Interviews from the Void: Episode #49 – B. K. Bass

Welcome to the forty-ninth episode of Interviews from the Void, where I interview writers about their writing process, discussing the mechanics and physicality of the craft. In this episode, I’m very excited to be chatting with BK Bass, my friend at Kyanite Publishing. I met Mr. Bass through Benjamin Hope, and they’ve published two of my short stories: THE SCHLIKT and HUMAN. Mr. Bass also shares more writing knowledge in an in-depth interview with our mutual creative friend and photographer, Andrew Hall. Arthur: Tell me about how you came into writing. Are there any experiences you have which inspire your stories? BK: I fell into it at a young age. In fifth grade I started reading Greek mythology, Edgar Allan Poe, Terry Brooks, Tolkien, and others. I fell in love with everything fantasy, mythological, and macabre. Soon, that branched out into science fiction. It wasn’t long before school writing assignments turned into a chance to explore my love of these stories from the other side of the pen, and before you know it, I was writing for fun. I kept practicing for about 25 years, and here I am today! Arthur: Tell me about Kyanite Publishing. I love working with you and your team. How did the idea for the company come about? What were the challenges? What has been the most positive part of the experience for you? BK: Thank you! My partner and I originally got together to do an indie book review site, and in the process[…] [Keep Reading]

The Purpose of Writing

Why do we write? It’s a question we often ask ourselves amidst the struggle of developing a story or writing a novel. Once our writing reaches a stagnation point – when the enjoyment of it becomes work – we stop. During that moment, I ask myself: Why am I writing this? It’s simple to think we will complete a writing project and no one will read it. It won’t have an effect on the world. It is also tempting to think this about anything in life. Why go through the effort? While working on a separate project for my professional career, I came across the following quote: “The English author and essayist Samuel Johnson said, ‘The only aim of writing is to enable the readers better to enjoy life or better to endure it.’ This happens, we think, because great authors lead readers to find or make meaning in their own lives.” I found this quote very powerful the moment I read it. The only aim of writing is to enable the readers better to enjoy life or better to endure it. To return to my original goals, and to further expand upon what I noted about writing in my interview with Andrew Hall, I hope that through my writing, I’m able to equip my readers with a sense of joy through the story; I intend to provide a sense of being which allows them to endure whatever moments they must. This is my purpose for writing. Source: Rosenbach, William[…] [Keep Reading]

“Creating Awesome” with Andrew Hall

I was recently interviewed by my fellow creative friend Andrew Hall – a photographer, entrepreneur and freelancer. His photography is incredible, with several different projects surrounding a potentially apocalyptic future. What’s intriguing about Andrew’s interview series, Creating Awesome, is the depth to which he is able to go with his interviewees. From business futurists to artists and writers, this interview series is a great resource for other creatives looking to connect. Some of my favorite quotes from the interviews: B. K. Bass: “One of my biggest motivations for writing is to leave something worthwhile behind after I’m gone. I want to contribute something to our society, and my writing is how I want to go about doing that.” Ron Gavalik: “A lot of writers don’t realize the power they hold.” Jack Uldrich: “The biggest change is that the rate of change is changing–it’s getting faster!” Wolfgang Muchow: “It’s all about story and character.” Robert Marzullo: “Produce something every day.” Cliff England: “I would rather do it myself and fail, then wait around for months or years for someone to give me permission or approval to do something.” Eric Ninaltowski: “If you’re young, don’t waste time. If you’re old, don’t waste time.” Ron Gavalik: “If you don’t know your truth, put down the pen and live a while. Figure out who you are and what makes you tick.” Liam Wong: “Make sure it will be fun and feasible – something that will keep me on track and that I will still be[…] [Keep Reading]

