First of all, the featured image is me, back in 2001 or 2002. I was 18 or 19 years old, and in the Marine Corps. I was literally reading a paperback novel in the middle of the California Desert. It didn’t matter where I was at while I was in. I’d often get lost in books. I’d read in the barracks, on deployment, or in the field. It didn’t matter where, as long as I got to read.
This kind of scene played out my whole life. I love to read. I read all of the encyclopedia’s we had in the house. I read the Bible. Full old and new testament page by page. I read any magazine or newspaper that was lying around. A favorite trip for me in elementary school was heading to the library. No matter what grade I was in, whenever I received a new text book? I’d devour it. I’d read it front cover to back. Not to get brownie points, I did it because I’m addicted to stories. I get caught up in the world I’m reading into. I enjoy a good character, and the their struggle.
I would, and still read anything I get my hands on. As a kid, I’d often get punished, and I’d be banished to my bedroom. I liked to run the streets with my friends, but I enjoyed my punishment time as well. Why? Because my parents let me read. So I’d lay on bed, and read all day. I’d read until 2 a.m. in the morning on a school night.
Being such a voracious reader, I always wanted to make my own stories up. I remember having a short story writing contest with two platoon mates while we were in the middle of the California desert. 29 Palms to be exact, during a Combined Arms Exercise. And to fight off the boredom, I had us writing short stories. Crazy right? Well they treated it as much as you could expect a couple of young guys would . But me? I took a few minutes to write out a story. I remember how they were enamored with the story as I read it. I can’t repeat it here though. It was pretty raunchy. What else could you expect from a young guy in the military?
I remember writing another short story in Kuwait. It was right after the Invasion of Iraq. I wrote a story with a pencil and 12 sheets of paper I scrounged up from around the camp. I let my platoon mates read it, and one told me to publish it. Don’t wait. As soon as we got home, do it right away. But those events, and a few others, stuck with me over the years. I always wanted to write a fiction novel, but never had the time. I’ve been dying to write for years now.
I remember when I came up to my wife in January 2016. I told her out of nowhere that I had a story I want to get out. She didn’t have a clue of what I was talking about. I never ever mentioned that I wanted to write to her. She knew I like to read. But I told her the idea. I typed up a scene from the novel I published. And I let her read it. She encouraged me to write it all out. And that was that. It was like a flood gate lifted.
So now that I’m writing, I want to talk about writing. Writing a short story for a friend is one thing. Writing a novel to be published is another. This blog is my attempt to give some kind of insight into what it’s like for me to write. Me personally, not anybody else. I’m sure everyone else has different reasons, and motivations.
Since I’m a brand new author with only one book in my body of work, I’ll lead off with my current progress. As you know by now, I published one book. Now, I’m on book 2 of the series. I started book 2 a couple of days ago. I’m a good way through it right now. If you read All In: The Globe Trot Shuffle, you’re going to be in for a freakin emotional roller coaster when you get book 2. Book 2 has the same main characters, with a bunch of new main and side characters introduced.
It takes place after where book 1 ended. It’s nothing military themed or related. If you know how book 1 ends, and where the guys end up, you’ll know what I’m talking about. In the new setting, the characters are just regular people. No one knows their background, or how they ended up how they ended up. So it should be more appealing to non military genre readers. It’s action, adventure, suspense, romance, and a lot more. You could read book 2, and not need to have read book 1 first. But it’s nice to read them both, because it gives you another look and story of the characters.
That’s whats on my mind right now. I’m in full book 2 mode. But it got me thinking tonight. I want to finish book 2, but I also want to start book 3. Book 4. And a number of other book ideas I have. I have a bunch of different genre book ideas, just waiting to be written out.
It wasn’t unusual for me to be working on All In: The Globe Trot Shuffle, but then take a quick break. Because I had an idea for book 2 or book 3 I wanted to write down real quick. The same thing has happened during book 2. Even right now. I was writing, and paused. I had to blog something now. So that’s what I did. I’ve even taken quick breaks to map out another novel idea I’ve had. I’ve used scrap paper, my phone, or notepads to do it on. So when I’m done with a work, I’m ready to jump right into the next.
I don’t have enough time in the day to do what I want to do. Not even enough time in a month. Putting out full length novel is strenuous. But it’s awesome. As I write, the scene unfolds right in front of me as I read what I’m typing. It feels like I’m possessed. I know the base idea for the scene I’m about to write, and I just type away without thinking of how I want it to go or to be. It’s like that movie where things are happening, and pieces are falling into place around the scene. The world is being created right in front of me. I believe that it has something to do with seeing a good scene, and I get on a roll. And the more I like how the scene is playing out, the more into it I get.
I guess that’s kinda bad, because I didn’t make a legit story board. If something happened, and you asked me to rewrite something, or to start over from scratch? There’s no way I could. It’d be a totally different work. But I have triple backed up all work and ideas. With different devices.
And I’m not over here humble bragging. I’m by no means successful or known outside of family or friends. That’s fine, I still have my day job. I’m just enjoying the process.
I plan to write at night, or during any other free time I have. I find it more relaxing, and enjoyable than anything else I’ve been doing since I moved back to NC in 2014. And I have a ton of ideas.
I know its narcissistic, but I keep on rereading what I already published. And I keep on rereading what I’m writing now. I really like the story and characters. I’m pretty sure all writers are like that. Or they should be like that. Because if you don’t enjoy your work, then why do it. I could never put out something I didn’t like or believe in. That sounds a bit snobbish. I know. But like I said, your work should be a labor of love. It’s gotta be something you believe in, and know that others will believe in. Your story should be your gift to the world. You should put it out, knowing full well that others will read it and get wrapped up in it. That’s how I feel. And I’ve pretty much accomplished nothing when it comes to being a true novelist/writer/author.
I’m just lucky I can put anything out there for others to read. Especially through Amazon. Without their self publish feature, I’d still be scribbling short stories on scraps of paper or on notepad’s on the comp. Only to throw them away or delete them, because there wasn’t a point to it. Now I have a platform to share my stories. And I’m very excited about it. I know I’m just starting, but I feel like this is something I can be good at.