Inspired by the news story headline: ‘mermaid tails emerge from washing machines at a laundromat in LA’ I thought it was perfect for a word prompt.
Let’s see where it takes your imagination.
Inspired by the news story headline: ‘mermaid tails emerge from washing machines at a laundromat in LA’ I thought it was perfect for a word prompt.
Let’s see where it takes your imagination.
Writing definitely energizes me. I get so wrapped up in my writing sometimes that I lose track of time.
My writing Kryptonite is disorganization and procrastination.
No. I like my name. It’s kind of different and I want people to get to know me as a writer under that name.
Jerry Cowling is a published author who has helped me immensely when it comes to editing my books. Archie Scott is another writer. I can bounce ideas off him and he has a wealth of knowledge on many subjects which broadens my horizons.
Each book I’ve written has been in a different genre, so for the most part they stand alone. However, I am planning a sequel to my first book, so there will be a tie-in between the first book and the sequel.
Traveling to Europe, which became the inspiration for my third book.
Having my parents help me write reports when I was in grade school and having them show me how to use my imagination to make the reports more interesting.
“A Prayer for Owen Meany.” It’s not well-known, but it really moved me.
An eagle because they soar high in the sky and symbolize freedom
Having people appreciate and enjoy my work
I haven’t really done any research for any of my books. My first two were based on interviews with people I met. My third book was based on my experiences traveling in Europe.
On the average two-three hours a day.
Only one of my books is fiction. I selected fairly common names that were similar to the names of the actual people I based the characters on.
Since all my books are either non-fiction or fiction based on actual experiences, I really haven’t had any difficult scenes to write because I didn’t have to really imagine the circumstances. They were actual events.
I feel very comfortable writing non-fiction, but I am spreading my wings, so to speak, and branching out into fiction. I like the change of pace that fiction offers – the fact that I can use my imagination, so it’s not difficult to balance the different genres.
Since I was about 10 years old
People and events inspire me, especially people who have overcome odds and accomplished something. Events that have shaped our world also inspire me.
I get up early in the morning and write while I’m fresh and don’t have any distractions.
I’m working on a self-help book and also an historical novel.
Finishing my self-help book and my novel and writing a cookbook.
I don’t have a website, but my Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/Sarah-J-Nachin-Author-273249936028795/
Also here is the link to my books on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=sarah+nachin
Sarah J. Nachin is an author, freelance writer, speaker and blogger. Her most recent book is the “The Odyssey of Clyde the Camel” She has also published two non-fiction works. “Ordinary Heroes, Anecdotes of Veterans”relates stories of men and women who served in the military during five decades of conflict – World War II, Korea, Vietnam, and Desert Storm. “The Long Journey,” co-authored with Felicia McCranie, is an inspiring story of a woman who grew up in the Philippines, immigrated to the United States and overcame almost insurmountable obstacles. Sarah J. Nachin also writes for two weekly newspapers and a chamber of commerce magazines produced by Heron Publishing. She has two blogs. Sarah also works as an editor and proof reader, specializing in working with writers whose native language is not English. She is a public speaker, as well.
It energizes me the same way climbing a small mountain might energize you.
You’re exhausted by the effort but feel good about what you’ve done, so you have enough left in the tank to climb down – and do it over again the next day!
The mid-point of any novel. I always begin novels in a fever of excitement but half-way through I get bogged down and have to work really hard to keep going to the end. I suspect a lot of authors feel the same way.
That would have to be my latest novel Manchester Vice.
I’m very proud of the positive reviews it’s had, including a great video review in “Words on Words” (The Eclectic Storm radio).
Robert Bose and Axel Howerton of Coffin Hop Press have become good friends of mine. Rob edited my novel Manchester Vice and in the process taught me a lot about tightening up a narrative; Axel told me he liked my novel and because he’s a literature graduate that boosted my confidence no end!
I have a writer friend called Martin Mulligan who has a great way with words – he’s helped me get my sentences flowing better, just by being a good influence.
