Archives for posts with tag: writing fiction

As I was asking, as a writer. what captivates you? I advocate writing about that, not attempting to cater to current fads.

For me, it was my love of space exploration, both real and fictional, and my observations of the human psyche. Combined with my love of cultural anthropolgy and Greek myths, this eventually morphed into my Tartarus Trilogy. The trilogy was a combination of all these things and more.

Once I had constructed my basic plot and peopled it with characters to be developed, I allowed my several passions to flow into place, putting meat onto the bare bones of the story.

I drew heavily on my art background, ( I majored in both Art and Art Education with minors in English and Art History ) thus allowing myself to imagine the alien spaces in my story, particularly the Great Hall of Ahn-eld and the Burial Vault of the Rulers.

I also drew on my love of languages, their development, similarities, and differences, to develop rudimentary Cytherean Basic, Erisian Standard, and both the Tartarian and the Ghendarian languages, which are sister-tongues. Other interests of mine that came in handy were costuming, jewelry-making, architecture and religion.

So hopefully, you get my drift. Forget about writing whatever happens to be currently popular. Instead, be true to yourself; embrace what you love; play to your strengths. You’ll be less likely to develop writer’s block, you’re more likely to persevere, and you’ll never get sick of reading your own work!

Best of luck in all your endeavors,


The other day I read a great blog by Angela Scott (no relation to Corona!) called Whimsy Writing. In her blog she discusses how crazy you have to be to become a writer. I agree heartily with the points she made.

First of all, writers don’t make much money. Such dreams are sheer fantasy to all but a tiny handful of writers. And most writers are complete unknowns. So much for fame and fortune!

And for all the non-rewards we receive we must suffer the slings and arrows of disgruntled readers, unappreciative editors, and unimpressed reviewers. All writers ( without exception! ) will experience some form of rejection: from publishers, from indifferent readers, and from the constant struggle to promote our own books.

Why, Angela asks, why would any sane person subject themselves to this abuse?

The consensus, according to the comments on her excellent blog, seems to be that writers write because we must! We have no choice in the matter. It’s either write or be driven insane by the voices in our heads. Several comments referred to characters as “the little people in our heads”.

Well, my “people” aren’t little, and I don’t think they’re entirely in my head, but I understand completely what other writers mean by this. My characters seem to lurk just over my shoulder, frequently telling me in no uncertain terms what they want to say and do next. From time to time, when I err, I seem to hear their voices: “No, no, no! That’s not me! I would never say/do that!”

Writers of fiction, especially, must live in a reality that isn’t real. We must create worlds that have never been, invent characters who have never lived, yet feel “real”. We must envision scenarios that most likely will never happen. Are we truly crazy?

Maybe so, but on the up-side, writing is fun, it’s challenging, and it’s rewarding in ways other than monetary. I regard writing as a calling that connot be ignored, an inner flame that cannot be quenched. But unless you are absolutely driven to write and to write your best possible work, you should probably stay safely sane and stick to the next best thing: reading!

All for now,


Fairly early on in life, I discovered my shortcomings. I was too shy and nervous to be a good actor, though I had dreams of performing on Broadway. I loved to dance, but had no training. I wanted to play a musical instrument, but had no success with any I tried. I couldn’t learn to read music, though I loved music and singing. I loved biology, but wasn’t smart enough to become a scientist.

Okay, you get my drift. The saying, “Jack of all trades, master of none!” comes to mind. Although I was fascinated by a wide range of fields, I wasn’t good enough to make any of them my calling. So I finally settled upon becoming a teacher, then had to choose between art, biology, or home economics. I managed to get into an art college on my second try, then nearly flunked out first semester. I buckled down, worked hard, and managed to squeak by. Eventually, I became a decent artist, graduated with honors, and became an art teacher.

I soon discovered that teaching wasn’t all I’d hoped for. But in the meantime I had realized that I was pretty good at writing, usually earned As for my reports, essays, curriculum guide, etc. I had begun writing novels and other fiction at age eleven. In High School, I’d won a creative writing award, but never envisioned myself becoming a professional writer of fiction. I simply enjoyed making up characters and stories.

Eventually, I determined to try getting one of my books published, met with no success at first. But I couldn’t help feeling that, all along, this is what I was meant to do. I love writing fiction. I’m good at it—maybe not great, but if I’d waited until I was great, I never would’ve accomplished anything! My third book will be published shortly, and I have two more WIPs.

In order to be successful at anything, you first have to discover what you are best at, give yourself the tools you’ll need to succeed, then work your butt off. Oh, and never quit!


When you come to the end in writing a novel, you can’t help but experience mixed feelings—and the feelings only intensify when you’ve just finished a trilogy. It has been a long, exhausting, thrilling trek: from somewhere in the 1990s for Ransom of Tartarus, and since I wrote the first draft of Judgment on Tartarus—oh, my gosh!—it’s been over 40 years.

So as I came to the end of Book 3, I felt tired but elated, sad that the adventure is now over—at least for now. I won’t rule out the possibility of continuing the tale somewhere down the line, perhaps several years from now. Actually, as of now, my plans include writing two prequels to the Tartarus Trilogy: Malkis of Tartarus and Hero of the Gorgonian Wars.

I’ve already written a rough draft of the first. Maybe those ideas popped into my head to remedy my feelings of loss—I hate to say goodbye to these characters! I’ve lived with them for so many years now. The good thing? When the third book of the trilogy is finally published and added to my library, I can read any of the three any time I like! So it’s not really saying goodbye—just, “Read you later!”


I now have quite a few fans who have read my books, Judgment on Tartarus and True Son of Tartarus. Some have reviewed them, both here and in the UK. Others are word-of-mouth advertising my books—at college, at work, to members of their families, and to their friends. I truly appreciate all their help.

Promoting a book or, in my case, books once you’ve written them isn’t easy. There is so much time and effort involved that I wouldn’t bother if I didn’t truly believe with all my heart that my books are well worth reading, that people would enjoy them and get something worthwhile out of them.

Hopefully, someday all this effort will pay off—and not simply in a monetary sense. A word of advice if you are looking to get rich: DO NOT become a writer!

All for now,