“Of Distant Worlds” fantasy anthology released and includes a short story from your truly!

Of Distant Worlds, A Compilation of Tales from ten Writers from The Publishing Room

I am happy to announce that the fantasy anthology “Of Distant Worlds” was released today on Amazon! Thanks to the wonderful people in The Publishing Room, my short story “Demonfall” was selected as one of the short stories included in this collection.

At The Publishing Room, their mission is “to ensure that anyone with a dream in publishing a book can accomplish their goals.” Supporting the independent, self-published author has been the mainstay of their work.

“Demonfall” is based on a fantasy story I am currently working on called The Last Magus. I took an excerpt from a part of this series and submitted it as a short story for the contest. This is the second story I ever submitted to a contest like this and one of the first times I’ve been published without self-publishing (if that makes sense). It’s a basic Dungeons and Dragons style fantasy trope about an adventuring party investigating an unknown dungeon and running into more than they bargained for. It’s a great introduction to this new world I’m creating for this series.

I’ve ordered my copy and I can’t wait to read the other stories in this anthology. So, please check out The Publishing Room for more contests and other publishing services for the independent author and then surf over to Amazon and buy a copy of “Of Distant Worlds” today! Thanks for your continued support! Remember, April is Indie Reads Month so make sure you find books by independently published authors, like me, and give them your love and support!

# # #

Mark Piggott is the author of the Forever Avalon fantasy book series. Forever Avalon is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook at Amazon. The Dark Tides: Book 2 of the Forever Avalon Series is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook from iUniverse Publishing and at Amazon, and other booksellers. The Outlander War, Book Three of the Forever Avalon series is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook from Austin Macauley Publishing, and at Amazon and other booksellers.

Changing your novel after its done is crazy, right?

So, I woke up the other night at 3 o’clock in the morning thinking about my current #WIP (work in progress) The Last Magus. Something has been bugging me, so much so that I woke up in the middle of the night thinking about it (a common problem with writers). Anyway, this book topped off at 189,000 words. A monster, right? So, I’ve been having issues with the excessive length, but to me it’s a complete book. What do I do?

I had a similar issue with the second novel in the Forever Avalon series, The Dark Tides. I originally started to write this book as a prequel to my first novel, but the more I wrote, the more I didn’t like the approach. I wanted the story to go forward, not backwards, so then the idea came to me. I took the sections I already wrote and decided to use them as flashbacks instead. When I finished The Dark Tides, it was nearly 200,000 words. In the end, I cut it back to around 165,000, but that’s how I wanted it to be. To me, it was a finished novel.

So now I’m having the same issue with The Last Magus. It’s a brute but I love the way it is. What do I do? The answer is simple… Cut it in half. I think if I can find a good point, I can split the story in two and have two novels instead of one big one. So now that I know what to do, the question is how to do it?

I have a prologue, 21 chapters, and an epilogue. Splitting it in half also means writing a new epilogue for the first book and a new prologue for the second book, so they both are connected. I have my work cut out for me on a project I thought was finished with just editing work in progress.

This is a hard decision for any writer. You think you’ve written this great novel, until you start editing and realize… “What the hell was I thinking?” It’s not easy to be so critical of ones own work. I spent a good part of six months writing it in the first place and the next six editing. Now, having to split one novel into two, I have more writing and editing to do. This also puts a damper on other writing projects I had started.

It’s also a development issue. I laid out this story and never expected this issue to come up like it did. I mean, my novel just grew and grew exponentially. It had a life unto itself at times. I now have to go back and rethink my original concept. That’s hard for me because I thought I had it down. To be honest, I’m not very good at changing things on the fly. Usually, I write and the story develops as I write.

It’s like having to start the process all over again, which extends out every other project I had going on. It’s difficult to explain but I know other writers can attest to this frustration. I’ve said many times before how my mind is like a Broadway play running nightly shows. My stories play themselves out daily, two extra shows on the weekends. So now, it’s like the lead actor and the understudy have fallen ill, closing the show while another one quickly jumps in to fill the gap; but I can’t stop thinking about getting the other one back on stage. Do you get what I mean?

I think this is why many great authors drank, used drugs, and caroused. If you don’t have something on the side, the sheer madness of it all will overwhelm you. I’ll end this with a great quote from Alain de Botton

“Writing isn’t a career choice. It’s self-medication that over time precipitates the madness it was meant to ward off.”

