Why I Write What I Write, Post #9: Jena Schwartz #StoryPeople

 

 

 

Today, poet and essayist Jena Schwartz stops by to drop some powerful word bombs. Thanks for coming over, Jena! 

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I write because I don’t do statistics, but I do do stories. And I get to write things like “do do” without apology.

I write because all I can do to relieve the neuropathic pain my wife has been in 24/7 for weeks on end now is rub her shoulders and lower back. I write because it makes me feel less helpless and a little more hopeful, about that and all of things in the world I feel I can do little to change. The only suffering writing alleviates is my own.

I write because, I’ve been told, my writing has at times made someone else feel less alone.

I write because I get to enter into some nether beta zone where the words flow and I let them and this is a source of great relief and mystery.

I write because I like writing. I write because I have to. Because so much happens in a day of working a full-time job and having a side business that is my joy and raising two kids and keeping up with household tasks–all of this could either swallow me whole or give me endless chances to see my life more clearly.

I write because it is through writing that I’m able to synthesize so many disparate things, not always to make any sense of them but at least to pull the threads together into something whole, or to pull the threads apart when they get all entangled and my breath gets shallow and I start to panic.

I write because it’s how I see. Because I see things and feel things and imagine and want and need and desire and forget and remember, and writing puts the pieces together. Or not. But it’s worth a shot.

I write because poems keep me company.

I write because it is my way of saying hello to myself and hello to you, a friend or a stranger or a stranger whose own stories might become precious to me, and our writing might create a bridge we can walk across to meet in the middle.

I write because it’s my way of spending time alone. It’s how I get quiet. It’s release and retrieval.

I write because life moves me. Because I am beside myself with despair or busting at the seams with exuberance. Because I feel isolated and because I feel connected.

I write because I only learned to weave briefly, as a kid at camp. And always wanted to have a big, beautiful loom.

I wrote because I am in love with language and sound and music and rhythm.

I write because whether you’re in the next room or a different hemisphere, writing is my lifeline.

I write because I cherish the telling of things, how stories can be remade and recycled and retooled and reduced and retold and from scratch and by squinting just so and not knowing where any of it’s going.

I write because that is the coolest thing ever, the process of discovering. Of picking up the bread crumbs and finding my way home to here, over and over and over.

I write because I’m a writer. I don’t get paid for it. I may or may not have any readers. I write because writing is one of the ways I talk to God and one of the ways I listen.

I write because I don’t know how not to write. I think I tried that for many years, and the writing came roaring back with things to tell me about myself that would lead to dying and being reborn and, well, pretty much everything dear to me in this lifetime.

I write because beyond all the reasons, it’s what I know how to do. And I believe so completely, that writing gives us access to ourselves, the way the body gives access, the way touch and movement and the way air on skin and hands on hearts and eyes wide open give us access.

I write because I do not want to close in on myself. Because there is so much to say thank you for. Because I am alive, and writing reminds me to not to miss it.

Bio

Jena Schwartz is a poet, promptress, and writing group facilitator who thrives on varying degrees of vulnerability, chutzpah, and connection. She lives and writes in Amherst, MA, with her rockstar wife and two kids.

Email: jenarschwartz@gmail.com
Website/blog: www.jenaschwartz.com
Facebook
Instagram
Twitter: @thejenarator

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Want In On This?

Are you a writer?  Whether you’re just starting out or an old hat; unpublished, indie published, or traditionally published- we want to hear from you!

To participate in our guest series, simply write us a blog post that answers the question “Why I Write What I Write”. It can be as long or as short as you want- we’re playing it pretty fast and loose.

Please send your posts to lauraolivabooks@gmail.com, with “Why I Write What I Write” in the subject heading (please include any author links/pics you would like in the post). The posts will be scheduled as they come in, with one post going up each Monday, and we’ll all publicize the hell out of them on FB and Twitter.

Can’t wait to hear from you!

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Why I Write What I Write, Post #8: Tasha Harrison #StoryPeople

It’s Tasha Harrison’s turn!  Today, Tasha stops by to talk about how she got started writing “filthy stories”.  As a fellow purveyor of filthy-ish stories, this was a fun read.  Enjoy!

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I am definitely one of those people who always knew that I was going to be a writer.

But I never intended to write filthy stories.

Seriously, I sat down to write perfectly wholesome stories and the filth just happened. I swear!

Well, it kinda almost happened like that but not really.

When I first started writing I was hooked on the classics, particularly African American classics. The words of Maya Angelou, Toni Morrison, and Richard Wright shaped my idea of what a story should be. Proud, literary, respected and most of all Black. I was certain that anything that came out of me would be just like that. Something I could be proud of. Something my mother could brag to her church friends about.