I’d like to build a body of work, but the books aren’t interconnected. There are probably common themes, though. My future critics and reviewers may one day work out what those themes are!
Oh, such a good question! Probably the money I spent on the novel It Happened in Boston? By Russell H Greenan. That was the book most responsible for my decision to write novels myself. It was – is – a great read.
My parents telling me off when I was little; my Dad in particular knew how to scare the hell out of me!
Later I began reading books by the likes of Harlan Ellison and began to get a feel for language from them.
It Happened in Boston? By Russell H Greenan. It’s well-written, well-plotted, has a compelling central character and a cast of wonderful secondary characters.
As a cat-lover it’d have to be a cat. That said, there’s a cat in my novel Manchester Vice which is drugged by its owner. I got a rap on the knuckles from a couple of reviewers for that part of the story!
I always have a few on the go.
Right now I have a finished novella that’s looking for a publisher: I also have a novel that’s about two-thirds written; and two or three half-finished manuscripts I’ll be bringing to completion some time in the future.
I’ll know it when I see it!
But seriously, I want the full enchilada: a substantial body of work, great reviews, and great sales figures.
I seldom do much research because my books are about personal relations so it’s a matter of drawing on experience, twisting it around, and using my imagination to transform it into something new, and, hopefully, entertaining.
I can’t put a figure on it. All I can say is as many as I can, other commitments permitting.
Names are important to me and I try hard to get them right. The old adage about a rose smelling just as sweet by any other name doesn’t seem to apply in fiction. People get a handle on a character through his name – at least in my view – so the name has to be right.
I wrote an attempted rape scene in one book.
I didn’t want it to be pornographic, or gratuitous, and I didn’t want to make the woman on the receiving and appear to be a victim.
Most difficult of all, I wanted women to be able to read it and feel comfortable with it, not see it as some kind of sexploitation scene.
For those reasons, that was the most difficult scene I’ve ever had to write.
I started out by reading sci-fi and horror when I was young. This pretty much doomed me to become a genre-writer with an emphasis on speculative fiction.
I write more than one genre (so far I’ve tried my hand at comedy horror and crime) but all my books could be classed as pulp fiction – or pulp with literary pretensions.
I like to grab the reader’s attention from the opening sentence and keep him or her hooked with cliff-hanger chapter endings and twisting plots right up to the final sentence.
As for how I balance them – pass. It’s instinctive, I guess – just like it was for the pulp writers of old.
As a serious fiction author – about 5 years now.
Anything and everything, particularly people and anecdotes friends tell me. I often think, when somebody tells me a story about themselves, that with the right development it could become a written piece.
I have to be ruthless, mainly with myself, and stop myself from goofing off doing other stuff. That’s my only secret. I think it’s every writer’s secret.
I’m very excited about the novel I’m two-thirds through, which I jokingly refer to as my bestseller. That’s because I’ve researched what kinds of book sell well, and I’m aiming to write one which falls squarely into a bestselling category.
That category is Domestic Noir – ie, a thriller in a domestic setting.
Everything else is taking a back seat at present.
More domestic noir if the current project sells; and a sequel to my psychopath novel.
Thank you Mandy, I will. It’s been great talking to you!
Jack is an English author, who loves genre fiction, particularly thrillers and horror, although he can find just about any genre fun, as long as the story grabs him and doesn’t let his attention go. Jack is not so big on literary fiction but has read the occasional classic.
Jack’s own writing tends to be dark and funny – or so he is told.
His interests are:
Reading (unsurprisingly), Writing (naturally), My own books (sorry!),
Self-promotion (ok, I admit it, I can be a bit of a bore sometimes).
Walking, Strength training with body weight, Strength training with barbells, Fitness,
Judo, Boxing. Jack’s home town is Huddersfield, which is in West Yorkshire, England.
The inspiration for this week’s writing prompt is ‘keys’. Let your imagination take over. What is your story?
