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I’m Not Insane . . . Really

Q: Are authors even a little bit insane?

A: Um, you know the saying, only truly insane people don’t know they’re insane. So, if I said “No, of course authors aren’t insane,” would you believe me? And if I said, “Why yes, as a matter of fact, we are insane,” then you would know we really aren’t.

Wait, is this a trick question?

Seriously, though, the question does beg an answer. I mean, how many people walk around creating make-believe people in their minds? And then creating a make-believe world for those people to live in? We have conversations with our imaginary friends, we dress them in the morning, give them a job to go to, a house to live in, a family to love or hate, and a past to embrace or run from. And what does the future hold for our characters? Well, only we know and only we get to decide their fate.

Here’s my theories. If authors aren’t insane we must be just on the brink of it and writing fiction is our way of waylaying the inevitable plunge into that otherworld of the mind. It’s our outlet. Without our stories we may just do the very things we make our characters do. And that could be bad. Very bad. Especially when you write suspense and your villain is a psycho-maniacal windbag with an obsession with clowns.

If we’re not insane then we must suffer from a god complex. We need to be in control; we need to be calling the shots. And since that rarely happens in our own world we need to create one where our every whim and fancy is obeyed. Where we are all-powerful, all-knowing, and omni-present.

Now for the truth of the matter. Authors aren’t insane. Well, maybe some are, but most aren’t. What we have is a desire (maybe even a need) to create. Man has been endowed by our Creator with a tendency to create. Look around you: The buildings, the cars, the infrastructure, the art. Listen to the music we produce. We’re creators by nature. Authors simply find a different and unique way to express that attribute.

So really, we’re not insane. I’m not insane. I’m not insane. I’m not insane.


Living in Two Worlds

I’m at a stage in the writing process when things start to get hairy. Darlington Woods releases in a month and a half so I’m ramping up the marketing, scheduling book signings, doing interviews, contacting blogs and media outlets (or at least I should be).

In the meantime, things are moving right along with the writing of Darkness Follows (which releases May, 2011).  I’m up to 23,000 words and the story is developing quite nicely.

The problem is this, I only have so much time in a day to devote to writing and writing stuff. Something has to give.

Now here’s how I’ll manage all this without going as nutty as a three-legged squirrel. If you’re a writer you’ll know what I mean when I say this, and if you’re not a writer you may still be interested in knowing how a writer’s mind works. Inspiration comes in fits and starts (I imagine it’s the same for any art form). At times the words flow like warm honey, smooth and swift, and the story unfolds like an old friend stopping by for a visit and cup of tea (I don’t drink coffee). Inspiration overflows and I can’t stop, don’t want to stop, my fingers from dancing out a tale of suspense and creepiness. It’s during those times I’ll focus on Darkness Follows and take advantage of the freedom that inspiration brings.

But then there are those times when that spring of creativity dries up and the words cease to surface. It’s like my right brain needs a good dose of Senekot. It’s during those times that I won’t force the issue (I may hurt myself) but rather let things ride and focus on marketing stuff for Darlington Woods.

This whole process is like living in two worlds. There’s the business side of things in which Darlington Woods now resides and then there’s the creative side of things where Darkness Follows lurks. For now, I’ll split my time and hope my personality doesn’t follow suit.

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