Hi everyone! Please welcome J.R. Hobeck, a fellow midwesterner, who I'm very excited to bring to the blog today. He has a brand new book out, Smokestack, which sounds really fascinating!
Fantasy / Sci-Fi
I asked J.R. to put together a guest post on himself and how Smokestack came to be. Grab your coffee, and sit back and enjoy!
Every story has a beginning, a middle, and an end. “Smokestack” is no exception. Except, in a way it is. The novel began as a short story. And, although the entirety of that short story is contained in the novel, it has taken on a much different context. The beginning of the short story is no the beginning of the novel. And, the end of the short story is no much closer to the beginning of the novel than to the end. When I started with is far from what I ended with. The finished product would have surprised me when I started.
That pretty much sums up what this whole experience of, first writing the novel, then actually getting it published, to trying to promote it, has been. When I first gave in to my wife, and began to change the short story to a novel, I didn’t really have any idea where it would end.
I have read quite a few ‘how I write’ articles from many different authors. Many of them say they begin with an outline. Some go as far as to say that a novel cannot be written without an outline, and anyone who says otherwise is a liar. (OK, maybe the wording is not that strong, but there does seem to be a subset of writers who must first know before they can see.) The other group of writers, the group to which I belong, is the ‘pantsers’. We write by the seat of our pants, without a plan and just write the words as they come and clean it up later.
That was the thing I found most fascinating in the writing process of this novel. I honestly had places in the writing when I did not know what was going to happen next. It was not till I actually wrote the sentence that gave the reveal, that I actually knew the answer to the mystery. I do sometimes wonder if this is an odd form of split personality, but since it doesn’t manifest anywhere else in my life, I am not worried.
Now that the book is actually published, I am finding myself in a whole new place of not knowing what is going to happen. I do know that I had and indescribable feeling of amazement when I personally saw a stranger buy a copy of my book. I know that feeling will probably fade as I sell (hopefully) many more books. I just hope the memory of the feeling does not. But, for now I have no idea how this is going to end, but I look forward to the ride.
Let's take a peek shall we?