For years I wrote stories that mirrored the ones that I loved from my favorite classical authors. Read-a-likes that fell flat and possessed no authorial voice. And all along I was writing those naughty bits and editing them out because that was not serious writing…right? If I wanted to be taken seriously I couldn’t write love stories or romance. I had to ground my plot in something more substantial…right? But here’s the thing–no one wanted to read those stories. My efforts to get my literary, proud, respectable work published never paid off.

I quit writing. I didn’t even journal.

Life changed. We moved down South which was a huge culture shock for all of us. I began homeschooling my kids and while I was sure this was the best thing to do for them at that time, I was completely and utterly bored. So I started writing again to pass the time. In the beginning, I did try to revisit those more serious stories but immediately gave up on them. At the time, I was reading a lot of romance so that’s what I began to write. Very few of the mainstream romances I read had people of color so that’s what I began to write: multicultural, interracial, diversity rich romances. My brain produced those naughty bits and I ran with them. In that first year, I wrote a little over two hundred thousand words.

And no one knew that I wrote them for years.

Why? Mostly because I was ashamed. All that filth? All those filthy words and people doing filthy things? The thought of my mother or grandmother reading these books made me nauseous—though ultimately, my mother read In Her Closet when it was in it’s very beginning stages and loved it. It also took me a long time to muster up the courage to tell my husband what I was doing all those hours online (I wrote most of it in Google Docs). But once the “big secret” was out I felt great about it. I still cringe when someone I’m close to blurts it out in mixed company, “Hey, my cousin writes dirty books!”

Yeah, that is and will always be strange.

But, for the most part, I love it. I write filthy stories because I love them.

bigXsloppyO,

Tasha

 

 

 

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Often accused of navigating life without a filter, Tasha L. Harrison has managed to brand herself as brutally honest without being labeled a b**ch…or at least that’s what likes to tell herself. She writes African American and interracial erotica and erotic romance with heroines just as brazen as herself and heroes that struggle to tolerate them while getting them in the sack.

Find her at:

Website: tashalharrison.com

Twitter@tashalharrison

Facebook 

And click >here< to subscribe to her newsletter.

Her series THE LUST DIARIES is available now!

A Slant of Light (prequel short story)
In Her Closet, The Lust Diaries: Book One
The Shame in You–A Short Story
Everything She Never Wanted, The Lust Diaries: Book Two (coming May 25)

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Want In On This?

Are you a writer?  Whether you’re just starting out or an old hat; unpublished, indie published, or traditionally published- we want to hear from you!

To participate in our guest series, simply write us a blog post that answers the question “Why I Write What I Write”. It can be as long or as short as you want- we’re playing it pretty fast and loose.

Please send your posts to lauraolivabooks@gmail.com, with “Why I Write What I Write” in the subject heading (please include any author links/pics you would like in the post). The posts will be scheduled as they come in, with one post going up each Monday, and we’ll all publicize the hell out of them on FB and Twitter.

Can’t wait to hear from you!

Why I Write What I Write, Post #7: Lori Hendricks #StoryPeople

Lori Hendricks stops in today to talk about the art of storytelling, and why she writes science fiction and fantasy.  Without further ado…

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I was asked to share, in a thousand words or less, why I write what I write. In my head I was like, that’ll be easy — I write fiction, specifically science fiction and fantasy, because the real world sucks balls. Big dirty ones. The idea of building a world to my specifications and then fill it with people I would like to meet, villains I’d enjoy to destroying, and places I long to visit is very appealing. I love to create heroes that can do so much more than I can to right the wrongs of the world around them. It gives me an outlet when I’m feeling frustrated or lost. I suspect it’s the reason so many of us enjoy reading and/or writing stories like that.

But as I thought about it, I realized there is a bit more to it than that. I love storytelling. Good old fashioned, grab a hold of you, take you on a roller coaster, and don’t let go till the end storytelling. Just so happens, those are the kinds of stories I like to tell. But when you stop and think about how the art of storytelling has evolved over the years and how much of that art we lose every year — it just makes me want to write even more.

It used to be that people would read a good book or go to the movies to get lost in the story. CGI in movies removed so much of the onus of the storytelling from the writers. And don’t even get me started on remakes, reboots, retellings, etc. Makes me want to cry! Formulaic stories with no imagination are the bane of my existence.

To me, books remain the last real realm of true storytelling. In books, we can create literally anything and make it so real that the reader forgets where they are. Our minds are engaged and our worries are left behind in the real world. I write what I write because I want to help people get to that place that I love so much. I have so many stories I want to tell, places I want to take people. The art of laying a story out in such a way that the reader can’t help but experience it exactly how you intend is an amazing superpower. I write because I want to use that superpower to change the world. Eventually.

So the answer to the question of why I write what I write is because the world sucks and I want to provide an outlet for those still looking to get lost in a good story.

