Saturday, May 9, 2009

...clarifying the memoir rumor

...in response to an email or three I've received, along with the latest and freshest sapling from our family's ever spreading grove from "Rumor-Orchard," I've decided to briefly tell my story as rebuttal.

While nearing the conclusion of my fifth grade year, which would've put me in and around the pubescent age of elevenish/twelvish, my class, along with every other fifth grader in the county, was entered into a creative writing contest in honor of Right to Read Week.

Having already accepted the fact that I was a born and bred book worm, I figured I'd give the project a worthy enough effort and see how the cookie crumbled.

My first ever story was called "Terror Castle." If memory serves, it was based around three young sleuths investigating their neighborhood's haunted house, and included all the action-packed madness that an overly-creative grade-schooler who despised math, but could normally stumble through the other R's unscathed, could dream up.

"Terror Castle" was judged and eventually took the top spot in the county in the grade school level. My award was to meet a real-life children's writer, who would then read my creation and offer his own critique of the work.

Can't remember his name, and unfortunately wouldn't recognize him if I were to run into him on the street. I do remember two important facts from that meeting however.

1.The guy's collection of published work consisted of enough children's books to properly entertain an entire class of grade schoolers comfortably for several months. It was an impressive stack of literary genius.

2.And while I can no longer picture his face, I can still recall his words. He said, "You write better than I did at your age. Keep working, don't give up, and if writing is your passion, you will succeed."

...from that day forward, at least in my mind if not for anyone else of importance, I was a writer.

Fast forward to the mid-ninety's. While taking an online course at The Institute of Children's Literature under published and well-known author Ron Roy, (he's got an excellent website,) I pitched an idea I'd been kicking around in my head to a nationally known publishing house.

The next month resulted in the following...my idea was accepted, I breezed through the Institute with enough moxy that Ron Roy actually gave me his personal telephone number,(something he swears he'd never done before,) in order to call him with any questions as I embarked on the writing of my novel, and I'd just been informed that I was about to be a father.

The last part brought about the temporary stalling of the first two parts...

More than a decade and three kids later, having never fully given up on my dream, while so many others had given up on me, I awoke one morning, frustrated with my job, irritated at my overall lack of accomplishment, realized I'd been put on this planet for a higher cause, glared at my dark computer screen, and at last began the novel I should've finished and had published many years earlier.

That novel, titled "Broken," and spoken through the troubled eyes of a ten year old boy, is at long last complete. At the moment it is currently being edited at Ashland University.

While impatiently awaiting it's return, I've tentatively started "The Fellas," a fast-paced drama involving a tight-knit group of stellar athletes living atop their small version of the world, and what happens when it all comes crashing down around them.

"Broken," which is what I'd call a religious thriller, has been tentatively accepted at both a major Christian publishing house, and at a smaller scale house which has guaranteed to stock the shelves of all the local bookstores and libraries, something I'm most passionate about.

While both stories are based out of Holmes County, and consist of many local landmarks which my family and I are personally familiar with...and while portions of each plot may have been what sparked the ideas and drove me to the keyboard with furious intent, both stories are fiction novels.

I do not write memoirs. Only people who are famous can get away with memoirs and manage to make a nickel or two for their effort. If you're not famous, no one outside of your own Suburbia cares about you and therefore won't read about your family's horrific tragedies...plain as the fizz atop a freshly opened can of Coke.

I've started this blog in hopes of earning any small amount of readers I can generate while my novel hopefully moves toward publication. The excerpts from both stories are to be used as teasers in an attempt to one day generate enough sales to sustain my mortgage...one can dream at least!

And so, take a gander, enjoy, feel free to comment, and please spread the word!

2 comments:

Timothy said...

Was that contest called "Young Authors" by any chance? Those were fun times, I won that twice myself, one time out of over 100 kids. Met some childrens' author named Shelly Long who wrote some books about Alaska.

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