I wrote this short story as my mind gazed at the keys above.
Her hand trembled, hesitant to pick up a key. If it were the wrong one, she would be held hostage for another month. Her hand hovered over the tabletop covered in keys. Ever shape and size, old and new, which one would release her?
“Hurry up and take one. I don’t have all day.”
She turned to see him glaring at her the knife in his right hand and the end of the chain in the other. With a silent pray she took one key and gave it to him. He bent down to insert it into the padlock. She willed it to fit with all her might.
There was a click. The padlock sprung open. I’m free? Please let me be free. Is it a trick?
“Well, there’s a surprise, you found the right one.”
He pulled at the chain making her stumble and kneel at his feet. She held her breath waiting for some sort of punishment but he un-linked the chain from the padlock and pulled it away from her ankles.
“Go on then, run.”
Her dazed mind held her still for a moment. He pushed her towards the door. The sunlight was bright, the air fresh. She looked up to see acres of forest before her.
“Find your way and no telling or I’ll bring you back.”
She ran, stumbling over tree roots and rocks. Freedom. She was on her way home. The bullet struck the back of her head. No more fear, no more pain. He dragged the body to the pit and kicked it into the depths.
He would drive eastward tomorrow and pick up another hitchhiker.
I know my mind can be dark but your story will be completely different.
1. Does writing energize or exhaust you?
A bit of both, honestly. I feel energized while I’m actually doing the writing, however if I get into it for any more than about an hour then my brain doesn’t like resetting itself and I spend the rest of a day in an exhaustive haze, as if I’d been napping, and I hate naps!
2. What is your writing Kryptonite?
Time, or the lack thereof. I have very little personal time to write, embrace whatever I can get. I don’t have enough, and what I get can be taken away from me so easily.
3. Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?
I flirt with it from time to time, but only because there’s already a Marc Watson author (who is a really great guy who is a thrill ride engineer from Florida), as well as one who is a British comedian, and another is the Content Lead for everything Minecraft. All industries I’m involved in. Hmm… maybe I do need one. If I did, it would likely be just adding my middle initials or something simple. I like my name.
4. What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
Seeing as I’m relatively new to this world, my list of writer friends is sparse at best. I’ve met a few times with Edmonton horror writer Konn Lavery. I’m currently teamed up with an old friend Patrick Yokan Persaud, who is the lead writer at Hardmode Games.
Konn has been great as he lives nearby and sees a similar world to what I see, books and sales-wise, and Patrick and I grew up together, so if something plays well with him then I know it works for me and the audience I’m trying to reach.
5. Do you want each book to stand alone, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?
Why not both? I’ve written an interconnected universe with my ‘Ryukyu’ series which will start in March with ‘Catching Hell Pt. 1’, plus I have other stories that loosely tie into it such as my debut novel ‘Death Dresses Poorly’ which makes vague references to the ‘Ryuujin’ world, and then I have works in progress like ’12:13’ that completely stand alone. I don’t think there’s any reason why I can’t be known for stand-alone works as well as my epic fantasy world.
6. What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
Certainly the cost of attending my first When Words Collide writer’s conference. I only began taking writing seriously on February 29th, 2016. When WWC hit in August, that was my first exposure to a collection of other writers, agents, and like-minded individuals. The experiences and connections I took away from that weekend still resonate with me today.
7. What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?
My ‘words have power’ moment really didn’t come until I was in my late teens. I’d been an avid reader all of my life up to that point, but in a grade 13 English class (reminder I grew up in Ontario, so that’s not weird) we were assigned ‘The Shipping News’ by E. Annie Proulx. The book remains my favorite of all time. I read that book three times during that few weeks of study.
However, while I was getting my mind transformed by this heartbreaking and utterly beautiful story, many in the class admitted repeatedly to not understanding it, not reading it, and generally not caring about it at all. I was simply baffled because I was so engrossed and moved to the point of tears, and all these other kids my age just let it pass them by. It was there that I saw the real power of words: that they mean different things to different people and they always will.