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LA Hendricks is an IT project manager by day and science fiction/fantasy novelist by night. A longtime lover of words, she reads science fiction, fantasy and paranormal romance novels regularly (when there is time). When not reading, writing or working, LA can most often be found watching football or basketball with her adorable cat, Mona.

Website: www.loriahendricks.com

Twitter: @LAH_Author

Facebook

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Want In On This?

Are you a writer?  Whether you’re just starting out or an old hat; unpublished, indie published, or traditionally published- we want to hear from you!

To participate in our guest series, simply write us a blog post that answers the question “Why I Write What I Write”. It can be as long or as short as you want- we’re playing it pretty fast and loose.

Please send your posts to lauraolivabooks@gmail.com, with “Why I Write What I Write” in the subject heading (please include any author links/pics you would like in the post). The posts will be scheduled as they come in, with one post going up each Monday, and we’ll all publicize the hell out of them on FB and Twitter.

Can’t wait to hear from you!

Why I Write What I Write, Post #6: Mitch Goth #StoryPeople

Next up, we’re hearing from Mitch Goth, paranormal investigator and wordsmith-of-all-trades.  All yours, Mitch…

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I suppose there’s not one reason why I write what I do. Over the past couple years I’ve written novels, novellas, and short stories in genres like thriller, suspense, drama, comedy, romance, among others. I started out writing thriller novels, mostly about crime. That most likely stems from my interest in crime stories and crime films, which started at a young age. When it comes to the other genres, like suspense or comedy, there really wasn’t any particular reasoning behind writing those stories. Most of the time, ideas simply come to my mind and I think to myself, “I have to write this, I want to write this” so I do. I don’t think that writing has to be any more complex than that when it comes to reasoning or motivation, although writing always seems to come out better where there is a cause or specific reasoning behind writing it.

The more serious works I’ve done, like Shattered Glass, Delicate Rain, or Color Blind (currently unpublished), had strong motivations behind them, like a statement on love or social justice. I hope to write more books like that in the future, although powerful motivation like that is hard to come by. Aside from strong statements being motivations for writing, I also take a famous piece of writing advice and “write what I know”. I wrote a small serial short story series about Antioch College, my current school, as a way to show what I saw to be the positive aspects of it as well as the negative. Currently, I have a horror novel in infant stages. I decided to write a paranormal horror book now because I have been a paranormal investigator for almost six years now. I’ve wanted to write one for a long time, but only recently landed on a solid idea to build off of.

In short, there’s not one single reason why I write what I do other than I just write what I want to. Sometimes I want to write a simple action/suspense story, other times I want to create a maze-like mystery novel, and sometimes I want to put a powerful statement into fictional prose. My motivations and reasons seem to change almost everyday. Above all, I write because I enjoy it and I know it is what I want to do with my life. Motivations for stories will come and go, but my motivation to write will never leave me.

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Mitch Goth currently resides in Yellow Springs, Ohio, where he attends Antioch College. When not writing, he spends his time investigating the paranormal and indulging in a good book or movie.

Twitter: @Mitchell_Goth

Facebook

Amazon

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Want In On This?

Are you a writer?  Whether you’re just starting out or an old hat; unpublished, indie published, or traditionally published- we want to hear from you!

To participate in our guest series, simply write us a blog post that answers the question “Why I Write What I Write”. It can be as long or as short as you want- we’re playing it pretty fast and loose.

Please send your posts to lauraolivabooks@gmail.com, with “Why I Write What I Write” in the subject heading (please include any author links/pics you would like in the post). The posts will be scheduled as they come in, with one post going up each Monday, and we’ll all publicize the hell out of them on FB and Twitter.

Can’t wait to hear from you!

Why I Write What I Write, Post #5: Delizhia Jenkins #StoryPeople

Today, author-of-all-trades Delizhia Jenkins pops in to discuss the illusive Muse, and how she started writing.  Thanks for visiting, Delizhia!

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I have always been that person that never stuck to popular conventions, especially when it came to my first love: writing. I had learned early on that writing is an escape route to freedom, and as a writer I am entitled to take my own journey to wherever path my imagination leads me to. As a writer, I am granted an opportunity that many people are afraid to accept, and that is the ability to choose my own destiny or better yet, create one. When asked why I write what I write, the answer is simple: because I can.

I have yet to define myself as a writer, and maybe it is best that I do not. Right now my focus has been on the supernatural and paranormal ranging from romance to fantasy thrillers. However, the first book I published is an urban romance entitled Love At Last. No vampires, no werewolves or Faeries, no superhuman female heroes…just two people who finally found something that they had been searching for their entire lives: love. Moreover, I guess one might say that my writing is all over the place, or better yet, my imagination. I write what my muse tells me to; whenever he comes a calling whether it is 6:00 in the morning or 5:00 in the evening, his call is demanding, relentless, and unmerciful. And as a writer it is imperative that I heed to his call otherwise…he will find solace in the welcoming embrace of another writer or dreamer. That is the beauty of why I write what I write: the chaos, the intensity….the obsession. I live for it.

