Wednesday, September 14, 2011

My Wife Made Me Do It

So my best friend, webmaster, and all around business manager, Mark Buckley, thinks I've harped too much on my wife Pauline's influence in regards to writing the book. I should present myself as more self-motivated, he says. I guess I should clarify a bit.

I've wanted to be a writer since freshman year in college when my composition teacher convinced me to become an English major. I wrote a handful of horror short stories in the 90s, sent them out to a few magazines and got back all rejections. A lot of things happened then. We bought a house, had our first child and the construction boom happened. As a hardwood floor installer and sander, I could work as much as I pleased. We could work every day of the week, nights, weekends, whatever. So I did. What guy with a new fixer-upper home and new baby doesn't need more money, right?

Writing took a back seat. Life happens, you know? It was always in the back of my mind, but I didn't have the time or energy. Floor sanding is back-breaking work and I was always exhausted and sore when I got home. We had our second child in 2000. I went five or six years without writing a thing. So I can't say exactly what got me thinking about writing again. I'd guess I was a little older, work had slowed down some and I was retired from sports. I finally had more free time. I met a customer once who was a writer. I showed him my short stories and he said he loved them and would show them to his agent. The feedback I got from the agency was, the stories were good, but they don't deal with short stories, so get back to them when I have a novel. If I was going to try writing again, it had to be a novel this time.

Stephen King has always been my favorite writer, so I was naturally going to write a horror novel. This is where Pauline came in. Maybe it was the lack of success at getting the short stories published or whatever. I don't know exactly why, but she steered me in the direction of writing a fantasy book. She thought I could use D & D as an inspiration and write some sword and sorcery type of tales. I know she never expected me to go in the direction I went with this, which involved creating a mythic world full strange and unusual denizens. I even sort of came up with my own mythology. It's a mythology that connects all mythologies. Read the book if you want to understand that.

So, that's the impact Pauline had on my first novel. She is the reason I wrote Lightbringer instead of Vampire Cop or something like that.

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