A word about my writing philosophy –
When any author asks readers to invest cash and, more importantly, their valuable time by reading his books, I believe they can expect the writer to be committed to a credo. What can readers depend on when they pick up one of my novels and start turning pages? Here are the principles I adhere to when authoring a novel.
First, I believe readers are thinkers. Their sharp minds want to be challenged as they’re entertained. They look for nuggets in the gravel. They mull over the logic of what they’re reading. They value the subtle as well as the obvious. They want to find a truth, a girder to strengthen the strong structure they make of their lives and that separate them from the non-reader. It’s one of the reasons all my novels have an underlying theme. For example, September on Echo Creek is a story about a young woman struggling with the ethics and morality of her fiancée, but on a deeper level the book explores the way guilt strings are used to control a person and the ruinous impact on their life.
If your passion is creating fiction, entertaining your reader is as important as providing steak for their mind. Writing novels consumes me and I see great story-telling as the secret to providing great entertainment. How many memorable reads have you made where the story didn’t grip you? All the great prose Hemingway produced would fade to insignificance if the indomitable nature of his stories weren’t there. Crafting a great story requires that you know when to show, when to tell, when to summarize, when to provide excruciating detail, when to produce chuckles, when to elicit tears….
When I read another’s work, I can tell when the author isn’t totally immersed in what’s finding its way to the paper. I feel cheated. My heart and soul are in what I write. I endeavor to “not hold back, let it all hang out.” You may disagree with my words, but you’ll know the voice is mine and you’ll also know that I respect anyone who thinks differently. We’re all entitled to our definitions of life, of right, of wrong…I see denying another person these convictions even in a literary sense as a most serious transgression. I’m mindful of that in my work.
I endeavor to create characters that are someone you’d like to meet, someone you’d despise, someone you’d fear, someone you’d root for…someone you can emotionally identify with, yet are characters that have realism emanating from them. It’s difficult to open a person’s mind to the story you wish to tell if you haven’t touched the reader’s heart beat. Great characters do that. Holly Golightly, Atticus Finch, Jack Ryan, Theresa Osborne…they’re emotions, not just names, just as Capote, Lee, Clancy, and Sparks intended.
My books are stories about life; about how great and how testing it can be. Writing at my “mature” age is an advantage when discussing living; I’ve experienced it and don’t have to utilize conjecture. History is often my brick-mason for it can provide a building in which my story can live and breathe. Writing fantasy, sci-fi, or other work requiring that there be no reality fences, I cede to the young author where the lack of restricting rationale is beneficial.
What else? I promise not to bury plot, story, or theme in prose that sounds good, but says little. You won’t need a thesaurus by your side when you read my books. All we do in life is my subject matter…birth, death, charity, greed, everything, and yes, sex. I write about them all and believe that every subject requires to be dealt with honestly, but with respect for the topic and the person doing the reading. Providing you, my reader, with an insight, a perspective, a thought process that’s generated by my words without bludgeoning you with the obvious is my ultimate goal.