I write what I write because I like to read what I write. Is that a bit narcissistic? Perhaps, but I find that loving to read my own thoughts gives me an inside scoop of my own desires; my hidden answers to questions that consciously I refuse to acknowledge because my reality does not allow it to be so. I write what I write because a part of me lives in each and every one of the characters that I create; therefore a part of me is able to live in any one of my readers. I write what I write because there was once a point in my life when my voice was not strong enough to be heard, and now IT IS.

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About Delizhia Jenkins

There is not much to say about me. I wish I could say with honesty that writing was a destiny that simply fell into my lap; that I was meant to do this and in the next year or so my name will be written on the skyline; that I will be sitting on Oprah’s couch on her Next Chapter; and my work will be the next block buster. But I cannot. I will not. I am a 28-no excuse me, 29 year old woman with a long list of dreams and goals that have only been recently introduced to the light. So, what is there to say about me? Well, I used to write poems that eventually turned into song lyrics back in my teen years which led me to believe that I was going to be a ghostwriter for the likes of Destiny’s Child. Clearly that never happened. Just like every other passing whim of a dreamy eyed girl those words disappeared back into the ether perhaps to be syphoned back into the third dimension by some other dreamer with the heart to pursue their vision.

And then I unwillingly became an adult: and one can only guess how the cycle went; relationships, a relationship that eventually led to a child and a tumultuous road of ups and downs and disappointment. And then I got over myself and picked myself up. I put away the pen and sought more practical pursuits like giving college a final attempt. I decided to go through the for profit route: Westwood College. There, I was able to receive my Bachelors of Science in Criminal Justice in three years leaving me feeling like my victory in accomplishing something was hollow. Now what?

I drifted. I did what adults have to do to take care of their families. I struggled, and in that struggle forgot about my ambitions on changing the world through some sort of activism to just hoping to land that position that would provide me with the stability that I was searching for. Throughout the pursuit of my education I was encouraged to write. “You’re an excellent story teller,” came one instructor. “Help me with my paper,” came a fellow student. I know, I know how does this relate to this particular point in my life? Looking back, I remembered. I remembered how much I enjoyed a good read. I remembered the many nights that my muse would haunt me with visions of vibrant and amazing characters begging me to bring them to life; to give them a story and a name and a purpose. I fought with myself; denying this sudden urge to become my own creator because I did not believe that I could write; and that my writing could affect someone somehow. I jotted down my ideas lest they end up forgotten and kept them safe until I was ready.

So, I bought a laptop, and it could not have come at a better time because as I was struggling with a great deal of emotional conflicts, I wrote an urban drama entitled Love At Last. Once that was accomplished, I gave one of the most challenging characters I created her story in Nubia Rising. As a fan of the L.A. Banks Vampire Huntress Legends series, I was inspired after her death in 2011 to create my own heroine. A heroine that would live on long after my time on earth is complete; and in that discovery, and in all of the hours of reading and research and bible studies (yes, Bible studies), I found her path which inevitably is my path.

My Website

Word Press Blog

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Want In On This?

Are you a writer?  Whether you’re just starting out or an old hat; unpublished, indie published, or traditionally published- we want to hear from you!

To participate in our guest series, simply write us a blog post that answers the question “Why I Write What I Write”. It can be as long or as short as you want- we’re playing it pretty fast and loose.

Please send your posts to lauraolivabooks@gmail.com, with “Why I Write What I Write” in the subject heading (please include any author links/pics you would like in the post). The posts will be scheduled as they come in, with one post going up each Monday, and we’ll all publicize the hell out of them on FB and Twitter.

Can’t wait to hear from you!

Why I Write What I Write, Post #4: A.L. Kessler #StoryPeople

I first met A.L. Kessler at the Indie Romance Convention back in 2013. Since then, I’ve enjoyed following her career and seeing what comes out of her beautiful brain. Thanks for contributing to our series, Mrs. Kessler! The floor is yours…

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Why I write what I write.

Hmm that’s kind of a tough question. I guess it depends on what genre we look at, paranormal romance, urban fantasy or steampunk. I suppose each have their own little story behind them. Let’s start at the very beginning…(And now you’re singing the song from the Sound of Music, you’re welcome.)

When I was in high school, I was introduced to the wonderful world of the paranormal. I started reading Amelia Atwater-Rhodes which introduced me to vampires and I fell in love, from there I discovered Laurall K. Hamilton and fell even more in love. My biggest problem was that there was a lot of sex in what I was reading. As an anomaly in the high school, I wasn’t huge on sex. I thought. I could write something without sex! Well, I knew very little then and cut out relationships all together in my writing. It didn’t work. I realized that in college. So I slowly started developing what is now my Dark War Chronicles series. (Which was originally supposed to be urban fantasy, the over all series arc still is.)

