Review: Takers 3: Bloodlines by Chris Davis

We were pleased to learn that Kel was returning and that he’s as stubborn and anguished as ever. To recap, Los Angeles is plagued by humanoid creatures called Takers, which are like vampires only many levels worse. These emotionless monsters suck souls as well as blood, and they can create half-human offspring which must feed on a smorgasbord of blood, souls and human food to stay alive. Continue reading

Interview: Nicky Peacock – author of Bad Blood

Nicky Peacock, Author of Bad Blood

Nicky Peacock, Author of Bad Blood

Nicky Peacock is a British author living in the UK and has had short stories published/ being published in five countries: UK, USA, Canada, Ireland and Australia. She writes horror, paranormal romance and supernatural YA fiction. She’s also dabbled in Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Paranormal Noir, Urban Fantasy and Dystopia. Most of her work is available through Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk. She runs a local writers’ group called Creative Minds  and you can get in touch with her through the website or on her facebook page and also on Library Thing  and Twitter. Her first sole author book ‘Bad Blood’ is available through Noble & Young and is reviewed on the Haunted Eyeball here. She’s a proud member of the UK’s Society of Authors. Catch up with Nicky and her work on her Blog

Continue reading

Special post – Takers 3 out on Monday!

TAKERS3 - cover page

Brand New Cover Art for Takers 3 by Haunted Eyeball regular, Author Chris Davis

We’ll have more info soon, but very excited to report that Part 3 of the award winning Takers will be out to buy on Monday 20th June 2013. The Eyeball has just received this lovely preview image of the cover from Plotfish Press and we can’t wait to get our yellowed little Eyeball teeth into it. (Yes, Eyeballs have teeth…this one does anyway).

The Haunted Eyeball has covered this vampire franchise before and interviewed its Author Chris Davis here, here and here!

Takers part 1 will be free on amazon UK and amazon.com on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday (June 17th-19th 2013). Continue reading

Author Interview: James Pratt (Part 3 of 3)

Black Scarab picture, James Pratt,

Meet James Pratt (disguised as The Black Scarab)

Welcome to the final part of the Haunted Eyeball’s interview with horror author James Pratt. Today we discuss Inspiration & Publicity.

Part 1: Writing Process

Part 2: Inspiration and Publicity

Part 3: Lovecraft and Horror! – TODAY

James Pratt likes to create realistically flawed but basically decent characters and have them cross paths with serial killer angels, redneck vampires, slithering horrors from other dimensions, and the end of the world. He also likes to write stories that demonstrate how the ever-present darkness threatening to wash over the world like a wave of endless night can be held back with a little courage and a big shotgun (assuming one hasn’t already used both barrels, of course). Some take place in the distant past, others in the far future, and still others somewhere between eight minutes ago and twelve minutes from now. Whether sci-fi, adventure, or straight-out horror, the running theme is that the universe is very, very big and we are very, very small.

His books are available on both Smashwords or on Amazon. You can also follow James on Goodreads and Twitter.

Lovecraft and horror! 

Haunted Eyeball: What’s the first H P Lovecraft story you remember reading?

James Pratt: The Shadow Out of Time. I found it confusingly fascinating.

What drew you to Lovecraft? Why are you still a fan?

I was drawn to Lovecraft by the vast scope of his imagination and ability to convey an absolute sense of cosmic wonder and dread. I now read his works with a more mature and critical eye, but I’m still a humongous fan. His contribution to modern horror is undeniable and the sheer ambition of his stories has yet to be matched.

What do you most enjoy about mixing up genres and mixing in Lovecraft and horror?

I like the idea that the Cthulhu mythos has always been there, subtly infiltrating and influencing history and providing the foundation upon which many myths are legends were unknowingly built. The desolation of the mythic Wild West is a perfect setting for Lovecraftian horror. And the mythos’s fluid nature and resistance to continuity makes it extremely flexible for use in unconventional settings and genres far removed from traditional horror, like say for instance Winnie the Pooh’s Hundred Acre Wood. Not that anyone would be sick enough to write a Lovecraftian Winnie the Pooh story, of course.

How do you feel about ‘torture porn’ and other labels ascribed to modern horror films and books?

Unfortunately, in many cases it’s an accurate label. Personally, I find horrors movies that are essentially pretend snuff films extremely boring. I like monsters and supernatural weirdness, not women being raped with chainsaws. Being explicit for its own sake isn’t the same as pushing the envelope. That being said, I have to admit I was fascinated by the wonderful grotesqueness of Clive Barker’s Books of Blood.

