Morgan and I recently benefited from good book release timing. As we were finishing up our year-long read of Dragonfly in Amber, we realized we would have the perfect opportunity to read the first novella in The Florentine Series before moving on to the next book in the Outlander saga. We read through The Prince in just a couple of evenings and found it an intriguing introduction to the underworld of Florence, Italy.
In case you haven’t read one of our Locklear Library posts before here is how it works. This will be a written conversation between us about our experiences and impressions of the book. We do our best not to disclose spoilers, but we will be talking about the story, and we have no idea what we’ll be asking each other about until now.
It’s hard to believe but, it’s been a year since our last Locklear Library installment. We really enjoy this segment and have wanted to do much more with it than we have; but therein lies the problem. Those Outlander books are big!
We read books together, which is to say that Jennifer reads them aloud while Morgan plays stick figure golf on his phone. Dragonfly In Amber, the second book in the Outlander series, is big enough to be mistaken for a family bible and we also had our hands full with the editing and publishing or our own novel. Needless to say, it was a long year that went by in a short time but during that time we have made a ton of Outlander (and OutMANder) friends.
To refresh your memory (and ours), this post will be a written conversation between us about our experiences and impressions of the book. We do our best not to disclose spoilers, but we will be talking about the story, and we have no idea what we’ll be asking each other about until now.
At the beginning of November, I set upon a writing project/challenge in the spirit of NaNoWriMo in which I outlined a new book every day for four weeks straight. It was at times not fun but profoundly productive and one thing surprised me more than anything else…
I’m a big fan of NaNoWriMo, (National Novel Writing Month). Every year, millions of writers spend the month of November penning an average of 1500 words a day to complete an entire book by December. The idea is not to have a finished manuscript, but a finished first draft that can then be molded into the novel you want.
Last year, I wrote a ghost story called Connection. I finished it a few days early in fact. Since then, I’ve divided my time editing it into coherency and promoting a debut novel I wrote with my wife, fashion consultant, bowling partner, long-time editor, and fellow love adventurer, Jennifer.
Before I ever ventured into fiction writing, I fancied myself a poet. I met my wife in late 88’ and my head and heart became flooded with artistic expression. It came out of me in the form of drawings, poems and eventually found a permanent outlet in song(s). I’ve spent over twenty years writing over 600 hundred songs and I have only begun to know and appreciate my muse.
My taste in music and my style of writing has changed in those twenty years. Much of it was a result of artists I became exposed to. Those whose influence is evident (perhaps even obvious) are: The Beatles, Bob Dylan, R.E.M. and most recently, Iron & Wine. (Jeez, that was quite the segway and to the untrained eye may appear to be a back handed way of bringing up my own musical endeavors, but I assure you, it was only my way of simultaneously validating the brilliant music I’m about to review, and punctuating my own personal admiration for the artist). As Theodore Roosevelt said, “No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.”
When I saw this weeks Making Up For Mondaytopic: If you could or are writing a book, what would you want it to be about? The first thing I did was fall on the floor laughing because there is O% chance of that ever happening…none, nil, snowball’s chance in hell…you get that right?!?
But, I do have a good imagination, so let’s pretend for just a minute…
I’m not saying that I blame grunge music, but sometime in the early 90’s it became cool not to care. Worse than that actually, it became cool to look down on anyone who did care…about anything…or anyone who tried to succeed at or enjoy life.
Today, we live in a culture that has been so blinded by this weak philosophy that we are actually hurting ourselves and we don’t even know it. Take Fan Fiction for example – the more authors who get their FF stories published, the more it validates that community as a valid and viable source of truly excellent writing. Yet, so many in the community have adopted the view that to succeed professionally means that you are some kind of sell out.
I have been interviewed a lot this month following the release of my new book, and the interviews have all been well conducted and fun to participate in with my wife and co-author. However, it got me thinking of the best ways to conduct such interviews with maximum effect. So today I would like to share some tips on how to interview and be interviewed more successfully. By successful, I mean memorable and interestingly enough. The advice I have will benefit you on either side of the microphone or page.