Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Hi Ho, Hi Ho. . .You Know the Rest.

I’ve been out of it for a while.  Saying “I haven’t kept up with my writing” would be a drastic understatement; before the other night, I had not so much as glanced at the notes for my second novel in months.  Life has kept me extremely busy with other things, so much so that I wound up temporarily abandoning all of my projects.  After publishing Trial by Night, I more or less spent my spare time working, scrambling to keep up with housework , or staring at the TV in an exhausted haze.
Well, I finally have the time (and energy) to get back to it, which is fortunate – it’s frankly been bothering the hell out of me that I have not had the opportunity to really start getting this next story down on paper.  Hopefully, the initial draft won’t take too long.
This next novel will, I surmise, take much less time to write than Trial by Night.  Now that I’ve overcome the major hurdle of writing/publishing my first novel, I have something I didn’t have before: experience.  I now possess a much better feel for how to write a lengthier work of fiction (prior to Trial by Night, I had only written short stories.)  This experience will (I hope) help to dull some of the frustrations that cropped up during the process of writing my first novel.
So, you might be curious as to what this next novel is about.  Though I’m not yet ready to reveal too much about it, I’ll just say this: my plan is to subtly merge horror and sci fi, and to toy with the interrelationship between science and spirituality.
Stay tuned for more. . .

- Ben

Saturday, May 28, 2011

On Self Publishing

It's certainly no secret that I'm a small-time, independent author who isn't working with a publishing house.  As such, it's safe to assume that I won't be making the New York Times bestseller list in the foreseeable future.  To be frank, I view the phrase "I want to be a bestselling novelist" pretty much the same way I view the phrase "I want to be a rock star."  Can it happen?  I suppose. . .but it isn't terribly likely.

I'm not being pessimistic.  Just realistic.  And anyone out there who has poured their effort into writing a novel only to be met with roadblocks whilst seeking an agent or publisher knows exactly what I'm talking about.

So, why bother continuing?

Mainly because (I believe) it's important to see a task through to the end, whether it's writing and publishing a novel, or painting the garage.  When I took the novel-writing plunge (I had only written short stories before), I knew that I wasn't going to be content letting it sit on my hard drive once it was finished.  Though there were times when frustration led to my (temporarily) giving up on the project, I always came back to it in the end, and I finally finished it.

Once the task of writing the book was complete, it was very important for me to get it published.  Sure, it would have been nice to score a big deal with a a major publishing house, but it wasn't in the cards.  Hence, self-publishing, straight to ebook. 

Will this approach yield tens of thousands of sales?  No.  But I am immensely satisfied that the book is published.  I feel that I've finally come to the end of a long and challenging road, and I couldn't be happier. 

If there are other authors out there who are in a similar position, I would heartily recommend publishing for ereaders.  It's amazing how good it feels to see your title for sale online.

- Ben

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Novel Complete!!!

7 years and countless hours later, my debut novel, Trial by Night, is at last complete!  After stumbling my way through the novel writing process (and going through about 30 revisions), my work has finally paid off. 

Why did it take so long, you may ask?  Well, partially becuase I gave up on the project at least 5 times since I started writing it in 2003.  The first several revisions were rough...very rough.  I'd finish a revision, shelve the novel for a few months, read through it again, and marvel at how badly it sucked.  Then I'd avoid thinking about the project for another few months until finally working up the nerve to dive into it again.

Slowly...it got better.  The manuscript became serviceable, and eventually (dare I say) decent.  My wife, who has been my acting editor since I badgered her into providing me with an extra set of eyes, even approves (believe me, from a discriminating reader like her, that's a hell of a compliment.) 

If you have a moment, please check it out.  You can find the book in just about every ereader version imagineable at my smashwords page: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/59953


- Ben