8. What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?
Well I could say ’The Shipping News’ and I’d stand by it, but it won a Pulitzer Prize so I guess no level of recognition will be enough for me.
So I’d have to say that ‘Wizard and Glass: The Dark Tower 4’ by Stephen King would fit the bill. As a middle part of a monstrously over-arching Dark Tower story, it can be so easily overlooked, but the individual story of a young Roland and his friends encountering the true evil in Roland’s life from that point forward face to face, while also being a beautiful and realistic story of young forbidden love. I just love it. It’s very tight, while offering massive expositional dumps into the mind of such an iconic and enigmatic protagonist.
9. As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?
A great question, and a popular one so I’m ready for it! I really have two, and it completely depends on what I’m working on. For my epic fantasy works, I’m very much a house cat. Lazy, slow, methodical, with random fits and starts of energy when I write the action pieces. When writing something like ‘Death Dresses Poorly’, which I smashed out in a tight six weeks, it’s a squirrel: high-energy, fast paced, with no time to slow down.
10. How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
Too many… I’m sporadic when it comes to my writing, so I have no issues dropping something for another project I want get into. On the up side, I never ever suffer from writer’s block!
My ‘Ryuujin’ stories in various stages of completion number eight. Side stories are another three.
My standalone stories are at two right now, so doing the math I have thirteen actual and legitimate works in progress. Not just ideas on a napkin. I’m talking works with real words on a page.
11. What does literary success look like to you?
Buying my family a dinner from the profits of my works. Since ‘Death Dresses Poorly’ just came out, and ‘Catching Hell Pt. 1’ is still more than a month away, the checks aren’t rolling in yet so I’m not there. Whether it’s a lot or a little, when I take my beautiful wife and kids out for a meal (be it Wendy’s or the best steakhouse in town) I’ll feel complete. The goal will be achieved.
Not very exciting, is it? I like to say I’m the anti-author. I’m not planning my movie trilogies or bigger houses. I don’t have time for that kind of thing. I need to walk the path of reality, and reality says I’m a 38 year old man with responsibilities and a job to do every minute of the day. The day I provide for my family based solely on the profits of my brain musings, how glorious will that be!
12. What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
None! The great thing about being a fantasy writer with a penchant for massive global extinction is that I get to start fresh with ‘facts’ all the time!
In truth, I’ll do a bit when dealing with realistic place like in ‘Death Dresses Poorly’, which takes place in the Seattle area (which I’m admittedly not terribly familiar with). I want to make sure I get place names correct, or travel times between locations. Mundane stuff like that.
13. How many hours a day/week do you write?
Four or five, usually. My lunch hours at work are the extent of most of my writing time, and sometimes I need to use those for things like this! Not that I’m complaining. I’m thankful for the chance, but it’s taken me two lunch hours to answers your questions.
Once I get home, it’s kids kids kids, and I’ve never been good at writing in silence after they go to bed. I’m not complaining. ‘Catching Hell’ was original 225k words, written over lunch hours for a year. Anything is possible with patience, especially if it’s a story you really want to tell.
14. How do you select the names of your characters?
Unlike most authors I speak with, naming things, be it people, places, or things, is one of my favorite things to do! When I was asked to create a huge list of names and places for my work with Hardmode Games, I practically wet myself in joy!
Much of it I simply can’t answer. I find names I like, do an ounce of research to make sure I didn’t inadvertently recreate a famous Nazi death camp general or something, and go from there. Some I’ve known forever like Aryu, one of my protagonists in ‘Catching Hell’, and others I just threw in like Ethan from ‘Death Dresses Poorly’. Fun fact: Ethan originally had my oldest son’s name, but after some conversations with my wife, we agreed we perhaps didn’t want to stigmatize the kid with the same handle as this unenviable character I’d written, so I changed it. I can’t live without Ethan now.