Starting a Novel

I wrote previously about my 2020 writing goals and my commitment to finishing the fourth draft of my science fiction novel in 2020. As part of that commitment, I intend to blog every two weeks about what I’m learning from the writing process. In this post, I intend to address my struggles with completing the first few chapters. There’s a lot of material required in the first chapter of a novel, and the pressure to fit it all in is causing me to over-analyze and continuously outline instead of write. However, this constant analyzing is causing me to grow anxious because I’m not truly writing. Many writers I previously interviewed discuss the concepts of beginning a novel at length. The first sentence is essential in capturing the reader’s attention. An agent will decide if they will read on based upon the first paragraph. The main characters need to be introduced on the first page. The story world should be clear by the end of the first chapter. Conflict should be established to create forward progression of the story. I find it overwhelming. Without planning and outlining the entire novel before writing, how can I pack all that material into the first few pages? I just want to write! In a recent blog post, Cal Newport discussed how Charles Dickens had “A Christmas Carol” planned out in its entirety prior to writing the book. That’s an impressive feat. While I’ve had the novel’s story world in my head for several years now, I’m[…] [Keep Reading]

Short Story: THE SCHLIKT

Super happy to announce my short story, THE SCHLIKT, was published this month in Kyanite Press’ special Halloween addition. A lot of great writers have their work in this publication, including Benjamin Hope and Eric Lahti. I’ve interviewed both of these great writers and can’t wait to see more of their work. Benjamin’s piece in particular reminded me of M. R. James, one of my personal favorites. A very special thanks needs to be given to B. K. Bass, for putting this all together. In addition, thank you Sam Hendricks for her editing and proofreading work. Thank you so much. And of course, thank you to the writers who contributed their work for the rest of us to read and enjoy. It’s all about the story and the creative minds behind it. [Keep Reading]

Interviews from the Void: Episode #23 – Benjamin Hope

Highlights Performing research to finding the balance between mood, theme, and story. Upholding our writing craft and storytelling methods in the modern world. Deciding on point-of-view (POV) and striking a balance between the character arcs. That’s what’s wonderful about storytelling – there are no boundaries! Welcome to the twenty-third episode of Interviews from the Void, where I interview writers about their writing process, discussing the mechanics and physicality of the craft. In this episode, I chat with writer Benjamin Hope about his approach to writing and his new book, THE PROCUREMENT OF SOULS. Arthur: There are many ways we can identify genre in writing based on the words we use. For example, science fiction might include things like spaceships, planets, warp drives, and protomolecules. Fantasy might include warlocks, alchemy, wyverns and scabbards. You’ve chosen steampunk for PROCUREMENT OF SOULS. How were you able to write the imagery so well to illustrate the steampunk atmosphere and what drew you to write steampunk as opposed to other fiction sub-genres? Benjamin: In terms of developing imagery for the reader, I tried to strike a balance between providing enough detail for the world to be imagined with clarity; and giving space for the reader to co-create the world as they read. I tend to think that overly descriptive passages have a tendency to turn off a reader’s interest, especially in this sort of genre. As such, although I am partial to a metaphor(!) and enjoy the poetry of language, I did a lot of research[…] [Keep Reading]

Interviews from the Void: Episode #18 – Bill Ricardi

Highlights Developing maps and world building for fantasy stories. The importance of a book’s first line and how it is a promise to the reader of what’s to come. Our writing space and setting rules to free ourselves from distraction. I’m a proponent of the short, sharp paragraph. Welcome to the eighteenth episode of Interviews from the Void, where I interview writers about their writing process, discussing the mechanics and physicality of the craft. In this episode, I chat with fantasy writer Bill Ricardi about focus and the importance of writing a books’ first sentences. Arthur: I always love a book that starts out with a map. In ANOTHER STUPID SPELL, how did you develop Panos? How much world-building did you do before (or during) the writing of the book? Bill: Panos had about a month of backstory work before I wrote a single word that appears in the actual book. I started with the major gods, since I knew that they would be pivotal to the story. Then the Orc nations, because that was going to be my character’s main focus. The magic system came next, which is a mix of Kabbalistic principles and gaming tropes. Then the rest of the races, which in turn determined the landscape, the politics, and everything else. Arthur: The first line of ANOTHER STUPID SPELL is: “Me smart orc.” You had me right there. There’s a lot of writing theory about developing a great first line of a book, even beyond that to first[…] [Keep Reading]