# # #

Mark Piggott is the author of the Forever Avalon fantasy book series. Forever Avalon is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook at Amazon. The Dark Tides: Book 2 of the Forever Avalon Series is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook from iUniverse Publishing and at Amazon, and other booksellers. The Outlander War, Book Three of the Forever Avalon series is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook from Austin Macauley Publishing, and at Amazon and other booksellers.

Cover… Check! Interior Art… Check! Read through edits and proof manuscript… Double Check!

Well, I’m happy to report a other hurdle completed to publishing my third book, The Outlander War. Over the Christmas and New Year’s holiday, I received the proof from my publisher to review. During that time, I spent my holiday vacation reviewing their edits, commenting on questions raised within my novel, and even suggested a few changes and edits myself. I find that reading it over for the hundredth time, and you still see different ways to tell the story.

The hard part is not over editing. You have to watch how much you change because it might affect the overall quality. I think, as a writer, we are consistently not satisfied with our work, and would continue to edit unless we stop ourselves. It’s the nature of the beast.

The biggest difference for me has been working with a publisher, Austin Macauley, in Great Britain. They use traditional, Old English, for certain words like honour, defence, realise, and artefact for example. It’s not a big deal, to me. The words still have the same meaning so it’s okay.

In fact, the one thing I will say is they gave me the best edit on one of my novels to date. It was clear, concise, and thoughtful. The biggest issue we had was on the term shield maiden. I had it capitalized throughout my novel, treating it as a proper name, but they thought that was excessive and should not be treated as such. In the end, we compromised. I made it lowercase in general references and capitalized it in titles.

Now I’m just waiting for the finished product, to see the final proof of everything together. This is the end of a journey that began more than 20 years ago. The story behind Forever Avalon has been incredible fun, any its not over yet. The first trilogy of this series may be complete, but the story goes on. More to follow as I get closer to its release. Thank you for all your support.

# # #

SKU-000941753

Mark Piggott is the author of the Forever Avalon book series. Forever Avalon is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook at Amazon. The Dark Tides is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook at AmazonBarnes and Noble, and iUniverse Publishing. The Outlander War, Book Three of the Forever Avalon series is coming soon from Austin Macauley Publishing.

These anime need a second season… PLEASE!

Anyone who follows my blog knows I am a huge anime nut. If I wasn’t married with kids, you’d probably see me as an “otaku” for sure. Anime has been a part of my life since the 60’s. I mean, I watched the original anime in Speed Racer, Gigantor, and Astro Boy. It helped form my own imagination, my views on fantasy, science fiction, and storytelling as a writer. You can’t watch a Hayao Miyazaki movie and not be moved by the visuals, the music, and the story. That’s how much anime has influenced me as a writer.

That said, there are a lot of great anime series out there that only got one season. For some reason or another, the studios decided to stop after just 12 episodes. I think it’s a shame that these anime didn’t get a few more under their belt, especially for their fan base. Here’s my top five choices for renewal into a second season.

Image result for in another world with my smartphone In Another World with my Smartphone — This is really a “guilty pleasure” anime but it’s also quite imaginative in its design. Fifteen-year-old Touya Mochizuki is accidentally killed by God. As an apology, God allows him to be resurrected, but since he cannot send him back to his old world, he instead reincarnates him into a fantasy world along with a single special request. Touya uses his request in order to bring his smartphone into the new world with him. The premise sounds ridiculous, but the storytelling is infectious. You have an awkward 15-year-old thrust into life as a adventurer, engaged to four cute, yet very resourceful girls, and one his way to becoming one of the most powerful beings in his new world. Like other anime, I have been reading the light novels associated with this series, and I would love to see it brought back in anime. It’s witty and full of fantasy. Yes, Touya is OP (over-powered) but his naivety brings him down to Earth, as does his relationship with his four (nine by the end of the novel series) wives.  It’s just a delight to watch and I wish they’d make some more episodes.

Image result for knights and magicKnight’s and Magic — Most of my favorite anime’s are “isekai” or where the main character is transported to another world. This one is no exception. Knight’s & Magic is set in a world where medieval knights use giant robots called Silhouette Knights to fight against demon beasts, magical ravenous animals that devour everything on sight. The protagonist is Tsubasa Kurata, a mecha otaku from Japan who gets killed in a car accident. Tsubasa is reincarnated in this new parallel world as Ernesti Echavalier, a boy born into a noble family. Tsubasa’s previous otaku memories inspire Ernesti into creating his own Silhouette Knights in order to defend his kingdom. This one doesn’t have the sex appeal of In Another World with my Smartphone, but it does have giant robots. It’s actually weird how all the girls fall for talented genius Ernesti, but he ignores them all. He only loves his giant robots. I love how this anime infuses technology with magic, something you don’t see a lot. Most standard fantasy stories stick to the straightforward fantasy yarns, but magic and mechs is a great plot twist. They even explain how it works using scientific principles. It’s astounding. I want more, please!

