Monday, March 31, 2008

10 Guidelines for Aspiring Speculative Fiction Authors

This month I have the distinct honor of promoting The Return of the Sword, An Anthology of Heroic Adventure. This is such a great anthology and I've discovered several new favorite authors.

One of these new favorites is Robert Rhodes. Today, he shares some great tips that not only apply to aspiring speculative fiction authors of authors of any genre. Thanks so much!

10 Guidelines for Aspiring Speculative Fiction Authors by Robert Rhodes

1. Read. Read quality speculative and non-speculative fiction to know what has and hasn’t been done, to learn from others’ craftsmanship, and to be inspired.

2. Pay attention and take notes. Ideas may strike at any time. Have quick access to a notepad and pencil, and use them before the real world intrudes. (A draft message in an email account may also work.)

3. Master the basics. Understand the rules of composition. When necessary, consult a dictionary or manual such as The Elements of Style (Strunk & White), but only dust off a thesaurus as a last resort. Remember that spell-checking software can’t, for egg sample, bee trusted.

4. Create a complete, vivid story. Almost all good stories, speculative or not, integrate these elements: (1) a compelling character (2) in a fascinating setting (3) overcoming vast difficulties (4) by his or her own efforts and (5) achieving a worthwhile goal. (This guideline is a paraphrased summary of the excellent article “What Is A Short Story?” by Marion Zimmer Bradley, found on the website of her literary works trust: .)

5. Reach for the stars. Write one of the very best stories you’ve ever read. Even if the final work falls just short, it will still be outstanding (unless you just read junk).

6. Beware of infatuation. After initially completing a story, celebrate—then step away and go work on another story or in the real world. Once you stop wanting to admire your immortal prose, you may have the emotional distance needed to revise it mercilessly.

7. Be open to criticism. Identify a handful of skilled and honest proofreaders, and carefully consider their comments. At the same time, develop the craftsmanship, instinct, and confidence to be the best and final judge of your work.

8. Be—or pretend to be—a professional. Carefully identify viable markets for your story. (A good starting point is Follow submission guidelines to the letter. Understand standard manuscript format or the alternative requested. Proofread any cover letter, and keep it brief. Resist the temptations to brag to or flatter the editor or make the physical manuscript “stand out” (e.g., by using colored envelopes/paper/ink/font). The story will speak for itself; everything else should be black and white and clean to the point of starkness. Never reply to a rejection notice unless it was extremely gracious or helpful, in which case you may send a brief thank-you note.

9. Reward yourself. If your purpose is simply to write for yourself or your friends, fair enough. If your purpose is to be read widely, remember that money should always flow to authors in exchange for their difficult work. Accordingly, submit your work only to markets that pay real money. (Markets that only offer “exposure” don’t even offer that, as most readers use their time to read authors who are good enough to be paid, and no one is trolling those markets to discover new talent.) Avoid vanity presses and self-proclaimed agents who want money up front. Read contracts carefully, and don’t hesitate to ask questions.

10. Never, never, never quit. The first story you write will probably not be the first story you publish. Keep reading, writing, and submitting. If you have a good story that’s “just not right” for one market, submit to another within three days. Publishers, editors, and agents don’t want to keep genius undiscovered; they want to sell as many books as possible and usually have a fair sense of what will sell. For better or worse, reading tastes are what they are, and the marketplace has never been more competitive. But if you write an incredible story, it will almost certainly sell. If it doesn’t, give the industry—not yourself—the benefit of the doubt, and keep reading, writing, and submitting until your art is too powerful to be ignored. Writing well is ridiculously difficult and demands talent and persistence. Between the two, persistence is arguably more important—and the trait everyone can have. Now go write.


Robert Rhodes is a book reviewer and author whose fiction has been accepted by markets including Black Gate and Flashing Swords Press. He is also a co-author of “The Sword in the Mirror: A Century of Sword & Sorcery”, forthcoming in The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Contemporary Popular American Literature. He can be contacted by or on And be sure to check out his blog.

For more information about The Return of the Sword or to purchase click here.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Advice for New Writers by Thomas Bounds

Do you have something to tell and even explain? Or an experience that you want to share?

The novice writer is the writer that writes his or her mind. So just sit down or stand up and write. Write what makes you feel good, write what makes you feel scared, write what makes you laugh or write what makes you cry. Write what your heart desires.

