Speculative Fiction Blog Hop

Hey. So… I’m supposed to tell you something about me, and then tell you to visit some other authors are all vastly superior in writing skill/talent to me (trust me, they are good). Thanks to Cherise Kelley for sending eyeballs this way.

What is “speculative fiction”? Honestly… I have no idea. It seems to be one of those things that are founded in opinion (STAR WARS! NO! STAR TREK! NERD FIGHT!). To me, it’s pretty much everything I write, since I don’t write in the non-fiction genre (yet). I write science fiction, horror, crime fiction, coming of age, humor, fantasy, and even some kid-friendly stories with no *gasp* curse words. Or sex. Or violence. Weird, right?

I’m probably in a lot of trouble with the blog gods because I’m extremely late posting this. The unfortunate clashing of “Diabolus” being released this Friday (putting me in that ugly ‘final edit crunch’ where everyone in the house hates me because I ignore them, and when I am not ignoring them while editing, I’m probably yelling at or to them) and my turn at the blog hop was unexpected. So… blog gods, I’m apologizing up front to hopefully keep my head (or at least my hands, I have to be able to type).

I’ve just finished up what is supposed to be the final edit of “Diabolus,” but of course I’ll sneak one or two more by Wednesday (and probably two or three in the month after release, because I’m kind of anal like that and hate giving readers another reason to hate me). Now I get to bore you with a lot of long-winded nonsense.

1. What Am I Working On Right Now?

Diabolus is pretty much out the door, which puts me back in the rotation, like I’m a homicide detective and I have to solve how I murdered each semi-finished story waiting to be completed.

I have about 2/3 of Book #1 of a new alien invasion trilogy, and I’ll be using Trevor Smith (artist who designed Diabolus’ cover) again for these books.

Then there’s this “Space Weed” story that you might have read a couple chapters of at this here website. If you are a police officer, there are no illicit narcotics residing within the webserver this site is hosted on.

A few vampire shorts (you might have noticed I hate vampires, werewolves, and zombies… and I mean REALLY hate them, but Garth Wright, a fellow Idaho author, convinced me to write a couple of old-school vamp stories with the kind of weird twists that I enjoy.

And finally… there’s this prequel/sequel that I’m finally ready to work on now that all of these other books are out of the way. “It’s Better This Way” has been my most popular book, by far, to the point I could probably be driving my brand new orange $46,000 Dodge Challenger SRT8 with black racing stripes if I had actually written more in this universe six-plus months ago. Whatever. I do things for the love of the story, not for money.

I mean… money is great. I’d love to have more. But I refuse to write anything just to make a buck off it. I can easily see through the bullshit when I write for money instead of for the story, and since I’m one of the dimmest bulbs there is, I’m convinced everyone else can see through it as well.

2. How Does My Work Differ From Others Of Its Genre(s)?

The separation comes from either fresh ideas that I’ve never read before (granted, I’ve read a lot in my forty years, but I’m finding out daily there are thousands of books in my favorite genres that I’ve never even heard of). Or the mash-up of different ideas. “Diabolus” is a good example. I call it my “The Exorcist” meets “The Matrix” meets “Skynet” story. Almost sounds interesting, don’t it? Nah, it ain’t. I wrote it, so I’m a pretty good judge of stuff like that.

I spend a lot of time either cleaning cat litter boxes for my masters (five of them), or vacuuming the floors for my other master (the one with the magic ring that won’t let me have a ninja sword and makes me eat vegetables). During this time, weirdly, I get a lot of dumb / crazy / ridiculous / funny / boring / lame ideas about this or that, and then I’ll spent the rest of my cleaning time piecing together a few scenes in my head to see if it works. If so, it goes in the spiral notebook (to die, mwahahaha). If not, but still might be useful down the road, I email a short synopsis to myself. If not, for sure, then I punch myself in the kidney as hard as I can to warn myself about having ideas that are wastes of time.

3. Why Do I Write What I Write?

Because I’m weird. I have a very strange, vivid, morbid imagination. I’m the product of child neglect + abuse, so I had to keep my mind busy a lot while growing up. Now I write to exorcise a few demons from those days, or because I accidentally drank some lemon-flavored bleach and sort of blacked out for a while, and when I came to, there was this cool idea on my screen / in my notebook.

Mostly I write what I write because I love it. If I don’t love a story, you won’t ever read it. You probably shouldn’t ever read anything I write, but if you think maybe you might want to, I’ll warn you again to avoid at all costs. Seriously. I love my stories, and I’m proud of them. I publish them and hope that others enjoy them, but I’m really not concerned if they do or not. I’m a big boy and I know that not everyone will like everything (or anything) that I write.