Image result for Restaurant to Another WorldRestaurant to Another World — This is one of the more unusual anime, and to be honest, I only watched it recently but I enjoyed it tremendously. The Western Restaurant Nekoya is a restaurant situated in a mundane corner of an undisclosed Tokyo shopping district which offers a lot of Japanese versions of Western dishes. It opens during usual business hours though closed during holidays and weekends. But secretly it is also open on Saturdays, as on this particular day it creates doorways to another world inhabited by elves, dragons, animal men and other fantastic creatures, who enter the restaurant and partake of its exotic food, with many of them becoming regular patrons. It’s really an exotic idea, introducing Japanese cuisine using a fantasy genre to tell the story. I mean, serving Tofu and Nattō to Elves because they’re vegetarians? It’s brilliant. I don’t get into the cooking anime prevalent in Japan, but this one got to me. It’s interesting how the cook knows exactly what to make them, and it brings the different races together to visit their favorite restaurant.

Image result for log horizon Log Horizon — Okay, technically, this series has had two seasons, but it needs a third really bad, so I’m including it in my list. Log Horizon revolves around the massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) Elder Tale. During the release of its twelfth expansion pack: Homesteading the Noosphere, thirty thousand Japanese gamers who are logged on at the time of the update suddenly find themselves transported into the virtual game world and donning their in-game avatars. In the midst of the event, a socially awkward gamer named Shiroe, along with his friends, Naotsugu and Akatsuki, decide to team up so that they may face this world, which unfortunately has now become their reality, along with the challenges and obstacles ahead of them. There are quite a few “ikekai” anime series that revolve around video games becoming a real world to the players (Overlord, Death March to a Parallel  World Rhapsody, How Not to Summon a Demon Lord, etc.) but they are not Log Horizon. This one is the whole package with smart characters (Shiroe), cute characters (Akatsuki) and the coolest character (Chief Nyanta). I also like how it’s not just about going on adventures, but how they have to live and survive in a real world based on a video game. I mean, they have to worry about money and food, not just fighting monsters. It’s really broad in its scope and the characters make it fun to watch.

Related imageChivalry of a Failed Knight — My final entry is, without a doubt, my favorite anime that I’m desperate for a second season. The story is set in an Alternate Earth world where humans called “Blazers” have supernatural abilities. These Blazers can materialize weapons known as “Device” which are made through a person’s soul. At Hagun Academy, Blazers are selected as representatives for the Seven Star Sword Art Festival, an annual tournament event held by the seven Mage Knight Academies in Japan to determine the strongest Apprentice Knight. Ikki Kurogane is the academy’s “F-Ranked” Blazer and is considered “The Worst One” for his low magical abilities, but Stella Vermillion, the princess of the European country Vermillion, is one of the top “A-Rank” Blazers. The series follows their adventures as they train to qualify as the school’s representatives for the festival. This series is the whole package… Romance, fighting, magic, adventure, intrigue, you name it. Everyone discounts the underdog hero who wins through skill, grit and determination, not power alone. There are great sub-stories within the series that makes this even more exciting to watch.

There are a few others I could mention here, like Trinity Seven, Hundred, Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid, and The Irregular at Magic High School, although a couple of them had follow-on movies and another season is said to be coming. If I missed any that you want to see a second season of, tell me in the comments below. Until then, keep watching!

###

SKU-000941753

Mark Piggott is the author of the Forever Avalon book series. Forever Avalon is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook at Amazon. The Dark Tides is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook at AmazonBarnes and Noble, and iUniversepublishing. The Outlander War, Book Three of the Forever Avalon series is coming soon from Austin Macauley Publishing.

What the f#*k is wrong with swear words in a novel?

*This blog contains some salty “sailor” language. Reader discretion is advised!

I am having a hard time deciding whether or not to use some more profane langauge in my stories. I’m a retired U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer, so I am no stranger to swearing. But to be honest, I didn’t start using the “f-bomb” until I joined the Navy. Even when I started writing the Forever Avalon series, I didn’t include a lot of profanity in it (except for the occasional damn or Hell) because I wanted my kids to be able to read it.

