Next week my epic move across the world begins… I imagine until the dawn of 2018 I will be spotty at best both on posting and on replying to your fantastic questions.
So let me get ahead of the curve and try to answer some of the common questions.
Q: Kurt, where is my next chapter of Anamnesis?
A: Still brewing in the witches cauldron, waiting on the blood of a honorable Klingon warrior. Okay no seriously, I have rough drafted the first 2 chapters. I have the next say 5 plotted out, but I need more hours in the day to make them a reality. SOOO, chapter one will be posted in December, and 2 in January, and then hopefully much faster, say every 1-2 weeks.
Q: What happened to the Liberty Trilogy?
A: Like a fine wine For Liberty…, …With Justice, and Not With A Bang are growing better with the months they remain on the editing block. I have managed to get a few queries out on For Liberty… While I’m in this transition to a new address and continent I’m not aggressively pushing them. Would be nice to have my life a bit more sorted before I open myself to the assault that is working with publishing professionals.
Q: Who’s your favorite author?
A: That’s like asking a parent for their favorite kid… you can’t actually say when the other might hear! I would have to say Frank Herbert, but there are so many that have impacted me on a personal level as well as inspiring and shaping my writing. Now because this is my blog I will name a few and why…
- Chuck Palahniuk: Writes crazy characters, and bends your brain while also not following any of the rules about not offending your readers. I want to be as brave with my writing as Chuck.
- Claudia Grey: Claudia captures the inside of her characters so well. The people she writes are deep, emotional, flawed, and so real that I don’t ever question that the stories she writes happened.
- Douglas Adams: Hitchhikers will always inspire me to have fun when I write. It reminds me that it’s okay to be silly, unpredictable, and to break up the story with a little fun.
- Chuck Windig: A new addition to my list. Chuck writes diversity in a beautiful way. His characters are from all walks of life, good, bad, evil, misunderstood, and they are all the heroes of their own stories. I love that he writes LGBT characters, children, and elderly in a way that doesn’t call them out as the token diverse characters. They just are what they are, and I really hold that up as the standard on how to be diverse with out shouting it to the heavens.
- Andy Weir: My list would be incomplete without this stand-up guy! Andy is a self-made writer, and he didn’t lose his center as he’s now become a name in the biz. He still helps kids with their science projects, and interacts with his fans like a real dude.
Q: Kurt, are you going to write any young adult?
A: *Maniacal laugh*…. I do indeed have a project I am mulling over. It’s dark, gritty, almost touching horror/suspense but under the campy umbrella of sci-fi. I’m not too worried about starting it right now because the market is still a little clogged with the Hunger Games and 1 millions offshoots bloom that happened. I will tell you it’s going to be called Stratum, and there are three books planned.
So I’m alive and well. Not that you would know it as I sit in my dark editing cave pouring over the Liberty Trilogy.
Thoughts on editing…
1: Be ruthless. If it doesn’t have to be there, why is it there? I always ask myself when I’m reading. If the sentence doesn’t serve a purpose or make the story better then it faces the chopping block.
2: Think like a reader. Give the reader information they want to know in creative ways. I love writing suspense, but some times I’m tempted to keep information for later reveals when it really won’t add to the story. I find that if I give some of those details earlier it helps the reader to better invest in the plot point.
3: Actually read. I have to force myself to read the words on the page after about the third time through. I already know the plot and I know the chapters, but if I will stop and read I often catch little things that are wrong. Because I know what it’s supposed to say I fill it in or fix it in my mind, but it needs to be right on the page too.
4: Take breaks. When the words and blurring and you’re not being able to improve take a creative break. Watch, listen, or read something to get your creativity flowing again.
5: Don’t hate. I fall into the ‘getting bored’ with my own work after a few times through. The jokes aren’t funny, the reveals seem cliché, and the characters one-dimensional. Try not to let the fact that you have lived the story for months or years cloud the experience. The reader will go on this journey once with you… it needs to be a great experience once, they would get bored if they read it 10 times too.
6: Remember why you wrote it. I write because I have stories to share. the ultimate goal isn’t to make a bestseller or to see my work on the screen one day. The goal is to write the stories I have in my mind, and to give the characters life. Even if I’m the only one that ever reads them it’s still something special, and a work or art and love.
As I continue to edit and prep the Liberty Trilogy for publication I kept being struck with the same thought– I wish there were a way to tell more of the secondary characters’ stories without pulling away from the plot.
Then it dawned on me… I can do just that in some short-stories / novella.
This is a later down the road project, but it really made me excited to think that some of these characters will finally get to have their stories told. I knew I only wanted to do three books in the series, but these would be outside the chronology, tie-ins, but not part of the primary story.
Very exciting prospect for down the road assuming the world enjoys these books half as much as I have!
Yesterday I thought I would be finished the 32 chapter book… Looking like it’s going to be a 35-36 chapter book after all, but hopefully finishing it today or tomorrow.
At this point well over 200k words into this word these characters deserve a proper finish to their story, and I want to make sure I don’t leave too many open doors.
Happy June readers!
I wanted to take a post and fill you in on my plans for the rest of this year.
2017 has been an ultra productive year for me so far from a creative standpoint. I have finished 3 rough draft novels, and a fair bit of editing. The fact remains I can be as creative as I want and that doesn’t put book in the hands of eager readers.
In August I will be attending the Killer Nashville Writers Conference. I will be going primarily to learn, and network, but with the secondary goal of finding an agent for the Liberty Trilogy. Writing For Liberty…, …With Justice, and Not With A Bang… has been a labor of love, but ultimately I think it’s a great adventure and I want to get it out there into the world.
The Liberty Trilogy will be my focus for getting it sold/published, and out into the world, but that won’t stop me from working on other projects as I have time.
Hakomi & I Saw You Naked are also ready to find a home and I will be working on some prospective art for them this summer.
The website will be getting more attention, and I will be blogging each step along the way to get the Liberty Trilogy released to the public.
Thanks for making this trip with me readers!
“Xia” is a totally new addition to the Liberty world. She hails from Tianjin China.
She’s the daughter of a well known, respected and feared former crime boss. Her father has turned legitimate in his old age, and despite her parents insistence she follow in their step Xia wants to find her own way.
Xia is searching for her place in a world devastated by Iapetus’s nuclear weapon. She’s intrigued by the underworld around her, and she’s good at getting things done by any means necessary.
She believes in striving for a balance of her mind, body, and spirit, and the opportunity to tilt those scales is going to land right in her lap, but it will involve a great deal of danger and potentially sacrifice on her part.