DWC_logo

A friend told me about an anthology, but it required sex to be in the story. I hadn’t put sex in that particular format before, novel or story. But I bit the bullet and gave it a try. I didn’t get in that one, but I got some wonderful feedback and tried for the next one. I did get in the next one. I realize it wasn’t all that bad and romance wasn’t all that bad. It might have been that I’d grown since high school, it might have been some of the experiences I had in college, but I realized that it was okay. So I took another look at DWC and decided what I could do with it. I looked at Midnight Symphony and recrafted it, in both cases everything started to look better. That’s why I write PNR, because it worked, it flowed, and it got me out there.

NMBM_ebookIt was about the third DWC book that I realized that I really wanted to go back to my roots and write urban fantasy. Something without the focus on a relationship. That’s when the Here Witchy Witchy series was started. There is still an aspect of relationships there, but it’s not a focus, there’s no sex, and it works. I wrote another guest post (which will be posted during the blog tour for No More Black Magic) that explains that it really was going back to my roots. It comes easier to me, it flows so well and I love the first person point of view in it. It reminds me of a different time in my life and I plan on continuing to write urban fantasy.

Now, steampunk, which I don’t write a whole lot of, came about in much of the same way that the paranormal romance did. I tried my hand at it for an anthology, to my surprise, I got in. I tried for the next one and got in as well. It was really a chance for me to try something new, but unlike PNR, I didn’t find another passion in it. I enjoy it, but it’s not my focus.

No matter what I end up writing, I write it because I love it. If I try something new, I have to have some type of new-found love for it to continue on. I think that readers can tell when you don’t have that when you write.

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A.L. Kessler

…is the author of Dark War Chronicles. She dabbles in paranormal romance, steampunk and urban fantasy. Since she was a teenager she’s loved weaving stories and spinning tales. When she’s not at the beck-and-call of the Lord and Lady of the House, two black cats by the names of Jynx and Sophie, training a playful puppy named Zelda, playing with her daughter, or killing creepers and mining all the things with her husband of 4 years, she’s either reading, participating in NaNoWriMo, or writing in her Blog Writing Rambles.

For those who like things on the more spicy side, she leads a double life as Alexandra Webb.

You can learn more at www.amylkessler.com.

Facebook Fan Page
DWC Fan Page
Twitter: @A_L_Kessler

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Want In On This?

Are you a writer?  Whether you’re just starting out or an old hat; unpublished, indie published, or traditionally published- we want to hear from you!

To participate in our guest series, simply write us a blog post that answers the question “Why I Write What I Write”. It can be as long or as short as you want- we’re playing it pretty fast and loose.

Please send your posts to lauraolivabooks@gmail.com, with “Why I Write What I Write” in the subject heading (please include any author links/pics you would like in the post). The posts will be scheduled as they come in, with one post going up each Monday, and we’ll all publicize the hell out of them on FB and Twitter.

Can’t wait to hear from you!

Why I Write What I Write, Post #3: T.S. Dann #StoryPeople

T.S. Dann takes us on a tour through the dark recesses of his mind, and reveals what inspired him to write work people have called “grim” and “brutal”.

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“I like to think I chose this, but really it chose me”
A line from my poem Grind and Bear It

So why do I write the things that I write? This is actually a question I get pretty frequently. Why are you so morbid? Why are you so angry? Why are so many of your pieces so depressing? Are you a nihilist? Why do you have so little faith in humanity?

I guess Kayti Nika Raet’s request for me to write this was rather timely since I’ve particularly been getting asked these things with the release of 100 Reasons. People have told me that my work is grim, brutal, insane, confrontational, disgusting, shocking, hateful…continue to add in negative adjectives and you get the point.

As I’ve said in interviews before, I write for myself first and foremost. It’s a form of therapy. My stories, characters, settings, etc are all me. Curse: Lost, angry, melancholic, confused, explosive. That was me when I began writing Nightmarescape in 2004. Banshee: Alienated, traumatized, vengeful, headstrong. That was me in 2009 after breaking my leg. Larry Spectre: Laughing at all the horror, insanity, and carnage. Pretty much me throughout it all.

My poetry in 100 Reasons (and the subsequent volumes) is less of a projection, and more of a soul-stripping. I write most of it when I’m laying down falling asleep. These strings of words pop into my head, and I jot them down. The next day, I’ll transfer them to my computer.

Where does all this come from? It’s hard to remember a time in my life where I wasn’t dealing with some kind of death, trauma, or loss. One of the biggest ones was in December of 2002 when my best friend, Luke, died. His mother and I found him. Nightmarescape is dedicated to his memory along with my mother’s. I also have a poem about losing him in 100 Reasons.

