Moneyshots, or That Novel You Always Wanted to Write
Being a writer, one meets other writers. This wasn’t always so, or at least at such a daily frequency. Frankly, until the interwebs thing got going full swing, and I went to NYC in 2005 to the World Horror Con, I oft thought I might be the only one like this. This? Yeah, an author, a writer guy plagued by tales that needed to come out. Sure, I’d had a great deal of interaction with other writers back in the days of, gasp, snail mail…back when an attachment was a LEGO accessory or a device purchased at a lurid bookshop, but I digress. It did surprise me that there were others similar to me, as far as being creative, but I also learned their were quite a few stripes to the rainbow of writerdom, and many of those lines got blurry and were chewed on a little by mice or larger vermin.
I’ve always had many ideas for novels. There are about twenty outlines in my file cabinet now for full fledged books. However, I was surprised to learn that many an author has only a couple novels in them. Other writers can churn out a new one at will, or on any topic, but that’s another blog topic. What I saw was that various labored over a book for years, that this tome was their one passion and they were so afraid of someone reading it that many times, nobody ever got to.
While moderately human, I’ve always been a crap or get off the pot kinda person. Yes, I’ve drug my feet on things, but usually, one has to know when to cut the cord on a work. Some ideas are better than others, but I always had a few really super ones, or at least I thought, and in my mind, I deemed them “moneyshots” to use a porno term, or, the big one, as it were. These were ideas so freaking incredible, sliced bread bows to them. Or at least makes way for the butter.
Why do I bring this up at all? One of those ideas that I wanted to get out before I died, a story I have longed to tell since I was a child is coming out. PHILISTINE: A Story of Goliath. When talking of this work, I oft start saying, “This doesn’t include his death at all and the Hebrews are hardly mentioned.” Jeez, how’d he manage that in such an epic? Read and see. Long enamored with the character of Goliath, and how they said to David, “He is a man of war since his youth,” I felt there existed ample material for a fantasy epic.
I started work on this one near to six years ago after WHC in Salt Lake City, and the first draft owned me. My novels usually clock out at 75-90k tops & I can crank them in a month, but in the end, PHILISTINE sits at 137k words, so many characters and things going on, that it’s truly a magnum opus…and the first draft took half a year. I then set about , every six months or so, of walking through it again. I fell into the thing I oft scoffed at writers for, going over the work, repeatedly, heck, enjoying spending time in that world each time. Was I getting screwier or were they right?
Goliath was more than I bargained for, a real anti-hero on steroids, dark humor, torrid thoughts and bored with the world, sometimes not seeing how many folks might have it in for him. The book seethes with action, violence and lurid characters. I researched the era and this story is the end result of many a dusty volume consumed over my entire life, as well as numerous I pursued while writing it.
So, I think everyone who likes fantasy novels, epic, high, low or off the charts, this one is for you. It’s a long book, but I promise a great deal happens in it. This isn’t an exercise in world building, this is a story, a yarn about a brutal warrior in a time of demons, petty false gods and evil people, bent on their own selfish means…kinda like now. If you, dear reader, judges it as a Moneyshot or perhaps something better, drop me a line.
Give PHILISTINE a read. I promise you’ll want to spend more time in that time, or run screaming to a safe place.
Today is the release day for Blood and Steel : Legends of La Gaul. A short story collection. Fans of Robert E. Howard are sure to enjoy.
Journey into the dangerous and exciting world of Gorias La Gaul in this collection of short stories from highly-acclaimed author Steven Shrewsbury! Volume One includes the tales “Day of Iniquity”, “Ashes of the All-Father”, “Author and Finisher of Our Flesh”, “Insurmountable”, and “Beginning of the Trail” (a prequel story leading into the events found in the novel Overkill).
Fans of authors such as Robert E. Howard are sure to love the adventures of Gorias La Gaul, as he battles all manner of adversaries wielding two blades fashioned from the wings of angels!
Blood and Steel: Legends of La Gaul is Sword and Sorcery as the genre was intended to be!
PHILISTINE coming soon
I’m pleased to announce that my fantasy novel PHILISTINE will be published
this year by SEVENTH STAR PRESS.
This is a novel I’ve always wanted to write and am excited to see it
published at last.
Look for further news on this book, blogs, and new Gorias La Gaul projects
Well THAT novel is done…now what?
Readers learn about writers’ habits from snips from book jackets or movies, that’s what I used to think. I suppose that was before the Internet and major stalking could occur. If the phrase, “I used to wonder what people really thought, then I got FACEBOOK and now, I wish I hadn’t” ought to be commonplace. Not that it’s bad to hear what folks are thinking, it just might make one wonder a bit. However, it can inspire other things to greater heights. More than once I have been asked if I have a ritual I perform after I finish a novel. This was spawned by James Caan in the MISERY film (and the writer in the book) drinking Dom PER-IG-NON and smoking a cigarette after he finished a book.
While many silly fibs could be spun about blood rituals, chocolate baths and midget orgies, all would be more exciting than what usually happens: I do feel an awesome rush, that warm glow of victory and an edgy fear of possible writer’s block on the horizon. There are a few that know exactly what I’m doing and I tell them privately before talking online. I used to buy an expensive cigar and smoke it while I drank too much beer, but not on the day I got it done. It used to be a more secretive thing when I completed a draft or pronounced this one killed, but now I blurt it out on FACEBOOK, then drink some beer. I do like sharing such a thing with friends. Before, who cared but me? My kids think it’s cool. Now, I let the folks know who might buy it that it exists. Sometimes, the novel will fester a long time between drafts, pre readers and my own satisfaction before it is launched into the ether. Still, I tell anyway.
However, what I’m usually doing once a novel is completed is, well, setting my sights on the next novel. I have a couple dozen books in my brain and splayed out in notebooks ready to go, but the muse takes me where it seems to want to go. Perhaps all writers have this going on, but I dunno, really. I fear a few blow their loads on one book and fake it for a few more, but I digress.
In school an English teacher used to joke that a paper needs to “cool off” and then one can work on it again with fresh eyes. Every time I pick up a novel that I’ve not worked on in months I hear his erudite voice saying, “I think it’s cooled off enough.”
Also, I don’t just blog this to say what I might do after a draft is completed, but to tell some writers, one has to know when to say when. I’ve run into writers that can’t quit tweaking or screwing with a manuscript. I’m guilty of that on one epic myself that slumbers in my files. Indeed, writers can be their own worse critics, but my father’s phrase about defecating or getting off the pot comes to mind. One has to move forward, unless one doesn’t have those two-dozen ideas to fall back on. Perhaps not moving on is motivated by a fear of failure or that the idea tree is bereft of leaves and growing only feces on branches.
Now that this blog has descended from post-novel writing rituals into better terms for crap, it’s time to wrap it up. What do I do when I’ve finished a novel or a draft? I start another novel. Will the day ever come when I don’t? Sure. I gotta die sometime.
Wanted everyone to know that Overkill is available for the very first time on the Nook! The price is just $3.99. Here’s the direct link:
Want to win a softcover copy of Thrall? Seventh Star Press is hosting a big giveaway at Goodreads and Thrall is one of the books being offered!