What’s the last horror film or book you read or watched?

I’m ashamed to answer this one. I think it was ‘The Convent’, a movie about demonic nuns. It was pretty cheesy, but on the plus side Adrienne Barbeau was in it.

Horror writers can get jaded! What film or book (or picture!) last really scared you?

I found the first ‘Paranormal Activity’ movie genuinely creepy. ‘Insidious’ also had its moments. I loved the demon. And I can still watch ‘The Exorcist’ and feel a bit uneasy. I really wish it was possible to ‘delete’ experiences so you could see a film or read a book for the first time over and over again.

Do you have a survival plan for the end of the world? Which end of world scenario – zombies, bunny overcrowding, owl infestation, would you rather end up facing?

I’ve mapped out which neighbors would be easiest to handle in case I have to resort to cannibalism. My favorite end of the world scenario would of course be the return of the Old Ones. I won’t have to face it though. As a worshipper of Cthulhu, I’ll have the honor of being eaten first.

Which character you’ve created is your favourite (so far)?

I really like my version of Elvis in ‘Cthelvis’ but he’s based on an actual person and to be honest it didn’t take much work to turn the real thing into a wonderfully weird character. If I had to pick one, it would probably be Horton the rockabilly vampire from ‘Horton Hits a Ho’, closely followed by the brothers Sanjay and Umesh from ‘Incident at the 24-7’.

Are vampires losing their bite? (y’know…Twilight…) or is more variety a good thing?

As fictional creatures, vampires can be whatever a given writer wants them to be. That said, I HATE what vampires have become. Dracula wasn’t a love story, it was about ego and obsession. And what happens when you piss off Vengeful God (as opposed to Loving God). When the monster becomes the cool kid, he’s no longer the monster. Or maybe he’s just a different sort of monster, and definitely not the kind you want to root for. To me, Christopher Lee’s Dracula was the quintessential vampire. He wasn’t a hopeless romantic trapped in an immortal body but a monster whose human appearance was just a disguise. Vampires are supernatural parasites. They can’t give, they can only take. But that’s just my opinion. If somebody can make a living writing schlocky romance stories about star-crossed (undead) lovers, more power to them.

The future!

What are you currently working on (scary, I know)?

Trying to finish a fantasy novel with Lovecraftian overtones, sort of a cross between The Lord of the Rings and The Shadow Out of Time.

Are there any other writers you’d like to work with?

Yeah, but they’re all dead. I’m sure there are plenty of writers out there, indie or otherwise, that I would love to collaborate with but like I said, I haven’t even begun to tap the full potential of social media and connect with any of them. I’ve got to get my act together.

And finally…

 Any message you’d like to give to the lovely readers of the Eyeball?

If you wish there were more non-conventional books and films out there, then support what you like. YOU determine the market, not the other way around. If you want to make a living doing something creative, don’t wait for the world to come knocking at your door. Go out and create.

Thank you for reading this interview with the wonderful James Pratt, you awesome Eyeballers.

Don’t forget, all of James’ books are available right now at Smashwords, Amazon and check him out over on Goodreads and Twitter.

Also of interest:

Part 1 of this interview.

Part 2 of this interview.

James Pratt’s work has already been reviewed right here on the Haunted Eyeball!

5 Stories That Bite by James Pratt

When Dead Gods Dream by James Pratt

Other Author interviews:

A recent Eyeball Interview with urban horror writer Chris Davis

Author Interview: James Pratt (Part 2 of 3)

Black Scarab picture, James Pratt,

Meet James Pratt (disguised as The Black Scarab)

Welcome to the second part of the Haunted Eyeball’s interview with horror author James Pratt. Today we discuss Inspiration & Publicity.

Part 1: Writing Process

Part 2: Inspiration and Publicity

Part 3: Lovecraft and Horror! 

James Pratt likes to create realistically flawed but basically decent characters and have them cross paths with serial killer angels, redneck vampires, slithering horrors from other dimensions, and the end of the world. He also likes to write stories that demonstrate how the ever-present darkness threatening to wash over the world like a wave of endless night can be held back with a little courage and a big shotgun (assuming one hasn’t already used both barrels, of course). Some take place in the distant past, others in the far future, and still others somewhere between eight minutes ago and twelve minutes from now. Whether sci-fi, adventure, or straight-out horror, the running theme is that the universe is very, very big and we are very, very small.

All of James’ books are available right now at SmashwordsAmazon and check him out over on Goodreads and Twitter.

