Why

I once heard a story while I was in college. I ‘m sure that this is an urban legend that went around every institution of higher learning at one time or another. It goes like this; a student goes to his philosophy final and the only question on the test is “Why.” Everyone else in the class starts writing and writing in an attempt to come up with something profound and interesting. You know, something to make themselves look smart enough to get that elusive A. After watching what was happening around him, the student simply writes down “why not” and turns in his blue book. The story goes that he got a passing grade for “why not.”

I’ve head that story, and told it, more than once. The question still remains however, Why? Why do we do the things we do and more importantly, at least for me anyway, why do I write? Is it for fame? Is it for fortune? Perhaps it’s simply just to get the stories in my head out and onto the written page or in the 21st century, onto the kindle screen. Every writer has their reason or their purpose, as for me, perhaps it’s immortality. (It sure isn’t for fame or fortune as of yet. Although that would be nice.) It is immortality, but not so that my name can go on forever or that people may see my books on shelves across the world after I’m gone. (Again, would be nice but let’s be realistic.) I’m talking about the immortality found in the lessons I teach my kids and hopefully others that may read my books.

You see, the books I write although scary always have some kind of a message. All books should have a message no matter what their subject. If they had no message why would we read them? A much more famous writer, one who’s sold infinite more books than I, Stephen King, once said, all books should have a message. He said there should be a reason for your writing and it can’t be money. If we’re lucky the money will come, but at the end of the day we should all feel fulfilled in the fact that our message is getting out and more importantly, our message will transcend our own lives. The message I always put into my stories is plain and simple; never give up!

In my first two books, The Beckoning and The Daguerreotypist, my characters face great challenges both supernaturally and to their abilities. No matter what may come, and much always comes to them, they never give up. They are brought to the pinnacle of the impossible, to the very point when most would pack it in before they are able to over come. We’ve all seen this in TV shows and in the movies before. We’ve also witnessed it in the Civil Rights movement and countless other times in history. The most important place we need to witness the lesson of never giving up, at least I believe, is in our daily lives. Let’s face it, our daily lives can and many times are scarier than anything I could ever write. That’s why people read scary books isn’t it. No matter how scary or daunting the plot may be, human life can be that much more.

When the day is done and my family is tucked away in their beds is when I finally push the keyboard away from myself. This is when I realize why I‘ve written. Seeing my kids asleep all snuggled in their beds knowing full well they will face things I can’t fully prepare them for, I hope they will listen to my writing some day and never give up. I hope when they face unbelievable odds in life, and they will, they take the messages I put in my writing and apply them to their situation.

On a side note, I missed last week because of some unforeseen medical issues having to do with my family. That is what got me thinking so philosophically today and during the past few weeks. We all have our demons or vampires to fight during our lives and unfortunately sometimes those monsters win. There is nothing we can do about it, it just happens. This week the one wish I have is that my mother should never give up and she keeps fighting those vampires that have come knocking on her door.

Can’t Believe it Has Been a Year!

For the last year I have been telling myself to go back and keep up the blog. That little voice in my head keeps screaming at me to make sure people know I have not fallen off the face of the earth. Well, for those who are now reading this, I have not fallen off the face of the earth. My dream of supporting myself through my writing has not panned out yet, but writing has never been for the faint of heart. I’ll spare you the details of character development and editing for now. Let me simply say to you that writing for most people is something easily put down or shoved to the side for a rainy day never to be picked up again. It’s sort of like the present one dreams about from Santa for so long that finds itself in a far corner of your room the day after Christmas, ignored and collecting dust. Maybe that is why so many writers fail at their craft?

Fortunately, for me, even though it is currently raining, the former has not been the problem. The problem for me is that I have way too many irons in the fire at one time. Since my last post I’ve started a business Authornirvana.com, taken on more classes via the online school I teach at, and published another book, Native American History and Culture. I’ve done all of this while maintaining my full time job of teaching high school and rewriting the book I started this blog about, Airship Down. For me pushing things aside is and never will be the issue. I never give up on anything I start. I just start too many things at once.

