The Writing Process Blog Tour

Well, I finally got roped into it. This week’s post is part of a blog tour, thanks to my friend, Kathryn Lang. She asked me to write this blog to let people know a little bit more about me and my writing. The funny thing is, she is asking me to share a little piece of my life with everyone who reads it, which is basically what I have already been doing each week with my regular blog. I originally started Heavy Metal Cowboy (the blog) to share things about my writing and what I was working on, etc. It has become more of an inspirational/pep talk blog since then. Mostly it has been just things I wonder about and things that I’ve learned along life’s journey. So when I changed the look of my blog, I also tacked “Musings Of A Wandering Paladin” on to the name, because it was an apt description of what I wanted it to contain. Author is one of the many hats that I hang upon my hat rack, along with illustrator, instigator of creative concepts and boilerman to help pay those pesky things called bills that seem to be a side effect of life. Anyway, when I agreed to do the blog tour, I was given four questions to answer. Well, here goes nothing.

1.)    What am I currently working on?

At the moment I am actually working on two different books, along with a few side projects that may or may not tie into those in the future. The first is an actual full length book of my “Hammertown” series. It is a fantasy story set in the world of Alongrid, a world primarily ran by steam. Think 1940’s style setting populated by dwarves, elves and gnomes (with elves being the Nazis) and then throw a human detective in to make things interesting. As Kathryn puts it “Sam Spade meets Lord of the Rings”. I get a kick out of that. It is actually going to be the second book in the series. The first was “Alongrid Knights”, a selection of short stories set in the Hammertown world. Interested? Check out my website for a link to a free preview. The second book I am working on is more along the lines of traditional fantasy, but I can’t share the details yet.

2.)    How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I’ve read a lot of books. A LOT of books. So I managed to learn the usual plots and basically how a story is normally told, as is usually the case with people who read a lot. This, coupled with an overactive imagination allows me to think ‘outside the box’ and lets me keep things interesting for those who are tired of the same stuff over and over again.

3.)    Why do I write what I do?

When I started writing, I had a distinct agenda. I wanted to write stories from a Christian Worldview. Stories that parents didn’t have to worry about their children reading because it was written by someone with the same fundamentals that most Christians share. My first book was well received, which prompted me to write the second. That one too was well received, so I finished up the series with the third book. At this point I took a step back and looked at all I had done. It was entertainment for Christians. That’s all well and good, but how does that further His Kingdom? We are supposed to introduce Him to those who don’t know Him in such a way that they will want to seek Him out. So I thought to myself, what makes me want to be a good person? What prompts me to try to follow the good path? Heroes. My heroes from those stories I used to read all the time. Those heroes who stood for the morals, courtesy and common decency. But how does that further His Kingdom? It introduces those people that are looking to be entertained to good values. It is a bread crumb. A bread crumb that will show someone looking for more the true glory of God.

What about the Christian part of it? I’ve come to realize that I am an integral part of my stories, and since I am a Christian, my own values and beliefs ‘bleed’ through during the telling of the story.

4.)    How does my writing process work?

Sporadically. I do tend to take it in spells. Luckily it usually manages to stick in the general vicinity of one main idea until I get it on paper. Some of my writer friends work from an outline and have everything all planned out ahead of time. I’ve never been able to work like that. I usually have a starting point and an ending in mind when I begin, but everything between tends to form as I go. Sometimes I have to go back and make corrections to my story so that things actually work out nice and neat in the end, but not very often

 

Thanks to THE Kathryn Lang for the nomination. I shall continue the trend by nominating a few of my fellow authors to carry on. I nominate Robert Krog, Herika Raymer and David Blalock. I do hope they will continue the tradition, as I look forward to seeing their answers to these thought provoking questions.

If you’re interested in seeing some of my written works, or you would like to check out some of my artwork, visit my website at http://www.heavymetalcowboy.com.

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Problems Problems

Recently I came to the conclusion that I had a problem. (Shocking, I know.) My problem is that I am relying solely on my everyday job to generate the income I need to support my family. (Yet another shocking revelation!)  There is nothing wrong with that in and of itself, except for the fact that I don’t want to make a career out of my everyday job.  It’s a good job, don’t get me wrong, and I thank God I have one. A lot of folks out there wish they had a good job.  But since I published my first book in 2009, all I have wanted to do is make my writing career, my main career.  The job that supports me and my family.  I have made great strides in that direction (I now have 2 books published and 2 more soon to be), but I am still not even close to where I want to be.  Thus enters my problem.  I have been treating my writing as a secondary career.  It has taken backseat to my everyday job.  This hinders my ability to move forward with it.  I know I can’t (in good conscious) quit my job and expect to live off of my writing royalties (yet), but I can treat it with the same dedication that I do my everyday job.  I go in, I punch the clock, put my time in, punch out and go home.  So, I’ve come to the conclusion I need to work harder at making my writing work.  It may require me to sacrifice some of my free (haha) time, but it is something I enjoy, so it’s not that big of a sacrifice.