Inspiration & Publicity 

Haunted Eyeball: Who were your favourite author(s) while you were growing up?

James Pratt: That’s a tough one. When I was younger, I didn’t make a point to read any one author. I did discover  Kurt Vonnegut,  Stephen King, and Roger Zelazny in high school. If someone had told me I could only read the works of one of them back then, I probably would have chosen Stephen King because he gave me my first real taste of modern horror.

Favourite author now?

It would be a toss-up between Kurt Vonnegut and H.P. Lovecraft.

Does any art or artist inspire you to write?

Not consciously. I do like the creepy, haunted house vibe of Berni Wrightson’s work though, and the desolate, end of the world quality of Brom’s illustrations.

Any favourite comic books and writers and artists?

Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman, Berni Wrightson, and Mike Ploog off the top of my head. I really liked Grant Morrison’s run on ‘Animal Man’, and Garth Ennis’s ‘Preacher’ was pretty entertaining.

Do any TV shows or films inspire you?

Everything science fiction, fantasy, and horror TV show and movie I’ve ever seen has contributed in some way to every story I’ve ever written. I was a big fan of the gritty sci-fi of the tragically short-lived TV show ‘Space: Above and Beyond’. That’s the only one that readily comes to mind.

 Publicity

 How do you think social media has helped ‘indie’ writers?

Social media is a great way to market yourself and if you do a good enough job, you can write the stories you want to write and make a living doing something you love on your own terms.

Which ‘social media tools’ do you think connects you most successfully with fans? I.e. from Twitter to Goodreads and Facebook, blogs etc.

I’m not sure. I haven’t done a very good job of using their full potential. Twitter has put me in contact (more or less) with the largest number of people in the shortest amount of time, but I’m not sure just how effective it’s actually been. Each of my tweets is just one among millions.

Explain a bit about your ID picture. Why have you chosen an illustration over a photo of yourself?

My ID picture is the Black Scarab, a pulp superhero-style character from a story I wrote called The Black Scarab in “The Sad, Strange Fate of Evil Eye”. I used that because I think it’s a cool illustration plus I believe that when you get your picture taken the camera can steal your soul. (We think he’s joking… – H.E.)

How do you pick your book cover designs?

A good cover is important, but the amount of thought and effort I put in really depends on how motivated I’m feeling at the time. If the story features a visually striking character there’s a good chance he’ll make it on the cover, otherwise it’s probably going to be just text. I use a program called HeroMachine to create the covers. It’s pretty versatile but primarily for illustrating characters so when designing a cover, its limitations are also a consideration.

How seriously do you take reviews, be they good bad or indifferent!

Pretty serious. I have low self-esteem so I crave validation. Ironically, when someone gives me a good review, I assume they’re just being generous. On the other end of the spectrum, somebody gave all the free stories I had listed on the Barnes and Noble website one star so I had the stories removed. Childish, I know, but if you just want to bash me you should have to pay me first. I also tend to view indifference as a polite way of saying “I didn’t care for it.” I’m a big baby.

Sounds like a reasonable response to us, James. 

Thank you for reading Part 2, you awesome Eyeballers.

Part 3 of this interview, where James discusses H P Lovecraft and Horror, is coming up tomorrow!

Don’t forget, all of James’ books are available right now at SmashwordsAmazon and check him out over on Goodreads and Twitter.

Also of interest:

Part 1 of this interview.

Part 3 of this interview

James Pratt’s work has already been reviewed right here on the Haunted Eyeball!

5 Stories That Bite by James Pratt

When Dead Gods Dream by James Pratt

Other Author interviews:

A recent Eyeball Interview with urban horror writer Chris Davis

Author Interview: James Pratt (Part 1 of 3)

Black Scarab picture, James Pratt,

Meet James Pratt (disguised as The Black Scarab)

Today I am very excited to introduce another horror author who’s agreed to be interviewed here on my Haunted Eyeball.  James Pratt writes horror fiction and his work gives an interesting and skewed view on familiar genre conventions. He also has a knack for bringing an otherworldly twist to some treasured childhood memories.

Part 1: Writing Process

Part 2: Inspiration 

Part 3: Lovecraft and horror! 

James Pratt likes to create realistically flawed but basically decent characters and have them cross paths with serial killer angels, redneck vampires, slithering horrors from other dimensions, and the end of the world. He also likes to write stories that demonstrate how the ever-present darkness threatening to wash over the world like a wave of endless night can be held back with a little courage and a big shotgun (assuming one hasn’t already used both barrels, of course). Some take place in the distant past, others in the far future, and still others somewhere between eight minutes ago and twelve minutes from now. Whether sci-fi, adventure, or straight-out horror, the running theme is that the universe is very, very big and we are very, very small.