Losing someone I considered a brother was truly a formative life-changing event for me. In early 2004, another friend hung himself. I spent most of that year in a really depressive fugue. When I wasn’t focused on school, I was pretty much doing whatever I could not to think about losing them. During this time, I had almost constant night terrors. They alternated between dreams of finding Luke’s body, me getting into fights I couldn’t win…and a black and white world that looked a hell of a lot like the illustrations from Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark.

There were two ghostly creatures that kept popping up in these dreams. One had a hideous grinning skull face with eyes that constantly bled black fluid. The other resembled an undead version of Vin Diesel. I christened the two of them Larry Spectre and Curse. Eventually there was a female that showed up along with them. I molded her into Banshee. I began thinking about this world that would show up in my dreams and eventually began theorizing all sorts of rules and laws for how presences existed within it. As the year rolled on, I formally began working it into the Nightmarescape.

In November of 2004, I finally began writing the first chapters. At the end of the month, I suffered from a spontaneous pneumothorax (basically my lung collapsed without warning). Two surgeries and a bunch of painkillers later, I was putting a few more chapters to the story. Most of the preliminary parts of the story with Curse spacing out and floating around in darkness were inspired by the heavy sedation I was under.

As I got busy over the years, I put the book aside, working on it sparingly. In 2007, I began a career in law enforcement. It didn’t seem that bad at first, but quickly became an exercise in misanthropic frustration. I put a lot of my extracurricular works into the back of my mind for the time being. It wasn’t until 2009, when my mother died, and I broke my leg in three places that I returned headlong into the world I had created. It was the perfect exorcism for all of the pain and frustrations that had manifested at that time. I worked on it obsessively from late 2009 until spring of 2010 when I got completed the first draft. It got set aside for another couple years as I looked for publishers that weren’t accepting submissions, worked to pay my bills, and eventually became a robbery and homicide detective.

I have to say that being around so much death in different contexts has given me a very interesting perspective on life. From gang and drug related shootings, to suicides, to dead children, to accidents and natural deaths, I can say in the years I’ve held the detective position, that I have seen just about everything.

I’ve stayed up working almost twenty four hour shifts sometimes as the calls and the carnage just kept on coming. I have sat in interview rooms with murderers. Some of them have given me a window into just how cheap a commodity life can be. Others were surprisingly remorseful…but not most. I have heard the countless lies of armed robbers who were caught red-handed. I have seen people who have absolutely no regard for life or anyone else’s rights skirt right out of the justice system only to go out into the community once more and inflict even greater harm. Read my poem Summer of Blood in 100 Reasons. It’s about a kid I locked up for a carjacking, but who was released a little under a year later to be a participant in the triple murder of two women and a baby.

All of this infused me with the energy to finally get Nightmarescape published. Throw in some failed relationships along the way, a whole heaping helping of stumbling blocks, and constant grinding exhaustion to complete the picture.

Now here I am, with two books published. I have more in the works: a sequel to Nightmarescape, two more poetry books, and a novella called The Travellin’ Man. At this point, I have the energy to keep ‘em coming for some time.

So, if you’ve wondered why I write what I write, there it is.

T.S. Dann

Independent author of the Nightmarescape series. All around ambassador of bad will, ill omens, and misanthropic ranting.

Facespace
Twitter: @MorbidTSDann
Blog
Bigcartel For Printed Books
Youtube
Goodreads
Nightmarescape on Amazon
100 Reasons Amazon

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Want In On This?

Are you a writer?  Whether you’re just starting out or an old hat; unpublished, indie published, or traditionally published- we want to hear from you!

To participate in our guest series, simply write us a blog post that answers the question “Why I Write What I Write”. It can be as long or as short as you want- we’re playing it pretty fast and loose.

Please send your posts to lauraolivabooks@gmail.com, with “Why I Write What I Write” in the subject heading (please include any author links/pics you would like in the post). The posts will be scheduled as they come in, with one post going up each Monday, and we’ll all publicize the hell out of them on FB and Twitter.

Can’t wait to hear from you!

Why I Write What I Write, Post #2: Kendall Bailey #StoryPeople

Today we’re super stoked to hear from Kendall Bailey, friend of Write Bitches and all-around mensch.  Take it away, Kendall!

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I hear a lot of talk about how some writers feel compelled to write story. I hear about how it nags at them and won’t quit until they get it all out. I am not one of these writers.

I wrote The Bad because I’ve been a horror movie fan since I was 6 or 7 years old. (Special thanks to my older cousins to giving me access to horror movies!) I didn’t have the story locked away in my mind trying to chew its way out. I knew I wanted to write a novel, a couple years earlier I’d been to this very cool hotel that used to be a school for the blind, and I grew up hearing ghost stories– I drew on these three things and came up with a story.