Interviews from the Void: Episode #12 – Kristina Mahr

Highlights Pursuing our dreams as writers. The traditional publishing process. The importance of writing weekly short stories to improve our writing craft. This is my dream, and that I am lucky to have the opportunity to pursue it. Welcome to the twelfth episode of Interviews from the Void, where I interview writers about their writing process, discussing the mechanics and physicality of the craft. In this episode, I chat with young adult writer Kristina Mahr about finding more time to write and growing her brand with her first book, ALL THAT WE SEE OR SEEM, coming out on May 15, 2018.    Arthur: Your first book, “All That We See or Seem,” is coming out on May 15. Congratulations on your first book! What a great accomplishment! How did you just decide “I’m going to do this” and push through all the obstacles of writing a book? Kristina: Thank you so much! Honestly, it was years in the making. My New Year’s resolution had been “write a book,” or “try to write a book,” or some variation of that with increasing frustration with myself since college. I would chip away at an adult contemporary novel that lived in my head, but I was very sporadic and inconsistent with my writing time. Until my sister had a dream one night about a girl who falls in love with a boy she meets in her dreams, and I couldn’t shake it. I have been an avid Young Adult reader for years, and[…] [Keep Reading]

Interviews from the Void: Episode #8 – Paul Huxley

Highlights How we learn the writing craft. Starting a publishing company and building a writing business. Writing tools and self-publishing. I believe you learn the craft mostly through osmosis. You have to submerge yourself in the best writing and then let that accumulated knowledge pour out when it’s ready. Welcome to the eighth episode of Interviews from the Void, where I interview writers about their writing process, discussing the mechanics and physicality of the craft. In this episode, I chat with fantasy and weird fiction writer Paul Huxley about developing the craft and how he started his own publishing company. Arthur: You mentioned to me that you’re a part time writer, and your other job is looking after your kids. Are you a stay at home Dad? How do you find time to write being a full-time Dad? During naps? Late at night? Early in the morning? Paul: I do have at least a couple of days a week to myself, those are often taken up with writing commissioned work. That is to say things I’m paid to write whether that be screenplays, ghostwritten novels or simply editing other people’s work. I do try to squeeze in some time to work on my own stuff. Recently I’ve taken to writing on my phone on the fly, which has lead me to produce a lot more short fiction. Arthur: Do you have a daily word count you try to achieve? How do you manage your writing schedule?  Paul: I tend to schedule[…] [Keep Reading]

Interviews from the Void: Episode #7 – Eric Lahti

Highlights How we make time for the things we want to pursue. The type of experiences we are hoping to create for our readers. How listening to people talk helps us write great dialogue. I sincerely believe you make time for the things you want to do.  Welcome to the seventh episode of Interviews from the Void, where I interview writers about their writing process, discussing the mechanics and physicality of the craft. In this episode, I chat with writer Eric Lahti about his writing process, finding more time for the craft and why he writes. Arthur: On your blog, you mention you started writing five years ago. What made you start writing? And what has been the most rewarding experience you’ve taken from your writing experience? Eric: In late 2013, I was watching TV and playing Saints Row for the umpteenth time. Something clicked and I wondered if there wasn’t more out there than just watching things happen. I’d had the idea for Henchmen pinging around in my head for a while at that point (although it was quite a lot different from what that book eventually became) so I cracked open Word and started writing. About six pages in, my wife asked me what I was doing. That was a sheer panic moment – not as bad as handing her those pages to read, I hid in my office while she was reading them. Finishing that book was rewarding in and of itself. Writing a book is a[…] [Keep Reading]