All of James’ books are available right now at SmashwordsAmazon and check him out over on Goodreads and Twitter.

Part 1: Writing process

Haunted Eyeball: Hi James and welcome to the Haunted Eyeball. When did you first start writing?

James Pratt: As far back as I can remember I’ve always had ideas for stories and characters, but I didn’t try writing full-fledged stories on a regular basis until I turned 40. Maybe it was a midlife crisis kind of thing.

Do you have a writing routine? How do you fit it in with the day job, etc?

No routine. I just try to write at least a little bit every day, the goal being 1,000 words before bed. Between work and kids I usually only have a couple of free hours each night. If I haven’t started by 10 p.m. on a given night, chances are I’m not going to get any writing done.

Do you listen to music while you work?

Occasionally. It does seem to help so I should probably make a habit of it.

Where’s your favourite place to write?

Anywhere that’s relatively quiet where I can stretch my legs and get comfortable.

Does Writer’s block ever hit? How do you deal with it?

I’ve been hit by writer’s block so many times I have a concussion. That’s why it’s important to take advantage of those rare moments when the creative juices are really flowing. One thing I’ve found that helps when things are going slow is switching from laptop to a plain old notebook. That way I’m less tempted to obsess over every sentence and instead just write down whatever pops into my head. Even when I’m running on empty there’s still plenty of editing and revising to be done. And I’ve found that “sleeping on it” actually works pretty well. I’ve gone to bed plenty of times wondering how to finish a scene and woken up the next morning with a perfect ending. All I had to do was let my subconscious work it out.

Is there anything you wouldn’t consider writing about, such as genre type, political issues, sexuality etc, and why?

I would only write about the things that interest me, and those things happen to be monsters, doomsday scenarios, and alien demon-gods. That said, even though a story might have a fantastic setting or supernatural overtones, it can still contain a moral, make reference to classic literary themes (religion, philosophy, etc.), and act as a metaphor for the tragic comedy that is the human condition. I just find those topics more interesting within an unconventional framework. I don’t have a problem with more conventional topics like politics or sexuality, I’m just not interested in writing about them.

 How long do you allow for research? Is research overrated?

 No matter what the genre, I’ve found research extremely helpful. When I write a sci-fi tale, I want it to be at least partially based on real world science or at least speculative science. That means reading up on what physicists have to say about the actual possibility of time travel, teleportation, parallel universes, and other staples of science fiction. And even when I’m writing a weird western or fantasy tale, I still want the non-fantastic elements to be as accurate as possible. And since I don’t know anything about guns, siege weapons, or medieval architecture, those types of stories also require a fair amount of research. There’s no such thing as too much research.

Whose writing advice do you really listen to?

Anyone and everyone. You can learn something from everybody, even if the lesson is what NOT to do.

Are there any books on writing and creativity that you’d recommend?

Writing Fiction: A Guide to Narrative Craft by Janet Burroway and Elizabeth Stuckey-French.

What’s your golden rule of writing? Any tips for new writers?

Characters are the most important part of the story and also the hardest part to pull off. No matter how intricate your fantasy world or alien civilization, it’s only as interesting as the characters that populate it. Characters are how you generate an emotional investment in the story, or lack thereof. And you can’t make a character interesting through simple exposition (ex: “Handsome yet tragic, cynical yet romantic, he was a vampire haunted by his past.”). You have to show the reader why that character is interesting. Demonstrating what a character is feeling is much more powerful than simply letting the reader peer into the character’s mind. For example, having a character smash a chair against a wall is much more effective than simply saying “He was really mad.”

Before you write, read. A lot. And read outside your favorite genre(s). Sure, The Great Gatsby doesn’t contain any robots or ninjas (unless they were REALLY good ninjas), but it’s a powerful work by a master of the craft. Take the lessons taught by the classics and put them to work in the genre of your choice.

What’s the best/worst advice you ever had?

BEST:

“Amateurs copy, geniuses steal”. -Anonymous

“Start as close to the end as possible.” –Kurt Vonnegut

 WORST:

“That shirt looks really good on you.” –The girl at The Gap

Thank you, James. Part 2 of this interview, about Inspiration, is coming up tomorrow!

Don’t forget, all of James’ books are available right now at SmashwordsAmazon and check him out over on Goodreads and Twitter.

