While I try to allocate a bit of time everyday to writing, it never works out that way. Inevitably, I get tied up on a phone call or with another project and my writing has to take a back seat. But, that doesn’t mean that the day passes without my giving some consideration to the book I’m currently working on or some idea I have for a future book. It’s amazing how many ideas I come up with on the treadmill! When I do have time to write, I find that sometimes I’m in the mood and sometimes I’m not in the mood. If I’m not feeling it, it’s a total waste of time to sit at the computer and try to force it. If I’m in the right mindset and feel the inspiration to write, I’ll use the time I’ve allocated and oftentimes more time than I’ve allocated. It’s tough to stop when you have the creative juices flowing and you’re on a roll with what you’re working on. That’s when I do my best writing.
The fans are everything. If it weren’t for them, what would I have? What’s the point of a band playing to an empty house or a writer creating books for an audience that isn’t reading them? I love getting feedback from the fans. Sometimes that feedback is good and sometimes it isn’t so good. Some people really like a certain book, and some people don’t like it. As a writer, you take the good with the bad, but overall the fans are very encouraging even if they didn’t particularly like the book they just read. It is very humbling to get accolades from the fans and to have them tell you how much they enjoyed your work or how entertained they were by the book. It’s very rewarding as an author to know that you wrote something that brought a bit of joy to a reader’s day or gave them a way to escape the reality of the world for a short time. I’m very appreciative of my fans and the support and encouragement they give me. When I have my doubts about writing or continuing to write, they inspire me to keep writing and keep the creative juices going a little longer.
It’s been a time factor for the most part. There are only so many hours in the day and you have to prioritize everything. Social media for me is at the bottom of the list. I let my social media team handle most of the posting, and I personally post only occasionally. I’ve had a very busy schedule of late, so I guess there haven’t been many opportunities to give speeches or make remarks thus the noticeable absence of anything being released or posted. That doesn’t mean I don’t have a lot to say at the moment, and I’m hoping to rectify that in the near future as time permits.
It helps connect directly with fans and get a message or information out to them or to your targeted audience. That’s the biggest benefit. It can also help you reach potentially new readers and gain a better exposure, which is something that every indie author needs. From time to time I will get messages that encourage me or inspire me to get some writing done, but other than that it doesn’t help me with the actual writing process. Social media can be a detriment as well if you get sucked into the black hole; you can spend countless hours reading what people have to say and that can distract you from the matter at hand…writing.
I’m the paper and pen type to start. I go through a lot of ink in my fountain pens, and I can go through a lot of legal pads when I brainstorm. I can be out at a restaurant and have an idea, so I might scribble it on a paper or a napkin or make a note in my phone. If I get an idea or an inspiration, I’ll make note of it somehow then transfer it to my brainstorming file as soon as I can. I’ll have a lot of notes and ideas all over the place, then I’ll try to do a handwritten outline of the story and a profile of the characters that are more organized. After that, I’ll put everything in a nice neat format on the computer.
It’s probably a bit of both for me. When I come up with an idea for a book, I generally sit down and start brainstorming. Part of that is coming up with characters, and I make a lot of notes about the characters. My next step is to organize and formalize the ideas, and I usually do this by outlining the sequence of events and doing a bit of a write up about the characters. What inevitably happens, though, is that the characters develop on their own throughout the story. I start writing and then I see where it takes me. Sometimes the characters end up the same as I originally envisioned but more often than not they evolve a bit as I write the story and develop them more thoroughly and in depth. Sometimes the story sort of dictates how the characters develop and who and what they become. It’s always very interesting to see what becomes of each character, how they change, and how they grow.
The biggest challenge is finding time as it is with any book. Writing is my passion, but it’s also something I do when I can make the time. My business interests require a good deal of my attention, so that comes first and writing comes second. I guess another big challenge has been the depth of this novel. It’s a pretty intricate storyline; there’s a lot going on in this book, and it takes time to lay everything out in the book. There are a lot of characters involved, and they all have to be developed. Having said all this, the book is progressing nicely. I’m happy with what I’ve done with it so far, and I’m very excited to get it completed, perhaps later this year. I think it’s going to be very well received by the readers. Not only does it have elements of a good drama, but I am working in a murder and plenty of mystery as well.
The central figure in Gems & Jewels is Jarrod Van Kliem. The story starts out with him returning to Orlando from Congo Free State where he had successfully settled labor unrest among workers with his family’s company, Jewel Enterprises. He’s treated a bit like a celebrity billionaire businessman, but he is also intensely unpopular with certain elements in the public. He’s also very unpopular with certain members of his family who are convinced he’s returned to attempt to take over the company. He’s a bit of a ladies’ man. He owns a jai alai froton, among other business interests. He has a very close and powerful inner circle which protects him, advises him, and does the dirty work from time to time. He can be ruthless, and he certainly has a dark side but by all accounts he’s fair and decent. Is he the good guy or is he the bad guy? The readers will have to decide based on what they learn about him in Book II.
Both. I’m very blessed that I’ve been given the gift to write books that keep people entertained. It’s not an easy task to sit down and put together a storyline and then write the novel. It’s truly an art, and as with any artist, you have to be gifted. At the same time, it can be a curse. I’ve spent many a sleepless night trying to work through problems I’ve created for myself in a manuscript and countless hours fretting over getting the manuscript completed. And I’ve frustrated myself to no end when I’ve sat down and tried to write but it just wasn’t working for me. I’ve said before that you have to be in the right frame of mind to write your best; you can’t force it. You just have to let it happen, yet I’ve sad looking at the blank computer screen and tried to force it because I wanted so much to keep moving the project along. You’re cursed in that you have high expectations for yourself, and if the book doesn’t turn out the way you want or doesn’t live up to your expectations or those of your readers, you’re very hurt and frustrated. You’re cursed in that you never feel the book is good enough, and you strive to make the next book better. So, I think it’s both a gift and a curse. Is this why so many artists and writers kill themselves?
I’m not going to comment on rumors and speculation as to what may or may not have been. Clearly, I’m not involved in President Trump’s administration in any way, so what do the rumors and speculation matter.