Saturday, March 31, 2018

Oh, just write it already

Right now, I sit at my computer watching out the window as my youngest son put the ball on the popper for my oldest son. Our dog, Cooper, runs around through the yard chasing his big orange chew toy. I've just finished the last of what I can do to promote my debut novel "The Lyc-O Factor."

And the first question I've been asked?

What made me write this story?

As most of my family know me, I'm goofy, irresponsible, loving, but scatterbrained, and can't ever finish something before going onto another project.

So how could I finish a full-length novel?

It took a challenge. And I met and beat that challenge. "Lyc-O Factor" was pulled from a folder in my Google Drive where I threw those random little bits that hit my brain like a brick. It written and edited in less than three months. But then it languished in a drawer for almost four years. The manuscript moved around with me between two different states.

And then at the end of 2017, I just said screw it. I wasn't going to be published sitting on my fat butt, so I vowed that I would finish the current project that I was in and get "Lyc-O Factor" ready for publication before my 32nd birthday. So, I pulled it out, dusted it off and rewrote it. I put my designing chops to the test by creating the cover and watching a bunch of YouTube videos on how to format a book. I literally threw everything together in less than a week. It took a few tweaks and re-dos, but I finally hit the publish button two days after my birthday.

And my debut novel was released March 31. So not too far off the mark. 

"Lyc-O Factor" is not a light-hearted read. It's quick-paced, but it delves into a lot of dark areas and subjects. But it's about forgiveness and hope, and finding that one little piece that connects every living human being.

But it's me offering this little piece of me to the world. Criticisms and all.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Hope the feds don't visit

**Previously published in 2013 on one of my extremely old, very bad first attempts at an author blog, but it's good info. I keep the old blog up itself just for shits and giggles. And if I do say so myself, very entertaining.

If the FBI or NSA or whoever were to confiscate my computers right now, I'd be in a lot of trouble.

Why is that?

It's because of my browsing  and search history. It's very *ahem* eclectic. So yeah.

Quick example. Here's a quick search history for Lyc-O Factor:

  • Small arms battle tactics.
  • How to create a Molotov cocktail.
  • Guerrilla warfare and tactics.
  • How to rig a car bomb.
  • How to siphon an underground gasoline holding tank.
  • What native Mississippi plants are edible.
  • Herb rubbed fried pork chops recipes.
Any normal person that sees that would think I was going bonkers or thinking I was trying to take over the world.

Research is essential to a writer. It's always said, "to write what you know." Well, sometimes, we, as writers, have an inkling of what we want to write, but don't have enough knowledge on how to convey it and actually know what we're talking about.

In Lyc-O, I've created a post-apocalyptic world set in Mississippi. I know Mississippi. I mean, come on, I grew up and lived here. I don't plan on leaving any time soon. I can take this landscape and mold it, as long as I stay true to what is here originally.

But, in the essence of this being a story where the modern world has ended, I had to change things up a little. This Mississippi had become abandoned, a survivalist's nation in a way. It is a rogues versus the new regime kind of scenario.

I knew nothing about military tactics. I know next to nothing about medicine, beyond the knowledge I've learned from family members who were nurses. I had a lot of prepping to do before I even began the story.

So...what do I do?

I turned to the trusty search sites of Google and Bing. And so far, no men in suits have shown up at my door step.

I know what was just typed is a long-winded example of what I was trying to say.

Research is important to writing. 

Let that sink in. Research is a part of the process. It's one of the tools needed to learn what you need to write your story. Write what you know, but don't be afraid to look up what you don't know. You can only wing it so far if you don't.