4. How Does My Writing Process Work?

Step 1: Do something useful like vacuuming floors, cleaning litter boxes, gardening, etc., with noise-canceling earbuds + very angry, loud, heavy metal blasting into my hear-holes.

Step 2: Come up with really ultra mega super awesome badass idea. Write it down somewhere. WRITE IT DOWN! Sheesh. You always forget, then you bug your wife with the “man, I had a really good story idea but now I can’t remember it!” routine because you DIDN’T WRITE IT DOWN!

Step 3: Take the basic idea, and with my awesome Zebra 402 ball point pen, begin writing what I like to call ‘concept.’ Concept is kind of an outline of sorts, but it’s all condensed like I’m a teenager trying to tell an important story to another teenager. It’s a bit jumbled, but I get all the important plot points down. Names… meh. I make up names when I actually sit down.

Step 4: Write a story from the concept. A 6,000 word concept can net me 100,000+ words in a novel. I’m a blowhard that never shuts up like that. It’s what I do.

Step 5: PROFIT!
Wait… there’s something missing here. Oh, put it down for a month after finishing the story. Don’t touch it. Write other stuff. Edit other stuff. Watch Game of Thrones in one sitting. Drive wife crazy begging for ninja swords and a guard tower for the back yard (.50cal machine gun too, please!).

After a month, revise it. Slash and burn and mend and heal. Put it down for another week minimum, then edit it one more time. Then send it to some unlucky fool along with a nice fat check and watch them shrivel in misery as they try to edit my gibberish (written in 67 point font with crayons).

Step 6: After editor sends it back with a note to never contact him/her again, along with threatening legal correspondence, possibly even a restraining order (or a doctor bill for eye replacement after gouging theirs out), put it away for another week. Then edit it. Send it to proofer.

Step 7: PROFIT!!!
Wait… grrrrr. Okay. While that editing stuff (whatever that is) goes on, you should be drinking beer and running down squirrels on winding forest roads! Or… having a cover made. That’s what I’d do, anyway. As you can tell, I’m not good at this. Get a good cover. Trust me on this. Never believe anything I say beyond this, but this one thing, trust me. Get a good cover.

Step 8: PROFIT!!!?
Hah! NO! Now time to navigate the Amazon and Smashwords and B&N portals to print my deliciously adverbial trash-fiction. Wait for approval then…

Step 9: Skip step 9, because 9 is better than 8, but not better than 10.

Step 10: PROFIT!!!???
YES! PROFIT!

So… now what?

Now, my little grasshoppers, you must travel beyond my realm, and to a very nice gentleman named “David Pagan.” Here’s a little about him:

By day, Dave is a programmer, or a software engineer for those times when he feels like sounding more important than he really is. He enjoys working on computers and feels fortunate that he’s been able to do it for most of his adult life. When he’s not sitting at a computer earning a living, Dave can usually be found sitting at his computer either writing or blogging. Dave writes mostly horror/dark fiction, though he’s been known to dabble in short fiction on love/romance. He dedicates his blog to his father, who passed away recently, and hopes to someday be as good a storyteller as he was.

You can find out more by visiting David’s blog:
http://www.davidpagan.wordpress.com/

(Right. So. I’m terrible at this, and didn’t actually make it a hyperlink. Never invite me to any social function. I will embarrass you. Badly. And probably ruin it for everyone.)

4 thoughts on “Speculative Fiction Blog Hop

  1. The Wife (that’s her official title, and our marriage contract states I must always use her official title) says you will understand why I am not allowed to have things like ninja swords and guard towers with spotlights + .50cal machine guns:

    http://www.angrygames.com/angry/pics/happydays3.jpg

    (moral of the story: don’t leave Travis alone with crayons, and whatever you do, don’t let him talk to the server or the manager and let him proudly display his artistic talent with weirdly dark apocalyptic tales based on the drawings)

    Heidi,
    Thanks again for letting me attempt to ruin your nice blog tour that you’ve worked hard on to weed out useless waste like me ;). This Diabolus thing… is making me ill in the stomach area. Maybe if I had a ninja sword to swing around in the back yard (there might be evil watermelons and bamboo invaders, can’t help to be vigilant, right?), or maybe a guard tower to sit in, passing the time by challenging those who walk down the nature path along the major canal that our property butts up against, I might feel a little more at ease.

    This is my 15th published release, and instead of getting easier, they seem to get me more anxious each time. In case anyone cares, it’s a poorly written science fiction story with a good deal of theological philosophy and some other stuff that I can’t remember, and it will be free on Friday the 20th and Saturday the 21st.

    Right. Not everything is about me. My fifteen minutes = now concluded. Thanks again!
    http://youtu.be/13OoNe51Vx8

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