Visit with my 12-year-old self

Thank you to everyone who participated in the cover art reveal. Tracking its progress on Facebook as it was shared and shared again was fun to watch.

Please continue to share the cover and the book trailer on Facebook and other social media as we get ready for the e-book release of Fog of Fortune on October 31st.

Last night I found a copy of an old play manuscript that I wrote in the 7th grade. Medieval Times Adventure.

Reading it brought back memories of Mr. Lee’s English literature class. I think that class influenced my love for writing and marked the begging of my writing fever.  I always enjoyed reading stories but to create them and share them with others was so much better. Whether my obsession is good or bad remains to be determined.

In my mind’s eye, I could see my friend Silla (sorry if I spelled that wrong) and me sitting in the back corner of the class. We thought we were the kings of the world. We would talk and plot out our stories. I remember that as one of my first positive collaborative experiences too.

I decided to take a break from what I was working on and started playing with the old manuscript. Playing became working and working became converting the play into a short story.

As I worked on the first few pages, I began remembering thoughts and feelings I had had, frozen in time, when I originally wrote the play. I remembered character decisions and plot structures that were important to my twelve-year-old mind. The recall was amazing.

Evaluating each line was like having a conversation with my twelve-year-old self. Together we added, subtracted, fixed some spelling and grammar issues and polished the story. What emerged might actually be the beginning to a new series or something I could possible work into some of my other projects. Who knows what might be on the horizon. You never know what you will stumble across that will offer inspiration.

Until next time.

Fog of Fortune Cover Reveal

pirate ship cover_4x6_c

How does anyone know about a pirate if he takes no prisoners, leaves no witnesses and shows no mercy?

During the Dolphin’s maiden voyage, Captain Silversword attacks. In a moment of weakness, he breaks his own rule and pressgangs Samuel Burke into service aboard the Black Flag. Once armed with the knowledge of the infamous pirate’s only weakness, Sam must face his fear and confront Silversword to save his life, his loved ones and spare the world from the pirate’s tyranny or die trying.

Fog of Fortune is a Young Adult Historical Fiction with a fresh spin on the business of pirating.

Rediscover the thrill of the sea. Experience the lust of pirate treasure. Find the strength to walk away from temptation.

Find your character’s voice

Let’s be honest. The second you sit down at your computer to type something for your first blog post, your mind freezes. Well if you don’t want to admit it, I will. It’s like all the good ideas in my head swirl and jumble together mixing into a muddy soup that either pours out too quickly or not at all. You know what? That’s okay. It is part of writing, part of the experience. If writing were easy, then everyone would be doing it. Writing is not easy.

I realize that most blogs have a theme; how to do this or that. Good for them. One day, my posts might be organized that way too, but not yet. The beginning of this blog will highlight several of my thoughts and ideas until I either choose a path, or we find one together. I might post about writing, current projects, pre-writing exercises, legal issues, or whatever is on my mind.

This past weekend I attended the annual League of Utah Writers Conference in Layton, Utah. It was a smaller meeting than other conferences I have attended. At first my disappointment with the lack of advanced classes being offered threatened to rob me of a good experience. However, after a little attitude adjustment, I enjoyed myself. More importantly I was able to learn. True, some classes were basic but that was fine. Sometimes you need to relearn stuff to remember why it is you like this craft.

One class presented by Alexander Gordon Smith on finding your character’s voice was amazing. Under his guidance, I experienced my first psychotic break, in a good way. He encouraged us to converse with one of our characters. I chose Valerie, from Uncommon. I have to admit, my first impression of the exercise was not good. This won’t work, I thought. But I cleared away the negativity and opened my mind to it. Wow!

As I began to write, Valerie came alive. She told me her concerns with the direction I was taking her story. She explained to me certain things were not working because that was not who she was. I was stunned. I know that if I follow her advice, the life, her energy, that I felt during our conversation will only bleed on the page and bring her story to life.  I recommend having a similar conversation with each of your characters; Villains, good guys and extras. It opened my eyes to the possibilities and is a worthwhile pre-writing exercise.

Until next time.