My advice is get comfortable and make sure your keyboard is a good one, so your hands and fingertips do not cramp up on you.

I sat down to write but was not sure how I was going to tackle it and before I knew it within a few hours I had completed my first draft. That was a step I never thought I could get to.

My mind kept telling me to do it, but my schedule kept showing me I could not. Well, once you figure out what time of the day you want to sit down to write, schedule it on your calendar and keep that appointment. It is one worth keeping. My time seems to fly by like nobody’s business but once you make that choice to do it, it feels good; and then it gets going and once you get to a point that it reads well it feels even better.

The more you write the more you care and it becomes a part of you. Take care of it and read it and read it again from the end to the beginning; it will help you spot errors.

Once you have done that, get your nerve up and send it to your parents or friends. They will always tell you the good things in a way they will help boost your efforts and make you feel that what you have written is worth it. Then once they have brought you back down make the changes they have brought to your attention and then take the next step and find an editor and listen to their advice. Remember, it is your story and you are telling it; but with good advice it can become a story that people read and like.

I wish you all the best in your efforts to write.

Have fun and share your mind.

In Christ,

Thomas Wade Bounds
Choices, My Secrets

Visit his website!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Writing Histoical Fiction by Catherine Delors

My first two novels, Mistress of the Revolution and For the King, are historicals. The third one, still in the works, will be as well.

Sarah Johnson, in an article posted in the website of the Historical Novel Society, points out that, in the eyes of some, historical fiction as a genre carries a stigma. Reviewers, she writes, whenever they happen upon a historical novel they love, hasten to shoehorn it into another category: literary fiction, women’s fiction, romance. Anything but historical fiction.

I am afraid Sarah is right. My publicist told me that there was little chance of the major metropolitan newspaper in my area ever reviewing Mistress of the Revolution, though I am a local writer. “It just doesn’t cover historical fiction in its book section,” she explained. Oh! Pardon me for asking.

So being a historical fiction author would be akin to some form of literary leprosy? I did not know that when I began writing Mistress of the Revolution, nor would it have stopped me. I was sure that my first novel had to be a historical. For one thing, I love history. The tremendous amount of research I - rightly – anticipated did not deter me. And indeed the research was half of the fun, and probably more than half of the work involved in writing the novel.

But there was another reason beyond my love for history. Writing historical fiction also helped me exorcise the past, my family’s and my own. My heroine, Gabrielle de Montserrat, is entirely fictional, but she could have been my distant ancestor. It was fascinating to try and imagine the challenges the women of my family faced, or could have faced in the 18th century.

A friend asked me the other day: “So when are you going to write something set in the present? Why do you hide behind history to say the things you want to say?” Well, novelists, unlike memoirists, always hide, even when they tell their own story. They hide behind fictional characters, behind the plot they weave. So what if it pleases them to add yet another layer of distance, a temporal one, to their books?

I would like to point out that, in Europe, a few scholars do write historical fiction. Chantal Thomas, a leading historian, wrote Farewell My Queen, a novel of Marie-Antoinette. Not only was she not disgraced within academia, but she went on to win one of France’s major literary prizes, the Prix Fémina, for that beautiful book. Likewise, Umberto Eco, medievalist, semiotician and philosopher, penned The Name of the Rose. Does it bother me to write in the same genre as these authors? Not a bit.

Find out more about Catherine and her work at her website.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Creating an Extreme Character in Fiction by Chris Hoare

Do you remember, not too long ago, when in fiction, on TV, and in movies a female character involved in dangerous action was portrayed as timid and terrified? Not universally, I admit, but that was generally the way that a woman in a dangerous situation was expected to be. What damned rot.

When the idea for the protagonist in my Iskander stories grew in my mind I decided that Gisel Matah would be as tough, as capable, and as reckless as any James Bond. Over the top? Perhaps, but she wasn’t going to back down to anyone – and she was never going to be patronized. Perhaps by other characters, males who were about to get their comeuppance, but never by the author.

She needed an appropriate history to justify these abilities – especially as in the start of the series she’s a sixteen-year-old starship brat. (No, you won’t have seen that in print yet. I rewrote the early stories and Arrival, the earliest in story chronology, is due out this July.) Gisel had a stormy upbringing in the last years of the 22nd century – child of an Anglo-Indian engineer (an egotistical man from a privileged background) and a Greek medical doctor (daughter of a UN trade commissioner and no slouch in the ego department either) – in Mumbai, the Peloponnese, and London.

