Warren Ellis on Fear – The Parental Kind

Warren Ellis was recently interviewed by THE COMICS JOURNAL via Q & A. It’s a great interview of the writer whose weekly newsletter ORBITAL OPERATIONS I read regularly. This particular excerpt I relate to rather well.

TCJ: What is one thing, in spite of all the energy you have in the face of everything being terrible, that you’re afraid of?

WE: Cancer. Climate change. Economic collapse. The rise of the nationalist right. And so on. You know, the same list as most other people. My daughter turns 23 this week, and I would like her to have a long life that doesn’t involve selling her organs for grain. Have a kid! You’ll be afraid of everything for the rest of your life.

‘Nuff said.

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Question Me – Part 2

square-smashwords-logoSo over at Smashwords they have this built-in interview mechanism where they encourage authors to participate in a Q&A that posts on their profile page and gives interested readers a means to learn a little something about the author in question. Since I’m probably as unknown as they come, I figure it’d be a good idea to do an updated version of that 2015 Q&A here on the ol’ blogsite. Here’s the next weekly installment of the 2017 edition of who the heck am I?, if you will. One question at a time.


Q: What motivated you to become an indie author?

A: In terms of prose books, necessity, more than anything, I suppose.  An avoidance to the odds that are insurmountably stacked against a no-name author.  But also a kind of D-i-Y punk rock mindset of doing things yourself with little reliance on the establishment because they’re not going to go out of their way to make it easy on the un-agented and under-represented, those with a sparse resume—nor would you expect them to.  I was just getting my feet wet publishing in the Small Press when I discovered Smashwords as a viable partner and helpful tool for D-i-Y publishing.  Not that I’m currently in this for the money (ha!), but in terms of the monetary breakdown, self-publishing via digital partners like Smashwords and others, the distribution of earnings from sales is flip-flopped compared to traditional commercial publishing.  I’m a musician as well so the D-i-Y ethos is in my blood.  I suppose the overriding aspect is a sense of control.

As for comic books, well, you’re an indie author by simple default of how one can typically break into that particular industry. At this point it’s a more difficult path than publishing prose fiction. For starters, you have to rely on the contributions of an artist—editors want to see how an artist breaksdown and executes your written script visually. This is I’m told is regardless of the skill of the artist as a basic draftsman and storyteller. 9.9 times out of 10, the route you take there is to self-publish a comic you’ve created via print or the web and have that to kind of shop around to any willing eyes. In fact you have to do that multiple times, either a series of self-financed print publications or a series of webcomics, something visibly there to show that “Hey, I’m pretty good at this and can endure the hardships.” It’s far easier for an illustrator than a writer because they can simply send in or personally show their visual artwork and it’s more immediately reviewable by an industry professional. For writers, like any other industry for writers aside from indie books, it’s a situation of climbing a huge mountain and then once you get to the top of said mountain you find you also have to slay a dragon in order to get that chance to make a first impression.

To be continued . . .


Tune in Thursday for another Q&A with friend and author Jennifer Macaire!


ICYMI

Question Me – Part 1

Question Me – Part 1

square-smashwords-logoSo over at Smashwords they have this built-in interview mechanism where they encourage authors to participate in a Q&A that posts on their profile page and gives interested readers a means to learn a little something about the author in question. Since I’m probably as unknown as they come, I figure it’d be a good idea to do an updated version of that 2015 Q&A here on the ol’ blogsite. So what follows is the first weekly installment of the 2017 edition of who the heck am I?, if you will. One question at a time.


Q: When did you first start writing?

A: I’ll answer this with when I first started writing prose seriously. And that was in the winter or spring of 1993 when after reading my mom’s paperback copy of Dean Koontz’s Watchers (1987) novel in late 1992 (which I still have)  and being deeply influenced by that reading experience and thinking I wanted to
be as imaginative and accomplished someday in deftly telling suspenseful stories in a very accessible way.

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I’d dabbled a little before that (the oldest story I remember writing was in 1989 or so), but at the time I still wanted to be a comic book writer since I’d been reading them for about seven years prior to getting bit by the novel and short story writing bug.  So fast-forward to 2017 and I’ve been writing seriously for about 24 years, with a few breaks here and there.

As for journalism writing, I lit the wick in high school as the school paper’s editorial editor, which suited me well because even though I had the title of editor, I was the only writer for that section of the paper and thus was free to write on whatever subject I wanted. The editor part of it was being the decision-maker as to what I would write about and of course staying on top of things in terms of deadlines and such.

Prior to discovering prose writing, though, I’d been wanting to be a comic book writer ever since I started reading comics in the mid-1980s. I used to draw my own little mini-comics and eventually started writing these dialogue-only scripts because as a kid I had no idea how you wrote them. Yet, all these years my dream to someday be writing them professionally has never waned. If you read comics regularly, you love them, and if you love them you want to create them yourself. It’s no different than reading prose books in that sense. The desire to create is fed by the consumption.

To be continued . . .


Tune in Thursday for my Q&A with friend and author Jennifer Macaire!


ICYMI

Three Questions with Brandon Rucker

2-Minute Drill Q&A with Brandon Rucker