Hello everyone! Today, I am another stop on the Absolution Book tour! I am very excited for today, because not only do you get to meet Mr. Louis Corsair, as he’s about to take over for a guest post, but you’ll also get to read an excerpt! And of course, I’ll remind you about all the giveaways for here too 🙂 so, let’s start with an excerpt, so you know what this book is all about…
I was in a preparation chamber made completely out of light. I hovered like a cloud watching child-like celestials regenerate and reanimate my corpse. They didn’t bother with new clothes and simply fixed up the suit I had been buried in. When finished, they vacuumed me into my old body, a loving experience I could only compare to dying.
“Cold…” I said and my throat was dry like the Mojave in the middle of summer. They explained my body was mostly dead but this would improve as time passed. To help me with the shivers, the merciful celestials threw in a brown overcoat, shoes, and a fedora.
“Gun,” I said. True I was dead, but the people I was going to deal with were not and I had a feeling they would want to stay that way. Protection was necessary.
They gave me a revolver loaded with ten Thunderbolt bullets. I also got a good watch to keep track of time, an enchanted magnifying glass, and a special rune to communicate with the Committee. The big people wanted regular updates on my progress.
The celestials opened a portal to the Realm of the Living and sent me through it.
Sounds cool, huh? It is. If you want a little more, you can see my first post, with more details about this book, including the blurb and my review… GO HERE. Now, I would like to welcome Mr. Corsair!!
Have you ever picked up one of those books that tell you how to write fiction? I have. Many different versions, actually. They all have the same information and rarely do I come across one that advocates a method that is radically different.
Dull. Dull. That’s not how to start a story.
Here at Happy Tails and Tales, Maghon does a great job of leading readers into stories, some written by her and others by the authors of the world. If you’ve followed along on my Dark Minds Book Tour, you already know my guest posts have an odd flair. This will continue that wonderful tradition. Let me tell you a story…
Once upon a time, I was young and awkward and in a Los Angeles Junior High School English class. Our professor, an English fellow, had us write a story for homework. That was an impossible task. My friend Augustine and I were heavily into comic books, but had never attempted to write a story. For one thing, we didn’t know how. Just how do you tell a story if you’ve never learned how? The story I turned in for class reflected this. And I expected the same from my friend. But, Augustine, the bastard, turned in this short story that the teacher read aloud in class because it was so great. I still remember it.
The world is in ruins after some apocalypse. The main character is given a chance to save the world by this monstrous being. He had to go back in time to change an event that would prevent the apocalypse. The main character struggles and fails. In the end he meets with the monstrous being who sent him back. Over the ruins of the planet, this thing kills the main character for failing. The last image is of a horrific death scream. It reminded me a little of Twelve Monkeys.
What made the story memorable was how easily my friend jumped from being a reader to being a writer. These days I wonder if maybe he hadn’t been writing fiction all along. I don’t know. My guess is that he picked up on how comic books told stories and mimicked them. This is so simple an idea that it baffles me to this day. But it’s not so simple in practice. And to be completely honest, I’m still living in the shadow of that short story Augustine wrote.
Allow me to explain that last sentence…
Fast forward now, to a time after I left the military and my interest in writing was renewed. I took a creative writing class at Santa Monica College, one run by Jim Krusoe; the man admitted the first day that he had written one novel and he didn’t think it was very good. If you’ve ever taken a creative writing class, you know that one of the first things you do is tell everybody about yourself and why you are there. My answer was this:
I came here to learn to write.
Jim Krusoe smirked and said something like this:
People don’t learn to write by going to classes. They didn’t have creative writing classes a hundred years ago.
His tone and the way the others responded told me he wasn’t trying to be helpful. He just said it to be a dick. That’s why I dropped the class after that first meeting. But though mean spirited, what he said rang true. You don’t need a class to learn to write fiction. I don’t picture Dante or Shakespeare in a workshop, talking about writing effective dialogue. Everything you need to learn how to write a novel can be found inside a published novel. Every book you read is an enjoyable writing lesson. It’s the same way with a short story.
Storytellers instinctively pick up on how to tell a story when they read things, like my friend Augustine (that and I think he was some kind of weird genius). For writers like myself this doesn’t come as easily. So, I read and read some more in hopes of capturing that mysterious quality of the novel, the logos of storytelling.
This doesn’t discredit the Creative Writing programs of the world. I would never tell you to stop going to them; I hate prescribing things to other writers for one. But their workshops are great places to meet friends and are a first audience apart from your friends and family. And sometimes, you never know, the person who loved your little story might grow up to become the next Great Writer. And, hey, you know them–they will probably help your career because they remember you.
As for Augustine, we went to different high schools and lost track of each other. I like to think that he became an Engineer like he had planned to. He might have children now and a wife and a dog or cat, the American Dream. At least that’s what the idealist in me wishes for him. Part of me hopes he didn’t become a writer.
HEH! Well, glad I got to hear this one! I hope you are, too! I want to thank Mr. Corsair for that wonderful compliment 🙂 And now, I want to remind you about the giveaways. YOU HAVE UNTIL JULY 3, 2012 TO ENTER BOTH! First, is my giveaway. I & Mr. Corsair will each give an e-book copy of Absolution to TWO winners, as a smashwords gift, so you can chose your format. The other giveaway is a BIG SWAG, for the tour. You can go HERE to enter that giveaway! You can also see other stops on the tour, and some are also offering giveaways too!
I would like to thank Mr. Louis Corsair, and Dark Minds Book Tour for letting me have this great opportunity! I also would like to wish everyone good luck on all the giveaways. And as always, happy reading my Gators!