The couple met in Mumbai, while Gina visited her parents in the city where her father was posted. After a short and stormy courtship the couple married, their first child, a son named Robert, was born just six months later. Gisel was the second child and soon after her birth the first rifts in the marriage began. Gisel was nearly five when Gina took off to practice medicine in a London hospital – the son went into the care of the Matah family in Mumbai, the little girl went to her Greek grandmother at Kalamata. Gisel’s ability with languages really began here, because by the time the Matah’s reconciled and she was moved back to Mumbai, now 9 years old, she could speak Greek, English and Hindi.

The private school she attended in Mumbai decided she needed an athletic discipline to tame her rebelliousness. They placed her in gymnastics competition and she won several team and individual medals. She became not only an accomplished gymnast but soon absorbed enough of the training and coaching that went with it she could later become the personal trainer aboard the starship Iskander.

When she was 13, her parents split again and Gisel went with her mother to London, where Gina became a resident at Guys Hospital. Gisel was developing into a young woman at this time, and so the growth spurt brought the end to her competition gymnastics. She joined a fencing club and by the time she left London to return to Mumbai she was short-listed as a junior for Olympic Team training.

Okay, you get the idea. These are background requirements that account for many of her accomplishments in the stories – her deadly swordfighting, her agility, and her proficiency with languages. I haven’t gone into as much depth with her psychological makeup, but her rebelliousness and mental toughness come from her parents’ provision of such a stormy home life. Somewhere along the way, Gisel found a spiritual mentor who taught her not only the power of meditation but the selflessness and calm courage of Eastern philosophy. When extreme action is called for she uses her own aikido method to enter ‘the warrior art of the sword’. The result of this training and less than ideal childhood is the Gisel Matah of “Deadly Enterprise” and “The Wildcat’s Victory” – a young woman who never backs down, and who is the equal of any man because she has to be twice as good.

The latest Gisel Matah story is The Wildcat’s Victory. On the Double Dragon website at --
and on Amazon as a POD paperback at –

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Writing for Teens by Richard Dudum

Richard Dudum, author of What Your Mother Never Told You is touring this month with Pump Up Your Books Promotion. When asked about writing for teens, here's what he had to say.
"Teenagers are full of life, unlimited energy, passion, and hope. They are also exceptionally intelligent. If given the proper tools, strategies, and encouragement they can accomplish almost anything they set their mind to accomplish.

Teens are also well aware when adults dodge, avoid, or talk around issues. They may find us amusing when we ignore or avoid sensitive topics. They also have no tolerance (and often no respect) for adults who talk down to them, dictate and/or are hypocrites and ask them to “do what I say, not what I do.”

In addition, teens are strong minded and often don’t appreciate being told what to do. If however, they are approached in the right way, at their level, on their terms, maybe even using a bit of their language, they may become open to our thoughts, suggestions and encouragement. And with that opening, we as parents can hope to make them more aware of themselves, their environment, who they are, and who they want to be. That is what I have tried to accomplish in “What Your Mother Never Told You: A Survival Guide For Teenage Girls.”
You can find more information about Richard and his book at his website.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Ten Tips for Breaking into the Mystery Genre by Tinishi Johnson

I’ve always loved a good mystery, whether it be a book, a TV show or a movie. Here are ten tips I’ve found beneficial to breaking into the mystery genre.

1. Read mysteries, old and new. There are some wonderfully written mysteries out there. Read books from some of the greatest mystery authors. Some of my favorite mystery authors are Walter Mosley, Sandra Brown. I especially love John Grisham and James Peterson.

2. Associate yourself with other mystery authors. You could easily join a Yahoo group or find a book club, and get to know others who enjoy writing or reading mystery.

3. Watch mystery TV shows and movies. I love watching mysteries on television. One of my favorite TV shows are Law and Order, Monk and CSI. I also still watch the old Alfred Hitchcock shows.

4. Your plot is everything in a mystery. A mystery usually follows a certain type of structure. Think of it as figuring out how to piece together a puzzle. You’ll have clues, twists, crime, and the whodunit all wrapped together. You need to keep your reader interested and edging for more.

5. Take a tour at a police station, or better yet, interview a police officer or a detective. I have not personally done this, but am thinking about this for my next book. I have talked with authors who have interviewed a police officer to get some insight into piecing together a scene in their book.