Also of interest:

Part 2 of this interview

Part 3 of this interview

James Pratt’s work has already been reviewed right here on the Haunted Eyeball!

5 Stories That Bite by James Pratt

When Dead Gods Dream by James Pratt

Other Author interviews:

A recent Eyeball Interview with urban horror writer Chris Davis

Author Interview: Chris Davis – writer of ‘Takers’ (Part one of three)

Greetings, Eyeballers. Yes, that’s what you’re called now. I am extremely happy to present an exclusive interview with published author Chris Davis, who released an awesome vampire novel called ‘Takers’ last year has a sequel to it coming very soon.

This interview is being released in three parts.

Starting Monday 5th March: Writing Process

Parts Two and Three please follow links.

Takers Author Chris Davis, vampires, blood, Kel, Interview, writers, Hawaii-Five-Oh

Author of "Takers" Chris Davis

Chris Davis resides in Memphis, Tennessee with her cat, Ramses. She has a Master of Science degree in Project Management and is a novelist, aspiring screenwriter and currently stretches her journalism muscle working for Hawaii Five-0 Online. Chris’s first published novel, a bloody twist on traditional vampires called “Takers,” is now available on Amazon and Smashwords and her personal blog can be found here.

Today, Chris shares her opinions about the creative process and explains what drives her to write:

H.E: Welcome to my Haunted Eyeball, Chris! So, when did you first start writing?

C.D. I’ve been writing since I was a pre-teen. I’ll go out on a limb and say I was maybe about ten years old when I first put pencil to notebook paper, back in the dinosaur days when we actually had to write longhand.

Do you have a writing routine? How do you fit it in with the day job, etc?

I can’t say I have a routine, per se. Unlike many writers, I don’t do the thing where I say, “Between the hours of X and Y I’m working on Project #1 and then I’m doing this and then I’m doing that.” My schedule in terms of day job doesn’t keep me from writing when inspiration hits, which is very lucky for me. Instead, I have enough writing projects going at any given time that if I open up one document and don’t feel it flowing; I simply go to another project until I find the thing that feels like I should be working on it. I very much let the Universe flow in, around and through me and guide me to what I should be working on, what’s the right thing to be doing in that moment, rather than trying to force square pegs into round holes.

How do you start writing? Do you listen to music?

Funny you should ask me this question, because it occurred to me a few weeks ago that when I really started hitting the ground running in terms of producing profusely (around a decade ago), I always had to have music playing, whether via headphones or stereo. These days, I find that sometimes it helps to be playing my music, but other times I write like gangbusters in complete silence. Still others, you’ll find me able to produce multiple chapters of a book with so much noise occurring around me you wonder how I can think. Again, I go back to the fact that I just allow things to happen as they’re meant to, and if that means I’m supposed to write four chapters of my next novel today, then a twister could be spiriting me off to Oz and I wouldn’t be aware of it until those chapters were complete!

Where’s your favourite place to write?

I find that I’m most productive sitting at a desk, whether it be in a corporate workplace type of environment or my own home office. I have successfully written sitting up in bed, but for the most part I guess me being seated at a desk tells my brain “time to work,” and so that’s usually how I do it.

Does Writer’s block ever hit? How do you deal with it?

Absolutely. But I always know it will pass. I’ll go back to how it is I work: if something isn’t flowing in that moment that I think I should be doing it, I close it and come back to it. Generally speaking it always works out so that I’m not missing deadlines or getting something done too late. If I planned to write something for a writing challenge, and it’s simply not coming and becomes clear it’s not going to happen, I take that as a sign that it wasn’t meant to be written and I either see about writing something else for that challenge, or simply don’t enter it. There have been times when I’ve tried to force myself through a block moment, but I find that when I do that, what I produce is crap, so it’s literally not worth it for me to do it. If it’s meant to be then it happens, is how I live, while at the same time doing everything in my power to keep up my end of the bargain – which is to keep writing, no matter what it is that’s getting written!

Is there anything you wouldn’t consider writing about, and why? 

I have never been fond of politics in any way, shape or form. It’s simply a subject which holds no interest for me. Admittedly, my interests are skewed much more toward what you might term the supernatural, or fantasy worlds, but over the past year I’ve challenged myself to write in more “realistic” arenas as well, so that I have to practice abiding by the laws of what’s accepted as “real life,” instead of skirting around them by writing in arenas where I can make up my own laws and rules. Hence my screenplay “Fractured,” which I’m intending to enter into the Nicholl Fellowship competition. “Fractured” is about as far away from my ‘normal’ fare as you can get. It’s much more the real life independent film sort of thing, whereas my novel “Takers” (urban fantasy) and my first screenplay, “The Healer” (supernatural) are worlds where I made up my own rules. To get back to your original question, however, I think that other than not wanting to write something with too much political content, I’m pretty open to anything from G-rated fare all the way to stuff that would curl your grandmother’s hair, on any topic.