But now, my kids are all grown up and I’m wondering if I should give a shit and let the old sailor out and pump up the volume. It seems more mainstream, but does it go against who I am as a writer? More importantly, does it help me tell my story?

I have found that, as I got older, I tolerate swearing even less. When my family gets together, I find myself reprimanding my kids when they swear, even though I’ve used those same words myself. I’m turning into my father as we speak… Never thought that would happen. But the strange thing is, I’m comfortable with it in my stories.

I don’t think it’s a matter of being mainstream, but rather is part of the story. I’m currently working through a new novel, The Last Magus. As this story developed, it was more graphic, in both language and sex. This isn’t a story about a family, like Forever Avalon, but a man coming into his own. It seemed the right thing to do, and it flowed naturally as I wrote it. I mean, what’s wrong with a goblin swearing like a New York gangster?

It may be something I don’t use as much as I use to, but profanity is a part of everyday life. I don’t want to distract from people reading my novels, but I also don’t want to change it if it doesn’t seem right.

When I’m writing dialogue, it has to flow as if the conversation is actually happening. A great example for me is The Sopranos TV series. Believe it or not, the producers made a video of every single swear word spoken in the series. It was 27 minutes of non-stop profanity. Yet, in his ow home, Tony didn’t tolerate that kind of language from his kids. I think that illustrates the kind of balance I’m looking for.

There has to be a balanced approach, not a constant stream of profanity-laden diatribe for the sake of being “out there” for all to see. Usually, profanity involves an emotional response or outburst. But, don’t use it for the sake of using it.

I like to think of war movies, past and present, as an example of that. I remember those old John Wayne movies where he would throw out the occasional damn or hell but nothing more. Move it up to today’s war movies where they swear worse than Tony Soprano. Is that accurate? Who can say, but like I said, the balance is between those two extremes.

Let’s not go full George Carlin “7 words you can’t say on television” on it unless that’s your target audience. Be true to you, and your story, just don’t fuck it up.

###

SKU-000941753

Mark Piggott is the author of the Forever Avalon book series. Forever Avalon is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook at Amazon. The Dark Tides is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and iUniverse publishing. The Outlander War, Book Three of the Forever Avalon series is coming soon from Austin Macauley Publishing.

“Authors supporting Authors” is the real deal

I saw this great meme on Instagram the other day. It said, “Other authors are not my competition! I stand with them, not against them!” Among the independent authors I have engaged with regularly on social media, that is absolutely true.

Believe it or not, we are a rather enlightened community. We give advice, like posts, share ideas and creative criticism to make us better writers. We might not be the most social bunch in public, which makes sense since most of us rarely see the light of day except for the soft glow of our laptop. But we are stronger together.

We all have the same problems… Writer’s block, manuscript editing (take 11), finding a publisher, getting reviews, book sales, etc. We share that common bond through our love of writing, and being a storyteller. And its through that bond that we reach out to one another for help, advice, and support.

I’ve edited manuscripts, swapped books for a review, promoted other authors books, all for free. Why? Because I know that someone will see what I’m doing and will maybe do the same for me. That’s what we do.

We all have the same goals and same aspirations. We want to achieve the same thing… Recognition for the thousands of hours of work, sleepless nights, and spending vacation money on marketing, publishing, and artwork.

Working together helps our community of independent authors grow, learn, and become a force to be reckoned with. We may not be signed up with a publisher, agent, or publicist, but we have each other. That’s what makes us unstoppable.

So let’s help each other out. If you need a book review, message me and we’ll do an exchange for reviews. I am here for my fellow authors.

###

SKU-000941753

Mark Piggott is the author of the Forever Avalon book series. Forever Avalon is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook at Amazon. The Dark Tides is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and iUniverse publishing. The Outlander War, Book Three of the Forever Avalon series is coming soon from Austin Macauley Publishing.

Stop trying to justify “political correctness” by bashing fantasy classics

I wasn’t sure what I was going to write this week, then I heard about an American science fiction author bashing J.R.R. Tolkien as racist. When I read the article, it became even more laughable because he claimed that he was racist because of the way he portrayed Orcs as an “inferior” race.

Yes, you read that right. The greatest fantasy author of all times is a racist and a bigot because he made a make-believe race that were considered inferior by most people, i.e. those who read Tolkien and the author himself. Never in my life have I heard anything so ridiculous and self-serving. These comments seem to be coming from a man trying to sell his own books, because he sure doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

Now, before I go any further, I want to inform you that I hate political correctness. I am “old school” for lack of a better word. I don’t agree with changing words just because you don’t like them. To me, free speech is everything. If you don’t like it, then don’t read it, watch it, or listen to it. However, I hate stupidity and he’s just downright stupid.