The Dead Don’t Speak (6/2/15) came about much in the same way. I have a fascination with Social Engineering and non-violent crime in general. Writing this novel was fun for me because I got to work the criminal mastermind part of my brain. Doing so was an experience I intend to repeat. Maybe with a mob story. The whole mafia thing has always been interesting to me.

Originally, The Dead Don’t Speak was supposed to be a, “What if a phony psychic crossed paths with a real one,” type story. Pretty cool right? But as I wrote the novel it became more about crime and revenge than supernatural powers. So I rewrote my psychic character to be a brilliant little boy who has a natural ability to read people. I’m glad I made the change; it added more depth to the story.

Once in awhile I get a quirky idea that won’t work as a novel, or even in a novel, and I turn it into a short story or flash fiction piece. The best example I am of this is the sentient penis story. Yeah, you read that right. A dick that thinks. It doesn’t just think, it communicates psychically with its… owner?… keeper?… the guy it’s attached to! I follow a lit agent named Laura Zats on Twitter and she’d posted about a book she’d rejected about a sentient penis. I was like, “I have to write that!” That’s probably the closest I’ve been to the, “I’ve got to get this story out of me,” mindset. If I ever release a short story collection, The Thinker (yep, that’s the title!), will be in it.

I am in a quandary about what my next book should be. Since completing the first draft of The Dead Don’t Speak I have started a publishing company (KBMedia), published a fellow writer’s poetry collection, started the Venture Prose project, and brought in a few contractors to help me promote KBMedia’s releases and maintain my website http://www.kendallbailey.net. I’ve been a little busy!

There are two options I see for my third book. One is the Venture Prose book. It will be my first attempt at non-fiction. The Venture Prose book will take aim at helping authors, specifically self publishing authors, think more like entrepreneurs. All that really means is innovating new ways to fund/publish/market/distribute our work. And, of course, there will be some basic business info in there as well. Check out the content onwww.ventureprose.com to get an idea of the focus of the book. My other option is a 3rd novel, probably in the crime genre again.

Decisions, decisions…

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Kendall Bailey was born and raised in Northern Vermont. He now resides in Southwestern Minnesota with his wife and son. Kendall is an entrepreneur, blogger, and social media addict. The Dead Don’t Speak is his 2nd novel.

Website: www.kendallbailey.net

Twitter: @KBaileyWriter

Facebook

Amazon

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Want In On This?

Are you a writer?  Whether you’re just starting out or an old hat; unpublished, indie published, or traditionally published- we want to hear from you!

To participate in our guest series, simply write us a blog post that answers the question “Why I Write What I Write”. It can be as long or as short as you want- we’re playing it pretty fast and loose.

Please send your posts to lauraolivabooks@gmail.com, with “Why I Write What I Write” in the subject heading (please include any author links/pics you would like in the post). The posts will be scheduled as they come in, with one post going up each Monday, and we’ll all publicize the hell out of them on FB and Twitter.

Can’t wait to hear from you!

Why I Write What I Write, Post #1: Anne Marvin #StoryPeople

Thank you, Anne, for providing the inaugural post for our Why I Write What I Write Series!  Buckle up, people, this is going to be a tough act to follow…

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I used to be a writer. When I was a child, and probably until around my early teenage years, I was “known” for my writing abilities (you know, by my elementary school). I won childhood awards for my fiction, and I went to sleep at night thinking of stories about imaginary people whose lives consumed me. I still have the novel I wrote when I was 12, an episodic adventure about three people stranded on a desert island, complete with a love triangle and contemplations of mortality and integrity (I was a precocious tween). I drafted over a hundred hand-written pages, and I remember the intense pride I felt at the accomplishment.

Fast-forward many years. While I still employed my interest and skills in pursuit of academic and professional excellence, I stopped writing for myself entirely. I’m not clear about what happened, but it probably involved severe family dysfunction, a descent into addiction, and the resulting loss of my essential self. I forgot who and what I was. I lost sight of my fundamental identity as a writer and it has taken me a long time to reclaim the faculties that make me who I am and largely define why I am here.

We’ve all read the adage that writers write because they have to. There is something inside us that needs to be released. I understand that metaphor, but as I consider my writing, I don’t quite experience it that way. For me, my mind and my hands feel like conduits for something outside of myself that is using me as an amanuensis. Sometimes the experience is more of a dialogue that I am transcribing, and I am able to engage with my Muse and produce the results of our “conversation.” At other times, I will sit down with pen and paper, or at my computer, or just with my thumbs tapping rhythmically at my phone’s touch screen (a favorite writing position for me, strangely), and have no idea what is going to come out. At those times, I’m often filled with a sense of wonder and excitement, as the words that fill the page or the screen disclose themselves to me.