How long do you allow for research?

I have to make a confession here: the majority of the time I research as I write. Now, I know I have to have some modicum of understanding of my subject matter prior to coming up with a story outline or diagram, but more often than not I’ve already got that hammered out in my own mind because it’s just there. However, in a recent story I wrote, which focused on two men climbing Denali (Mt. McKinley) in Alaska, I had to do lots of research prior to even starting the story, because I haven’t got a clue about mountain climbing! By and large, though, as I’m going along writing, when I hit something where I say, “I don’t know this,” that’s when I stop and research for as long as I need to until I’m confident I’m writing with some authority, and then just keep going. It’s sort of a pay-as-you-go feel rather than spending weeks doing research and taking notes and then writing the story. For me, that’s far too mind-numbing. I need to be “Action, now, do, write!”

Whose writing advice do you really listen to?

My friend, editor and publisher, Jaimi Sorrell, who runs Plotfish Press. While I do listen to the opinions of a handful of others, for the most part she’s the one whose word I trust implicitly (though I’ve been known to fight her on stuff now and again). She’s been working with me for…holy cow, I think it’s been something like eight or nine years now? Over that period of time you develop a mutual trust and respect, and you see that when you put something into practice, it either does or doesn’t work for you. Nothing I write professionally gets out the door until she’s satisfied with it, whether novel or screenplay, because as she always says, “If you can get it by me, you can get it by anyone,” and I think that’s true!

Are there any books on writing and creativity that you’d recommend?

Okay, another confession for you: I don’t read about writing and being creative; I do it.

For me, the best way to learn and grow as a writer is to actually keep writing, keep putting your stuff out there, keep asking for feedback, and then incorporating what you get. The two hours I spend reading a book someone’s written telling me how to get characterization right, I could’ve produced two or three chapters of my own book, which I find much more productive than reading someone else’s opinion about how I can improve. I commend people who can quote “helpful” books left, right and center, really, I do. But for me, personally (and this is no judgment of anyone else), reading about being creative or reading about writing is a waste of my time, because it means I’m not actually writing.

The thing I think lots of people don’t quite get is that writing is very, very personal to each individual writer. What works for Joe Cool in his four hundred-page book about how to plot out your novel before you write it, may be more painful than being skewered and raked over hot coals for someone like me.

Can I tell other people how I do what I do? Not really, because I am blessed in that it just sort of…happens. It makes me think of all those books people write about how male/female relationships work and how to be successful at them. I’m sorry, but blanket statements drive me bananas. Telling me that “all men think this way” or “this is how all women feel” is such a load of you-know-what because it is empirically impossible for every single man in existence to think precisely the same way about Subject X. Similarly, if a writer has found something that’s made writing an easier or more fulfilling experience for him, that’s wonderful and I’m very happy for him! However, that doesn’t mean that what he talks about will necessarily have any bearing on what I do, will work for me even if I try it, or is going to be of any use to anyone other than him.

I find my own path, and if it’s not there I keep whacking at the undergrowth until I’ve made one.

Your golden rule of writing? Tips for new writers?

Write every day. I don’t care if it’s 100 words on what your water bottle looks like or the next bestseller. I don’t care if it’s fan fiction, biographical, a TV series script, a feature-length screenplay, a book, a short story, a poem or song lyrics. Write something every. Single. Day. Period.

For new writers, I’ll put it to you this way: anyone can read all the books they want about surfing. About how to catch a wave. How to stand on the board. How to balance. What to do when you wipe out in a barrel. They can learn what the backdoor is, how to carve and how to make a cutback. In theory.

But until that wannabe surfer picks up a board, paddles out into the ocean and takes the drop, do you think they’re going to actually be able to stay upright and mimic the lifelong surfers you see in almost every opening scene of Hawaii Five-0 just because they read a book? Of course not! Reading about it does not equate doing it. Actually writing is exercising your brain the same way lifting weights is exercising your biceps.

So I’ll say it again. My golden rule, my tip: Write every day.

To be continued….

Hope to see you Eyeballers here again tomorrow, when Chris discusses Inspiration and the challenges of Publicity for ebook authors