6. Watch the mystery and crime shows of real life events – like on the Discovery channel. I really enjoy watching some of the real stories told of real life killers, murderers and so forth. And what I enjoy even more, is watching the police, detectives and Forensic Science piece together what happened and how the crime was solved. It would be worth while to check out the Discovery channel, both on TV and online

7. Why not play a game or two of Clue. I always enjoyed playing this game as a child. It really got your mind thinking, and you got better the more often you played.

8. To learn the basics of a mystery, you can always pick up a children’s mystery book. It could count as an easy, but interesting read.

9. Check out There are lots of resources - online mysteries, games, authors, books, shows, movies, etc.

10. And lastly, write everyday, or almost everyday. Your writing only gets better if you put pen to paper. Practice makes perfect.

Tinisha is the author of Searchable Whereabouts. You can find more about her and her writing at her website.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

History's Mysteries by Linda Kay Silva

I became interested in the idea of past lives after I had mine read on a whim. I never really believed in any of that so-called mumbo-jumbo, having been raised by Fundamentalist parents, so I wasn’t really expecting a complete conversion. I gave nothing away to the psychic as I sat down, but for the next 15 minutes, she said things about me that made me sit up and say, “Whoa.”

She said I had been a warrior in several lives (I have a warrior tattoo on my back.)

She said I spent most of my lives in Germany (I became fluent in German in high school after only two years…I found it really easy)

She said (and this one rocked me) the reason I hated the circus was because I died in a tragic fall.
(As it is, I have always hated the circus. I hate the smells, I hate clowns. I hate everything about them, but I’ve never been. When I was 8, my parents tried to take me, but I kicked and screamed and refused to go. I was afraid then. I still have never gone)

She said I have a hero complex and have lived 83 lives. She asked me if I had ever been in a profession like law enforcement or a fire department. (I was once a cop).

To say I was blown away would be an understatement. I was not, however, convinced. (Fundamentalist roots grow deeply). So, a few months, a different city, and a new psychic later, I went again. Only this time, I dressed in a manner to throw her off any visual cues. She didn’t need any. She, too, brought up the warrior and Germany. She said I had live d 82 lives, and that the reason I have an affinity for animals and nature was a druidic past. (I have this oddly natural ability to calm animals that won’t go near others).

I was convinced…and so I starting thinking…it made so much more sense to me that we are here, we learn something, we grow, and we take that knowledge with us to the next life, which, by the way, isn’t always forward. I know, I know, I sound like a crazy person, but did you know that DaVinci invented the parachute? Why on earth would a man invent something that wouldn’t really be needed for over 400 more years? Think of all the inventors and scientists who were so far ahead of their time. Think of history’s greatest artists; people who creating things or had ideas that were considered heretical. Where did they get those ideas?

In my novel, Across Time, I call those residual memories; memories from lives already lived. How else can we explain the 5 and 6 year old music prodigies who can play Bach and Beethoven? How else can we understand déjà vu, love at first sight, or the numerous coma patients who wake up speaking a foreign language they never studied? Residual memories…like those small pieces of dust you can see in a shaft of sunlight exist in all of us. Some of us are able to recall these, but most of us ignore them. We chalk them up to something, anything other than a past life memory. Unfortunately, in our society, what can’t be proven by science we call miracles. There’s nothing miraculous about residual memories. They’re there. We need only not discount them in order to learn from them.

Transformed, I started wondering what would happen if a character could go back to one of those times…not physically, of course, but with her soul. What would she learn? How would her soul assimilate into the individual from a certain time?

And that was when I knew I would be able to write a series that allowed me to play with my passion of history. What we have to remember is that the victorious are the ones who record history, not the vanquished. That means so much of what we have learned is skewed, slanted, and basically, not always a true account. So much of history is someone’s perceptions of what happened. Those perceptions (or misperceptions as they commonly are) are my wiggle room. I can slide Jessie into situations where she can be a player in history. She doesn’t actually change the future; she creates it by her involvement in the past.

According to historians, Queen Boudicca of the Iceni suddenly turned her army around. No one knows why. I can take liberties with this and GIVE the reason why: Jessie. There are so many gaps and holes in history, and that’s where Jessie makes the difference. The outcome remains the same, but HOW the outcome got there…well…that’s my playground. Those cracks are where my characters linger, creating the future. I can dabble in the historical arena and reach out and manipulate history’s mysteries without changing what we think we know.