The author (who will remain unnamed as I will not promote him in any way, shape or form) said Tolkien “depicted evil creatures such as Orcs as ‘worse than others’ and said this had ‘dire consequences for society.'” Sorry, what? Is President Trump planning to turn away immigrants because he’s afraid they’ll join the dark lord Sauron to destroy America? Gimme a break!

Okay, first you have to understand what Orcs are… They’re mostly evil. Some like Warcraft depict Orcs as neutral or evil–like some do in D&D–but most portray them as evil. It’s part of what Orcs were meant to be.

Remember, Tolkien created Orcs, so all of us fantasy authors go by his writings for reference. Beyond that, it is well known that Tolkien was one of the most staunch critics of racism, fascism, and Nazism. It is well documented in his writings.

Now, here is where he gets really, really wierd. The author says, “I can easily imagine that a lot of these people that were doing the dark lord’s bidding were doing so out of simple self preservation and so forth.” Really? I guess they killed all the humans because they were afraid of Sauron, not because humans tasted good. This quote shows me that this man never read Tolkien, and if he did, he’s trying to use today’s “PC bullshit” to justify his opinion.

Why? Why do we have to do that? Why do we need to take one of the Top 5 novels in America (as per The Great American Read) and trash it because you want to be politically correct. If you want to do that, write your own damn book about Orcs being the downtrodden of society, but to me, it’s pretty insulting comparing Orcs to South American migrants (yes, this idiot did that too!)

There is a place for criticism. I have negative reviews on my own novels, and I take them to improve myself as an author. It just seems that for this author to go after a literary legend like Tolkien is more about bringing attention to himself.

You can read the article about this author and his comments here and decide for yourself. I, for one, don’t plan on reading any of his books anytime soon.

###

SKU-000941753

Mark Piggott is the author of the Forever Avalon book series. Forever Avalon is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook at Amazon. The Dark Tides is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and iUniverse publishing. The Outlander War, Book Three of the Forever Avalon series is coming soon from Austin Macauley Publishing.

The Man, the Myth, the Legend… Rest in Peace Stan Lee

I have been reading comics since the 60s. I can honestly say I was there at the rise of Marvel, thanks to men like Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko and countless others. I even remember writing a letter to Stan, hoping it would get added to the letters page and collect an infamous “no-prize” for my efforts.

The death of Stan Lee was not a surprise. His health had been failing and it was inevitable after the death of his wife, Joan, last year. But it does sadden me that a man, whom I never met but considered a mentor, is gone from my life.

Stan Lee was one of the reasons I became interested in fantasy, writing, and creating my own characters. My first original superhero was called Vulcan, a boy who found a meteor that imbued him with energy-based powers. Very cool! I even wanted to be a comic book artist, but I went the writing route because I wasn’t the best artist. My skills just never really improved.

I became a writer because of people like Stan Lee. He created some of the most iconic characters that are known around the world. The 60’s Spiderman cartoon theme song can be hummed by anyone who calls themself a nerd. That’s why it pisses me off when asshats like Bill Mahr dis the accomplishments of someone like Stan Lee.

As much as he inspired writers like me, he equally inspired scientists even more. I mean, think about it. Geeks who read comic books studied science and math to be like Iron Man, Mr. Fantastic, or in a worse case scenario, Doctor Doom. He inspired the generations of scientists, doctors, physicists, and chemists who will take us to the future.

That’s the importance of someone like Stan Lee. It’s not just about comic books. It’s about the characters, the stories, the magic, and the science behind it. He gave us it all.

I will cry when I see his last cameo in Avengers 4. It will mean the end of an era for many of us who were with Stan from the very beginning. God bless you, Stan Lee, and, always and forever… Excelsior!

###

SKU-000941753

Mark Piggott is the author of the Forever Avalon book series. Forever Avalon is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook at Amazon. The Dark Tides is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and iUniverse publishing. The Outlander War, Book Three of the Forever Avalon series is coming soon from Austin Macauley Publishing.

How does a married, over-50 man write a love scene between 20-somethings?

When I was a young Sailor, deployed overseas for more than six months as a time, I wrote the occasional dirty letter to my wife. It was a release to, shall we say, “keep the home fires burning” while I was gone. Trust me, she wrote some sizzling ones back to me, which made for plenty off cold showers in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.

