Guest Post

Jimmy Gillentine guest post

Author Jimmy Gillentine guest posts and more reasons to check out the Literary Underworld.

 

Part of a Writing Family

By Jimmy D. Gillentine
 

I started writing a few years ago just for fun. But one day a story got into my head, a story of love, blood, and horror. It was a story that would not go away no matter how hard I tried to forget it. It became Of Blood and the Moon, my first novella.

A lot of people were shocked that I, as a guy, would write a story about love and romance. I remember the looks I would get at book signings when I told them my book was a horror/love story. “Why not write something with more action and blood and guts?” I was asked.

I had to laugh at that. They hadn’t read my book yet. Of Blood and the Moon has plenty of blood and guts to it. I did my best to combine love and horror in my first book. And considering that it was the first runner-up for the Darrell Award in Memphis, I think I did a decent job of it.

I will say that it was hard being a writer with a new book out and not knowing much about the business. I had never been to a sci-fi convention until my book was up for the Darrell Award. A old friend of mine told me about something called the Literary Underworld and said I should join it. I never heard of it before and was interested in whatever could help me in this new world into which I was stepping.

The Literary Underworld is a author cooperative that was started by Elizabeth Donald. The LU sells books from several different writers, both online and at the many different conventions to which it travels. It was started to bring writers together and help promote their work and the work of the other writers in the group.

Being a part of the LU has helped me as a writer in so many ways.  It has gotten my books to places I couldn’t have reached by myself. Being sold online through the LU webstore and being displayed at cons has gotten my work into the hands of people that might never have even heard of me.

But the main reason why I like the LU is the friendship I have formed with my fellow writers in the group. It feels good to be at a con and to talk to a fellow Underlord (our little title for ourselves) about writing, the nature of the business, or how much fun the cons can be. I feel as though the Literary Underworld is a family of sorts. A little bit crazy at times, but still a family of very talented and special people that I am proud to call my fellow Underlords.

The biggest reason why I love the Literary Underworld is because I met the very beautiful Elizabeth Donald. I have the honor of being in love with her and we are getting married in 2014. So the LU really changed my life for the better, to say the least.

Check out LiteraryUnderworld.com for my newest work, A Night at Death’s Door. It’s a new direction for me, as I try to take a bite out of vampires with a dash of laughs just for the fun of it. You can also check out my website at www.jimmygillentine.com for the latest news about me.

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D.A. Adams Guest Post

Following the Voices: Why We Write

 

I’ve been involved with writing for all of my adult life.  From training manuals to brochures to website content to novels, I’ve written on some level for 20+ years.  I’ve also taught writing at the collegiate level for 14 years.  The pay is crap, the hours long, and the work tedious.  Anyone with the delusion that writing is a glamorous profession should follow a writer for a few weeks and see the grind that is holding down a full-time job while trying to create quality prose.  A miniscule minority of writers earn a living from their work, and even those who do often toiled for years in obscurity before breaking through.

 

So if writing is so difficult, the obvious question becomes, “Why the hell do so many of us do it?”

 

The answer is simple.  Virtually every single writer I’ve ever met, regardless of style or medium (prose, verse, screen) writes because they must.  The voices demand they must.  To non-writers, that may sound like madness, but those of us who’ve heard the voices know that those characters in our heads are as real as any person, rock, or tree in this world.  They haunt, pester, and harass us until we tell their stories.  They come at odd hours and inopportune times, whispering fragments of their tales and interrupting us until we sit down and write.

 

To outsiders, this often makes us seem odd, eccentric, and mysterious, but really we’re no different from others.  We just happen to sit alone for hours and have conversations with individuals no one else can see or hear.  Okay, I admit, it sounds a little strange, but other writers know what I’m talking about.  Just as most musicians hear music others can’t, writers hear their characters and are compelled to tell the stories.  When it’s flowing and the characters are all chattering away, the best thing the writer can do is get out of the way and let the voices speak.  When writers try to force or change the story, the characters will protest until it’s fixed.  As Ray Bradbury once advised, the worst thing a writer can do is think.  Thought is the antithesis of creativity.

 

Along with the voices, most writers I know have a passion for symbolic language.  This passion drives us to learn more about our craft, to hone our skills, to study those who came before us, and to polish our work until we’re tired of looking at it.  While creativity and creation require us to step aside and let the voices speak, editing demands attention to detail.  It’s monotonous work that takes hours and hours of dedication, which is why it takes passion on the writer’s part.  The passion for language drives writers to polish and tweak until the story is as good as we can make it.

 

Additionally, most writers are naturally curious about the world around us.  We rarely are satisfied with superficial knowledge of a subject.  The more we learn, the more we ask why, and we absorb information with an insatiable appetite.  This curiosity is innate to nearly every writer I’ve ever known, and while it may manifest itself in different forms, such as 19th century technology or cutting edge hard science or medieval metallurgy, most writers will study their subjects for hours to ensure they get the minutia right.

 

I’ve been fortunate to be associated with The Literary Underworld for several years now, and two common threads that connect everyone I know who’s a part of this consortium of independent authors are that we all have a passion for language and curiosity about the world.  Over the years, we’ve had wonderful discussions, during con weekends and online, about subjects ranging from sports to human rights.  I’m proud to be associated with so many talented authors, people who I consider part of my extended family.  If you’re looking for good books written by people who care about their craft, look no further than TLU.  From Horror to Hard Science Fiction to High Fantasy to Sword and Sorcery, TLU has something for everyone who loves to read, and when you support TLU, you are directly supporting independent authors.  Please, stop by the Literary Underworld today at http://www.literaryunderworld.com/ and check it out the selection. Use this code to receive a special discount for a limited time:

LUBLOGTOUR

D.A. Adams is author of the fantasy series The Brotherhood of Dwarves.  You can follow his madness at daadams.com