Having my past lives read opened my mind to so many possibilities in my writing; and by opening my mind, my heart soon followed, and Jessie Ferguson, Cate McEwen, and Spencer Morgan arose from the depths in me to create characters I hope will enchant my readers and help them discover the lives they may have lead and the individuals they may have loved. When they finish the novel, I hope they have the answer to the question: If one of your past lives came to you for help in saving your soul mate, would you have the courage to go?

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

10 Tips for Tapping Into Your Inner Muse

As I wrote in my InnerGoddess newsletter last week: There are several approaches you can take (to begin writing your life story), even if you don't consider yourself a "writer"... Herewith are 10 tips for tapping into your inner muse.

1. Write a short story about yourself in the third person, making yourself the heroine of the amazing adventure that has been your life so far;

2. Write short journal entries before you go to sleep every night, focussing on the "best thing that happened to me today";

3. Release any residual pain surrounding old injuries by rewriting the story with a new outcome;

4. Start a gratitude journal and record every little thing that makes you go mmmmmm;

5. Keep lists and add to them at random times during the day – the list of “things that go unnoticed”, for example, or “songs that remind me of a time and a place”;

6. Declare war… against clutter. Keep your desk clean and your space sacred. Same goes for your writing – there is as much satisfaction to be found in simplicity as there is in resolving complexity.

7. This is a tip from my next book, The Goddess Diet ( Manifest your Natural Healer – Sit and look into the mirror as though having a conversation with the person in the reflection. Actually have a conversation with that person via ESP.

8. This tip comes from Just like you'd develop a business plan … you might also see your Self as a self-contained and prosperous entity. Brainstorm such questions as: What do I stand for? What makes me happy? What makes me feel fulfilled? Where are my perfections? What strengths do I have to share? And so on. Think of your questions and answers as personal "rules of engagement" for becoming goddess.

9 Use affirmations regularly and with conviction. There are heaps of ideas to get you started at

10. This tip comes from Say Yeeee-haaaaaaaaaaaa… a lot. Screaming “yeeee-haaaaaaaaaaa” (Dukes of Hazzard style), helps lubricate your voice so that words can flow easier. It also helps get your car across impossible crevices and over unruly crates.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Tips on Writing Military Fiction by William Hay

Get to know your local library.

Research is key in writing fiction about the military. As you read on, the underlying notion in my list of tips is: research and more research. This is not a new notion for writers. Most ideas and plots tend to come from some personal experience or something we’ve watched or heard which has intrigued us so much a story emerges. When writing fiction about the military, particularly if you had no personal experience to dip into, and that would include pretty much all of us when the story takes on an historical venue, get used to research and become comfortable at your local library.

While writing or preparing to write my Historical Fiction, all of which have been about military conflict, I’ve utilized the Canadian War Museum’s website and searched the catalogues for books and/or documents. Anything was up for loan through my local library. It’s remarkable what you can find if you spend time search the resources your own nation offers via their Archives or other government agencies. Bureaucracy can be a wonderful thing if you let it work for you!

Know something about the military before writing about it.

Ever watch a television show or movie which involves subject matter to which you have thorough knowledge and say: “They’d never do that!” or “That’s not how it happens!” As a former police officer with sixteen years experience, five of which were in Crime Scene Investigation (yes, ‘CSI’), it happens to me ALL THE TIME!

The same problem persists in military fiction. If you’re writing about the military you have to get to know it. The best writers of military fiction are previous military personnel, because there’s a jargon; an additude among military men and women which is difficult to reproduce unless you’ve been part of it.

Few Hollywood movies have got it right, with the exception of a few, ‘Platoon’ and ‘Saving Private Ryan’ would be among them. In both cases the actors had to take several weeks of training and lived as a soldier for a time. This is hardly an option for most of us, so research is best. When in doubt, ask questions from military people; they are more than happy to steer you in the right direction.

Become intimate with the era you’re story takes place.

It’s not enough to grab a book or two about the Boer War; the American Civil War; the War of 1812 or what ever time period you’re novel takes place. As a writer, you need to look beyond the immediate subject and get to know the time in history it took place. You must get to know the era of which you are writing intimately. How did they talk; what kind of tobacco did they smoke; was beer the drink of choice or was whiskey?