Now, as a 55-year-old man, I am writing fantasy stories that include love scenes between young men and women, half my age. The problem is, it’s difficult for me to put that same fire into my stories that I once wrote to my wife.

You envision your love scenes like you would see in the movies or a romance novel, but it’s not the same when you’re doing it yourself. It’s like being a voyeur or cheating on my wife with someone else. I know that sounds wierd, but true.

As a writer, you have to imagine the situation you’re writing about to make it real for the reader. To be honest, I don’t think of myself as a sexy man anymore (although my wife says I still am). That’s what makes this hard (ignore the pun) for me. Sure, I could watch porn or read a dirty magazine for inspiration, but it’s not the same. I want the romance, the seduction, the lovemaking, not graphic sex, in my stories.

It’s especially difficult when you have daughters the same age as the characters your writing about. It makes me feel like a dirty old man watching girls at the beach behind mirrored sunglasses. So how do you do it?

For someone like me, it involves lots of sleepless nights. When I’m writing, the story I’m working on occupies my dreams. I’ve been working on this love scene for more than a week now. I replay it in my head at night, re-read it on my computer screen several times to make sure it feels right. Like I said, sleepless nights.

Unless romance is the backbone of your writing style, it’s not easy to pick up on. The best advice I can give is to trust your instincts and give into your own feelings of love, passion, and romance. You can’t go wrong.

###

51nd6H6sATL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_

SKU-000941753

Mark Piggott is the author of the Forever Avalon book series. Forever Avalon is available for purchase as a book/ebook at Amazon. The Dark Tides is available for purchase as a book/ebook at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and iUniverse publishing. The Outlander War, Book Three of the Forever Avalon series is coming soon from Austin Macauley Publishing.

What lies beyond Writer’s Block? How about the “Writer’s Bottomless Pit of Doom!

Center-of-the-Earth-1000Writer’s Block is defined as “the condition of being unable to think of what to write or how to proceed with writing.” For many writers like me, we just call it “a slow march into Hell with only a thimble of water to drink.” It can make or break any author. It will make you miss deadlines, collapse goals and potentially lose money we haven’t earned from our last book. In other words, a bottomless pit from which there is no escape for the weak and weary. Once you’re there, it’s hard to climb your way out of it.

It can also cause an author to get distracted and do other things besides writing, from playing video games to watching a movie or surfing the internet. These distractions can lead to even longer delays in finishing your novel, blog, etc. So, what can we do to correct these inactions and lessen the distractions?

In the times I’ve experienced writer’s block, I found the best thing to do is to step back and take a breath. Sometimes, you get so wrapped up in writing that you can’t think straight and that leads to writer’s block. You have to stop and pull yourself together to find your zen and continue on. I know that sounds more like one of the problems when an author gets writer’s block, but it’s the best way that works for me.

To give you an example, when I was writing the second book in the Forever Avalon series, I started writing it as a prequel. I wanted to talk about the 10 years my lead character spent on Avalon before the rest of his family showed up on the island. After about the first four chapters, I got stuck. It wasn’t flowing right for me so I stopped and backed away from the story to gather my thoughts. It took me a few months and then it hit me. I started to write my second novel, The Dark Tides, as a straight sequel and used the pages I already write as flashbacks to help carry the story. It ended up being a monstrous book, nearly 200,000 words, but I was able to finish the remainder of my novel without any more episodes of writer’s block.

Others advise you to avoid distractions like television, music, etc. To me, if you have the right mood music, it helps in writing. Whenever I’m writing, I like to have a movie playing in the background, away from where I can see it, but where I can still hear it. My usual preference is a fantasy movie like Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Narnia or The Hobbit. This keeps my mind in fantasy-mode (for lack of a better word) and helps me push through any writer’s block.

There are tons of articles out there with varied advice on how to avoid and overcome writer’s block. The one thing they all agree on is to stop writing for the readers and write for yourself. Tell your stories, write what you want to write, not what’s currently hip and trending. Remember, trends usually go the way of parachute pants and hair metal bands. Write what you want to write.

In the end, it’s up to you to find that happy place that lets your creativity flow and propel you into, as the song goes, the “Playground of my Mind.”

“In the wonders that I find,
In the playground in my mind,
In a world that used to be,
Close your eyes and follow me.”

***

51nd6H6sATL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_SKU-000941753Forever Avalon is available for purchase at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. The Dark Tides is available for purchase at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and iUniverse. The Outlander War can be previewed at Inkitt.