Since learning to read in the early grades, I’ve read hundreds of books, thousands of articles, and the backs of countless cereal boxes. I’ve often been asked what types of books I like, do I have a favorite author, a favorite genre? To all of which I’d have to reply, “None really, no, and no.” The closest I can come to accurately describing my reading tastes is that I know a good book when I’ve read one. For no one author, despite how “favorite” he or she is, produces gems all the time. And you don’t need a degree to know that there is a lot of really crappy writing out there, a sad fact that the Internet has not helped at all.
When I decided to try my own hand at writing fiction, I remembered the mantra that I’d heard all through my college years and that I read long after that in many how-to books and author’s memoirs: write what you know. And so that’s exactly what I did. I didn’t attempt to venture into territory that was foreign to me, and I could no more write a believable book set in China than I could about flying an airplane. I’ve never lived in China, nor have I ever flown an airplane, so I have no business writing about either one.
But I HAVE lived, and through that sometimes very painful process, I have picked up a few experiences along the way that I can write about in a spirit of complete authenticity and authority. And they are what I write about, or they are what filters through the sentences I craft around my fictional characters. And I am delighted each time I read the forward to a work by a classic author in which the fact emerges that part of the story deals metaphorically with the author’s own experiences. You see, there aren’t many books in which the author doesn’t appear through one or more characters. For it is impossible to write with any measure of reliability if one dos not put oneself smack dab into the action, because writing is a channeling of emotion, and emotion often proceeds from the reaction to a particular life event.
Along those lines, the books I’ve published on Amazon Kindle took their own instinctive paths through my own emotional experiences or through the maze of observations I’ve accumulated through the years. None of them are earth-shattering blockbuster types of stories that will keep you on the edge of your seat. They are, rather, journeys through the psyches of a handful of individuals whom I seem to have been following forever, their stories put away to be told at some future date, which just so happens to be now…