I guarantee writers about the American Civil War are thoroughly versed on the era, as there is such a wealth of material on the subject and a steady flow of fiction writers on the horizon. This aspect of the subject is very important because adding small tidbits of information throughout your story, enriches it and aids you in developing your characters. Without the small historical details, your story will be like a shell of a building, without colour or decorations.

Research the weapons of the period.

This might seem a ‘no-brainer’, but remarkably, I’ve come across novels which fail to meet this all important criteria. Just as you spend time developing the story with your detailed knowledge of the era you’re writing about, as a military novel, you must also obtain proficient knowledge of the weapons of war being used by your characters.

To use a modern example, anyone of you unfortunate enough to have seen ‘Rambo’, (the original), will recall the last scene where Stallone acts dead in the pilot’s seat of the helicopter he and his freed captives are in. When the ‘bad guy’, lands his own helicopter to check out his kill, Stallone suddenly sits up and fires a bazooka at his enemy. This might not be a problem for some viewers, but for us military types, we expected to see the men behind him cooked, not to mention the rear of the helicopter blown away. A bazooka has a substantial blow-back radius with explosive consequences for anything and anyone behind it. Instead he turns and smiles at the men sitting in this blast radius, in perfect health incidentally and flies away in what should have been a crippled helicopter. By not doing your homework, such mistakes can ruin a story, (not that ‘Rambo’ needed much help).

As writers we see things visually and have been adulterated by what we’ve watched on movies or television, which, I hate to say, has perverted science in so many ways for the sake of eye-candy. It is for this reason, getting to know historic weapons can be an arduous task. For example, a building hit by a cannon ball, does not explode which I’ve often observed on depicted; cannon balls are solid metal and generally smash their targets. There are weapons from the eighteenth and early nineteenth century that do explode, but they could be unreliable and often very dangerous to use.

Use personal accounts as a starting point.

History tells us one thing about people: we don’t learn from our previous mistakes. Our politicians and generals prove this fact constantly. While writing military fiction, historical or not, search out publications or biographies detailing personal accounts from soldiers or persons in the war or military action you’re writing about.

While writing ‘The Originals’, a novel about Canadians in the First World War, I tapped into the wealth of personal accounts available to help me paint, in graphic detail, the scene of the battles the soldiers faced in Belgium and France. As a writer, I imagine my stories as a movie and make every attempt to describe the scene visually. There is a danger for an author if you only have modern movies and television as an example of military conflict. The best method of leaning what it’s like in an artillery barrage, perhaps on a warship during a sea battle or flying a bombing mission somewhere of Europe, is from those who actually did it.

They can be an excellent resource, because you will often find more from personal accounts than just description of battles. I find myself relying heavily on them to learn about the era, the additude of the soldiers and their officers. These accounts offer a window of this world your novel depicts the official reports are unable to provide. All of which you can use to further enrich the details of your novel.

Should you be true to reality or your story?

As writers we have to make a decision whether we are to be true to the story we are writing or to the reality of the subject matter the story is about. My friends and family can’t understand why I’ve not written crime fiction; given my past experience as a Police Officer and a Crime Scene Investigator. One such person is a friend of mine who is also an aspiring author of crime novels. He called me up one day and asked if I could review one such novel for technical accuracy. He asked questions like: “Can this happen?” or “Is this realistic?” My answer to him was the same I give to everyone who can’t get over why I haven’t dove into Crime writing. That is: “Reality is far less interesting than fiction.” I’ll argue that statement to my grave.

Frankly, I fear writing a crime novel, because I think it’ll stink. It would be a constant struggle for me since I know Police work is 98% boredom and 2% panic. No one wants to read about the boredom, so how do you write a whole novel about 2% of the job? Writing military fiction placed me in a similar quandary because I’m an avid historian and relish telling it, like-it-was. But I’m also a writer and want my novels to be page turners.

The truth is reality can be interesting if you know how to put a spin on it. With ‘The Originals’, I selected actual events which occurred to the Battalion I immediately identified as worthy for any story. Slowly I collected a list of events, in chronological order and used them as some of the high points that the reader experiences through the main character and generally avoided most of the low periods or “boring-stuff”. Have I compromised reality by doing this? No. What I’ve done is found that happy-place between fiction and reality we all strive toward. Each situation will differ, but by careful design, you can remain true to both reality and your story.

Thanks for reading! Take care and I look forward to seeing you in print!

William Hay