Today I am happy to report that my business is dong well if anyone cares to check it out (AuthorNirvana.com) and that my most recent book, Native American History and Culture has received several great reviews and reached the top 100 list for its genre on Amazon. (Number 13 to be exact) As far as Airship Down is concerned, believe it or not, it is cruising along just fine. I have decided to change it from a simple story about vampires in the old west fighting Billy the Kid to a framework story about star crossed lovers who happen to be vampire slayers in modern day Roswell New Mexico. Along the way, my main characters, Cassidy and Joshua, attempt to fall in love despite the chaos erupting all around them and their families who hate each other. (Romeo and Julietesque I know, but what the heck it makes a great story) Joshua and Cassidy who think they are simply battling every day vampires, expecting an easy victory, stumble across an old book in Lincoln New Mexico, Airship Down. The book details the exploits of one Billy the Kid fighting Steampunk vampires replete with all the fantastic Steampunk weapons and airships one could ever dream off. At first, Joshua and Cassidy find the old book an entertaining read until they realize the author describes the very same vampires they are battling in Roswell. Upon further examination they discover that the author is none other than Billy the Kid who somewhere along the way got himself turned into a vampire. The question becomes, what happened to Billy the Kid? Is he still there doing battle? Can he help Joshua and Cassidy save Roswell or did he vanish into history? Maybe you’ll find out in my next blog? I promise, it will not be one week. Look forward to reading more next Sunday morning.

I am currently at 80,000 words and have located a book editor who has major projects under his belt such as several Stephen King novels. I look forward to bringing Airship Down to you with in the next year. It will be a great read!

To Glimmer or Not To Glimmer?

To Glimmer or Not to Glimmer?

Listening to many of my followers on Facebook one would think that the glimmering vampires in Twilight should be outlawed. To be honest with you, I’m glad they’re not outlawed simply because it would take a writer’s creative side away. We must have the freedom to create and do new things or else storytelling would become mundane. That being said, I simply don’t understand the glimmering vampire. I am guilty of watching the series and reading the first book. Honestly there are parts of the story I liked. I liked the conflict between the werewolves and vampires for the love of a girl. Being a teacher of Native American history I loved the aspect of bringing Native folklore into the mix even though once again, Native Americans lose. (Really, what is the difference between the Natives getting ousted by the army in any and all John Wayne movies or them losing out to a pasty glimmering waif of a vampire? Can’t the Native freaking win in anyone’s fiction??) Mainly, what I don’t like about the story is more than just the glimmer, it’s the flatness.

What flatness you might ask. I think that many of my followers already know what is coming. I was always under the assumption that, both as a reader and a writer, the main character should grow during the story. The protagonist and the antagonist must be three dimensional. There must be something to their character. I believe the reader demands that and darn well deserves it. What fun is it to have characters that have one want or urge or interest. We find the main character in Twilight totally and completely flat. Oh, I love you and I hate my life, please kill me so that I can live with you forever. Did I miss something here? If I did please comment and let me know. At the beginning of the book we have the boring brooding female character that may as well have come out of the prop closet of any high school drama club across America. What do we have at the end of the book you might ask, that’s right, the very same character who hasn’t changed or gained anything and still wants to be dead so she can be with her pasty white glimmering vampire. The scary thing here I believe is that the author became a multimillionaire for that.

Don’t get me wrong, glimmering vampires are the other thing that leaves me floundering in modern day fiction. One of my followers talked to me about this subject and wondered about what happened to Nesforatu. I have to say I also wonder about that. I grew up in an era where vampires were the bad guys. They were not supposed to the center of a love story and on the side of the living. Now they glimmer and hunt animals so they can fit into society. What is scary about that? I certainly hope that the book buying public has had it up to their eyeballs with the vampires who want to make nice nice and want something real. I hope they want a vampire who makes them sleep with the lights on once again and is worthy of my website, Scaryreads.com.

Do you want, as I do, more than a flat character with non-scary vampires? If your answer is yes, then this is the reason why I am writing Airship Down. My main character, and favorite protagonist so far, is Billy the Kid. Billy is a confused lonely character who needs companionship, but has a very difficult time trusting. He was orphaned at a young age in the middle of the Wild West and resorted to violence for survival. Hardened by life he starts out with nothing but his six gun and horse for companionship. Lucky for him, he is befriended, in real life and in my book, by the group who later become The Regulators and fight the real bad guys in Lincoln County New Mexico. In my book however the bad guys are vampires. Nasty vampires with sophisticated steampunk inventions who enslave people and do drastic and grotesque things. They are led by none other than Pat Garrett himself the surliest and most deadly of all the vampires who control almost everyone in the county including, unbeknownst to Billy, the young girl with which he falls in love. There are many twists and turns along the way including great battles between steampunk vampires and The Regulators. There are also subplots that deal with Pat Garrett’s plans to use his steampunk inventions on a national scale. Can Billy trust enough to fall in love? Can Sallie break away from Garrett’s control to return Billy’s love and maintain his trust? Will Pat Garrett be able to aid The Confederacy with his Steampunk inventions before Billy inadvertently thwarts his efforts? These are all questions that will be addressed in the first volume of Airship Down due out this summer. One thing is certain, my vampires are respectable hardened nasty vampires who don’t glimmer!

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