15. What was your hardest scene to write?
Well I’ll avoid spoilers as much as possible, but the ending of ‘Catching Hell Pt. 2’ wins for sure. From the beginning I wanted to write a scene I’d envisioned for as long as I can remember. Something different. Something that discards the fiction clichés and tropes we’re all familiar with, while also making it believable and earned. When the conclusion is reached, the reader says “That’s realistic. That’s what should happen.” I like to think I did that, but only time will tell.
16. Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre? If you write more than one, how do you balance them?
I’m a man awash in fantasy. From a young age I gravitated to fantasy stories and imaginative science fiction. I absolutely have a hyperactive imagination and these genres fill that brain-hole so perfectly.
When I entered into my formative writing years, anime and manga became a huge part of my life. The Japanese were telling stories with such heart and depth and unbridled creativity that I couldn’t help but get wrapped up in them. In the end, the answer to your question is a terribly simple one: I write what I know.
17. How long have you been writing?
Although I like to think I’ve always been creative in my writings, the commitment really took hold when I was 15 and 16 years old. I had this mental vision of a long, epic fantasy story and I just started writing it down with a pen and paper. It consumed me so much that I wrote a trilogy entirely by hand, which became the basis of my ‘Ryuujin’ world. I still have the dent in my finger from the pen to this day. When I pulled my head up from the binders, I’d almost flunked out of high school. After some hard work and creativity, along with the help of a teacher or two that I was lucky to have, I pulled through, but the fuse was lit.
18. What inspires you?
Life. Life is the greatest inspiration of all. I have a favorite saying that I unashamedly admit I came up with: I don’t like good books, I like good stories. The medium is not important. When I look at the struggles of my loved ones, or the triumphs of strangers on the other side of the world, I see so many stories that give me a reason to keep talking. They’re not all victories. There are enough tragedies to remind ourselves that there’s bad with the good, but that’s the cost of living. I see my kids do things that move me to tears with their bravery, so I better get to telling what stories I can in order to help show them the things I’ve seen and how I see them.
19. How do you find or make time to write?
I don’t. I just take the time when I get it. I don’t believe in forcing myself to write by setting daily goals. Challenges like NaNoWriMo are great for some, but for me it can go walk off a cliff. My best writing comes when I don’t pressure myself to actually write. I just need to accept that I may have to go for days or weeks without writing, and I’m ok with that.
20. What projects are you working on at the present?
Right now I’m helping market ‘Death Dresses Poorly ’alongside publisher Fluky Fiction, I’m getting ‘Catching Hell Pt. 1’ ready with its publisher Double Dragon Press for the March launch, and I’m doing a decent amount of writing work with the Hardmode team on their original IP, which is a secret but hopefully you’ll see the results of that work later this year.
21. What do your plans for future projects include?
Well the biggest one is ‘Catching Hell Pt. 2’, since just having the first part of a duology is no fun for anyone. It’s a finished work (I wrote it all at one time, but it was too big so I had to split it up) but it hasn’t been edited and prepped to my liking, so I want to get that done and hopefully find it a home before people forget my name.
Marc is the author of genre fiction (primarily Fantasy and Science Fiction of all lengths). He began writing at the age of 15 with a pen and paper, and never really stopped, even though until recently it was more of a background to him than my defining trait. He has been published on flash fiction site www.101words.org, as well as comedy site www.thecorrectness.com. Marc has been a student of the excellent writing classes at Athabasca University for a number of years.
He lives in Calgary, Alberta, and was spawned out of the depths of Southern Ontario. Marc is a husband, proud father of two, and can be sometimes found at an actual job. An avid outdoors-man, martial artist of some high repute, baseball player of very little repute, and lover of all Mexican foods. One day ‘World Famous Poutine Aficionado’ will be on his business cards.
You can also find Marc on Facebook at www.facebook.com/marcwroteabook, and on twitter at @writewatson. For public appearances and interviews, he is proudly represented by Creative Edge Publicity.