Welcome back. Ask an Author returns with another issue packed with questions and answers. This month we get to hear from authors not often featured.
We’ll start off with one of my favorite New Yorkers, and definitely my favorite wine enthusiast: @Defiance19
In your fiction, you seem to create scenes where men are on the cusp of major changes. How important do you think these moments are to where you’d like to go as a writer, and to life in general?
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On its own, ‘..on the cusp of major changes.’ is not a terrible thing, but it made me think. I can see what you mean in relation to the stories.
An easy answer would be that it’s not unusual; what I write will at times reflect some of my personality and my state of mind at any given moment. We’re almost always in transition, at crossroads, turning points, facing choices, making decisions... It’s life, right?
Upon introspection, at the time most of these stories were written, there was a lot of change and upheaval happening to and around me personally. I dealt with the outcome, but I’m still not quite allowing myself to trust, beyond that. It’s almost like I’m settled at the top of a rollercoaster. The climb up was rough, I know there’s solid ground after the ride down but I’m not eager for the possible turmoil I may encounter on the way there. So I remain comfortably in between. The why will keep us here all day.
Keeping in mind that these stories were written within guidelines and were always going to be short, I see how I transferred some of my experience and part of my personality to my characters. I get them through the obstacle, and write them to the point where the immediate problem is solved, and I end with a sense that they will move on happily. It may have left some feeling that there could be unfinished business. Which sort of explains the few PMs for more chapters on a couple of stories. I’m hesitant to write a longer arc of substantive plot and character transformation. Because again, comfort. Maybe that’s another reason why I write short stories...one speed-bump at a time...Hmm.
As to how it relates to the future of my writing and life in general? I have an idea of how I would like to end up as a writer, but no clear plan, or discipline on how to get there. Maybe when I take the ride down that coaster, it will translate in future stories. Or maybe I should get brave, dig deep, finish writing those longer stories and hope it inspires real-life changes? Eh...
Thank you for reading my stories, and for a great question.
I bet that’s not quite the answer you were looking for, (I may have to send you a thank you check for that self-observation) but I hope it makes sense to you. To anyone, actually...
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We travel west to the Rockies for our next
victim author. I still can’t believe studly @MacGreg once had green hair! I may want to pose a question asking why at some point.
Your characters are often very hard to forget. What kinds of traits and idiosyncrasies attract you to a character? What makes a fictional person so important that you need to write his story?
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I'm going to guess that most of my readers already know I’m attracted to misanthropes and misunderstood characters. In real life, everyone copes with interpersonal struggles and suppressed demons fighting for dominance. In my stories, I choose to write about characters who are often flawed, emotionally bankrupt, frustrated with the world. I don’t pussyfoot around their truths, I lay it all out there. I keep it real. But I also make a point to illustrate redeeming qualities, positive traits, and actions being taken to improve their circumstances.
The development of characters is never black and white, just as people aren't. There’s grittiness, there’s beauty. Although I don’t write about fairy-tale romance and happy endings, no character is ever fully doomed in my stories. Even the misanthropes have hope.
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With eighteen stories posted on GA, and only two of them not labeled as romances, @R. Eric strikes at the heart of the most popular category on the site.
You’ve written a number of stories, many of them paranormal romance. What motivates you to write paranormal characters?
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I write about love. It is what I think is the most important emotion that we have. Who wants a regular guy meets guy and they start having sex? That's dull. I consider what Daniel and I had was paranormal. North Meets South is more about Daniel and myself. I think what he and I had was a miracle. I wrote Cinderfella using the same sort of magic found in Cinderella. A same gender marriage in the middle ages!? Makarovia? A modern day prince marrying an American man...with his country's approval and the support of the prince's family's support? How did that happen. Now, Blueblood 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 have been fun. The truth was, I did it to keep Daniel alive. I made him a vampire. It worked a little. Now, I am battling something else and while I do that, I am proof reading again and boy, I keep finding errors. I will write again, but I'm dealing with a health issue. My Muse has been silent. I'm too preoccupied for the next few weeks. Writing about men that aren't normal is fun. I want the people out there to see what we have as love, make them see the fantasy and want it for themselves.
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From romances to thrillers. @Twisted_Dreemz has few stories posted, but the three he has shared have earned praise from several other authors. His most recent one is a Spiderman fan-fic offering.
The relationship between teenager Peter and his ten-year-old brother Trejon is very detailed and convincing in The Black Spider. What inspired you to start this project, and are you as close to your siblings as they are, if you have any?
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Thank you very much for checking out the story. I appreciate your questions! So, what inspired The Black Spider? I can’t answer that without sounding strange, so here we go. It came from a dream. One night, I dreamt that I was watching The Black Spider as a show on television. The dream was short, but in it, I knew everything about the show. When I woke up after having the dream, I still remembered what I knew about the show, so I wrote all of that down.
Even after that, I had no intention of writing the story. Readers want original. They don’t want fan-fiction. lol. But the idea wouldn’t rest. So, I wrote up the first chapter and previewed it on the GA message board to see how people would respond. The response was good, so I went forward and here we are at chapter ten!
For the second question, no, I have no siblings. I always wish I did, though.
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If you haven’t read @WolfM ‘s Running With The Pack, you don’t know what you’re missing. The entertaining, action-packed story featuring shape-shifters deals with human-nature and power struggles. This month, however, we have him talking about his poetry.
You started writing poetry rather recently. What do you think poetry does for you that prose does not? In other words, what does poetry do for you?
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I actually started writing poetry several years ago. The instructor of the creative writing class I once took suggested it might be best if I worked on things other than poetry. By the end of that class he had suggesting perhaps writing in general wasn’t for me. I decided to give it another try after reading many of the talented authors on GA. I talked with Mikiesboy (aka tim) who encouraged me and AC Benus who provided some guidance and some editing. I’m not fully convinced that my attempts qualify as poetry, but I’ll leave that to the reader to decide. The response has been positive.
For me, poetry is trying to tell a very short story. I suppose that is what it truly is, but since I have mainly focused on long stories, saying what I want in only a few words is difficult. Trying to learn the structure of a poem and not get stuck on one particular format is a challenge for me. This form of writing gives me a chance to explore something different and push my comfort zone. I can write about a thought, a touch, or a mood that provokes something I want to share. While I incorporate things from my daily life in all my writing, a poem is more intimate. I find enjoyment when I manage to articulate what something meant to me in under fifty words and in some cases much less. I’m not sure if I really answered the question, but it’s the best I’ve got.
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Part of the series of questions previously featured, I’ll end the month with two for @lomax61.
What to your mind, would be the greatest misfortune?
The greatest misfortune has already befallen, and the world, in its wisdom, decided to call it Brexit.
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If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?
"Come on in, dear boy. The kettle's boiled, and the tea's brewing nicely. I've even made some of those strawberry jam and double cream doughnuts you so love. You can eat whatever you like now. Oh, and by the way, Trump is one of ours. Who says I don't have a sense of humour?"
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That’s it for this month. Remember, if you want to ask an author a question you feel the rest of us would enjoy the answer to, send it to me. I’ll do all the work, and share it in a future issue.