There are times when I read what I’ve written and marvel at the nuance and complexity of my Muse. Occasionally I’ll look back and realize I written something that was revelatory to me. Sometimes, I’ll recognize the thoughts and the analytical process behind the concepts, but the precise expression will make me smile with gratitude that I was the vehicle of expression for those particular phrases.

I write what I write because it’s what I have to say. There is an imperative quality to my writing, now that the faculty has been restored to me. The writing is a gift and a demand of my Muse, who I have embraced once again, and I find I must honor it or ignore it at my peril. Occasionally, I indulge in fantasies of what I wish I could write, but cannot. In my dreams, I create epic stories in my beloved fantasy genre; I join my idols in the paranormal and urban fantasy world and produce books that readers like me fall into and lose themselves completely, only to emerge from the fictional world transformed by the experience. Would that I could write such novels. But I can’t. Because while these writers are my rock stars, I’m only with the band, not part of it. I write what I’m inspired to write while reading the inspiration of others. I’m a derivative writer, rather than an original producer. But that’s OK. I’m profoundly grateful for the gifts I’ve been given, even if they are not the ones I would have chosen. You know, me and Mick, we can’t always get what we want, but apparently we can get what we need.

When I first picked up my pen again after a decades-long hiatus, I had dreams of fame and fortune associated with my newfound passion. I would look out into the distance and think about all the people whose lives I would touch and change for the better. I fantasized about speaking engagements and book signings and television interviews. I was so sure my writing didn’t “count” unless it was externally validated. It seemed to me like the tree falling in the forest; if I wrote and no one read my words, did they make a sound?

I’ve since abandoned that line of thought as my Muse has gently reminded me that the gift is wholly independent of outside input. In fact, my Muse demands complete detachment from the fruits of my labor. As in many aspects of life, I must take the action and let go of the results, as I have absolutely no control over what anyone thinks of my writing, how others will interpret it, and whether it will go anywhere beyond my hands. I spill onto the page and release my words to the universe. Perhaps they will return to me in the form of recognition and praise. Maybe they will join the infinite number of their fellows in the ether, never to be seen or heard from again, except as additional bricks in the wall of creativity that separates our species from the others that inhabit our world.

Art will out. It must, or risk becoming a festering wound, a stone baby, poisoning its creators. Art is love, and love is generative. Whether we experience our writing as spores that grow within us needing to be liberated into the world, or as a whisper in our ear that insists on being given voice, our writing must be freed of the confines of our minds and our souls. In letting go of our words, writers are renewed, expanded, allowed to progress in our purpose and able to feel fulfilled.

That’s why I write what I write.

New Anne Pic_edits

I’m learning to live authentically in the real world. And to have some fun along the way. I look for truth in paranormal and urban fantasy.

Website: www.truthinfantasy.com

Twitter: @truthinfantasy

Facebook

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Want In On This?

Are you a writer?  Whether you’re just starting out or an old hat; unpublished, indie published, or traditionally published- we want to hear from you!

To participate in our guest series, simply write us a blog post that answers the question “Why I Write What I Write”. It can be as long or as short as you want- we’re playing it pretty fast and loose.

Please send your posts to lauraolivabooks@gmail.com, with “Why I Write What I Write” in the subject heading (please include any author links/pics you would like in the post). The posts will be scheduled as they come in, with one post going up each Monday, and we’ll all publicize the hell out of them on FB and Twitter.

Can’t wait to hear from you!

Story People #WriteBitch

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Confession: I have ulterior motives when I write.

They’re not sinister (okay, most of them aren’t). Mostly, they consist of my core beliefs, my experiences and opinions. In other words, who I am. Everything I write springs from these things. I put down the stories that speak to me the loudest, then step back and hope someone out there gets what I’m trying to say.

I think we all do this. I’ve never met a writer who wrote in a void. Frankly, I don’t think it’s possible. We all have things that speak to us, things we want to say, things we need the world to understand.

Kayti, Madhuri and I created Write Bitches because we’re story people. We had stories we wanted to share- with each other and with you. We also harbored the (somewhat lofy) hope that someone out there might learn from what we were shoveling.
Now, we want to learn from you.

Friends, countrymen, writers: what made you decide to write what you write? What was it about your chosen method or genre that called to you, that sunk its hooks into your soul and wouldn’t let you go?

We’re story people, and we want to hear yours.

♥ ♥ ♥

Want In On This?

Are you a writer?  Whether you’re just starting out or an old hat; unpublished, indie published, or traditionally published- we want to hear from you!

To participate in our guest series, simply write us a blog post that answers the question “Why I Write What I Write”. It can be as long or as short as you want- we’re playing it pretty fast and loose.

Please send your posts to lauraolivabooks@gmail.com, with “Why I Write What I Write” in the subject heading (please include any author links/pics you would like in the post). The posts will be scheduled as they come in, with one post going up each Monday, and we’ll all publicize the hell out of them on FB and Twitter.

Can’t wait to hear from you!