halstead has been blogging nearly everyday of what he’s doing to push the 10 or so novels he has.  His tactics are being taken to heart, and taken well.

So much so, that very soon my itenerary for the first quarter of next year (after the Stage rewrite) will see the Wyldheart (stage part two) released soon after.  I intentions were to push for Basement and Stage to be audiobooked as soon as possible, but I feel I now need to reorganize my platform push.  I need two of my series’ started.  Which means, Maraude will see Astronomical and Badger Down released very soon after Wyldheart.  The audiobooks will continue, as my brother has been doing an awesome job of the music.  I have already chosen my narrator for a few projects as soon as I can pay him (Mr. Bill Stage, jr  By the way)  Several voice actors have stood up for the dramatic audio presentation of Stage (even though it will take three to four of them to make up Renna!)

The decision has been made, not to rush the promotion until around July of 2012.


Simple, I don’t have enough material on the market right now to justify diving into the advertising, only having two books in separate genres published, especially since I’m not entirely happy with either of them right now.  But, if it weren’t for the pending audio books, I would be moving forward and come back to those books later.  The more I have on the market, the more marketable I will become.  Simple facts of epublishing.  the more marketable I am, the easier my future efforts will be once I start asking around for publishing at a true house.

Of course, when I make my page at wikipedia I would like to have at least ten books in my list, LOL.  With the projects underway right now (and several nearly complete) I might be there by July.

Will I ever have more than spam in my comments box here?  Will I ever have a 1% share of half of the people mentioned in this post?  Will I ever be able to get off my knees and make a living writing?

I guess we shall see, huh?



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About sirkeystone

This dude lives and slaves in the Siloam Springs Arkansas area, where his day job is a flooring installer. For now. An author, artist, guitar repair guy, and loves to play with cars. Not just HotWheels either. Guitar, Bass, and vocals for local False Hope band, an Indie/Country/Rock band that used to be a classic rock cover band.

Posted on December 11, 2011, in writings and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. Okay, so I liked my own post… Somebody had to, heheh

  2. You brought up a few valid points and I enjoyed your blog. Sometimes we have to put some plans on hold for a while so we can be more fruitful later, or at least have a better quality of product to present to the public…and two books, especially if they are of a serial nature…are easier to market than one.

    I also learn a lot from indie authors. In fact, I spend most of my time reading them nowadays though I intend to throw in the occasional mainstream author to see how they compare.

    • Glad to hear from you too, Norma!

      It’s a shame I have nearly put Squidoo behind me, when it does have an interesting impact on how people see me. This coming January I will turn 40, so I need to make it count. I tend to be a very symbolic type of person. I can usually point to something in my life as a turning point and tell you exactly how old I was.

      That’s how I used to tell when I wrote a story. When I wrote in a notebook instead of a computer (my first computer was a Commodore VIC-20 so I have been writing a loooong time LOL) I could tell how old I was when I wrote it because I specifically changed something about my writing every six months. I changed my “e” to a backward 3 when I was ten and a half, for instance.

      Anyway, rambling again.

      Indie has become a way of life for me. I can relate to what you have said but only because I have a backlog of unread books on the shelves. I download everything now (saves space) besides if I download it in a RTF or TXT format, I have a reader that turns it into an audiobook for me, while I work on other things.

      I say indie is a way of life, because my music has also become that way. I made so many friends at thesixtyone.com before they ruined the social aspects of it, that I will never have to buy another CD again. I don’t even listen to commercial music anymore. Everything in my player on my phone is either an indie band or an indie podcast book.

      And I think I’m a better person for it. I don’t spend my time watching a useless TV anymore. I don’t have to put up with ignorant advertising on the radio. Someone will ask me if I’ve heard the latest Lady Gaga, and I almost have to say “Who?”

  3. A wise decision on holding off on promotion, I think. Timing is everything. Drawing in some buzz without having a lot of stuff available will make the buzz fade and the fifteen minutes of fame to be lost before it can be capitalized on.

    Be sure to share your trials and (I hope) successes with the audiobooks. I’ve considered podcasting a few times, but the return vs. the effort I’d have to put into it at this point hasn’t been worth it. That’s about as close to audiobook as I’ve gotten – so naturally I’m curious.

    I like the idea of building my own wiki page!

    • Thanks so much for chiming in Jason. You guys at the graphic novel forum have been a godsend to me, even though I haven’t been back in a while.

      The audiobooks have been a very different trial than the graphic novel was/is. The audio book friends I have (Collin Earl has started a production company specializing in the production of audiobooks and indie publishing.) say that whatever hold true for ebook publishing also works in audio books, including the option of serializing the release (podiobooks/podcasting), a full production, and a simple author (or voice actor) read version.

      I’m seeing more and more people starting to build wikipedia pages about themselves, and I have thought about this for quite some time. I didn’t think I had anything to add to it, but I’m an author, songwriter, musician, guitar teacher, writing teacher, car nut, and a flooring guru with alomst 30 years experience. I might have something to to put up there. heheh

      • Graphic Novel Forum? Where’s that? I’m graphically inept, in fact! Fortunately I’ve got some talented people as friends and colleagues that make up for my short comings when it comes to cover art.

      • Sorry, I got you and Jason Brubaker mixed up, LOL. I saw that and was headed to change it hoping you haven’t seen it yet, but oh well.

        I’m glad you did chime in though, because I have been watching your blog regularly. I love what you have been saying about the importance of the cover art, luckily I think I am enough of an artist that I can perform much of this myself, but it may come down to a point where I need to be focusing my time on creating the writing and paying someone else to do the work.

        By the way, I’ve been working my way through Wanted. I will likely be adding a review here when I have finished it

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