Blog Tour: Great Minds

sleep-tight_826049Greetings, Dreamers!

Mark Meier, a fellow writer, asked me to join a blog tour last week.  I am very grateful to be recognized by my colleagues and be asked to join in the fun!

Before I answer the questions for the tour, I’d like to introduce another blogger/writer with amazing insight and ability, Victoria Craven.  Victoria runs the blog, The Autodidact in the Attic, which focuses on the macabre, horror and a wide variety of intellectual stimulus.  Here is her bio:

V.L. Craven lives with her husband and pets. She writes fiction—both short and long—and reviews of books, films & art, as well as essays, articles and interviews with all sorts of interesting people.

She’s always appreciated the darker side of life, which is the focus of her blog The Autodidact in the Attic, (see also its Facebook page). TAitA has reviews of books, films, art, apps and games (and interviews with creators of those things) that will appeal to people with an interest in the macabre or gothic.

Other Ways to Interact with Her:
On Twitter: @vlcraven
On Tumblr: vlcraven.tumblr.com
On Goodreads: V. L. Craven

She will be posting her answers to the blog tour questions next Monday, so do yourself a favor and check out her amazing site.

Now on to my answers:

1) What am I working on?

I am always working on a variety of projects simultaneously,  that’s just how my brain works.  Right now,  I am doing a serial short story on this blog, writing Book II in the Waking Dream Series — The Unkindness — and I am involved in a collaborative series with two other authors (details to come later this year).  My Waking Dream Series is the primary focus and I am always doing research as the it covers alternate history, philosophy, and science.

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I write novels and short stories.  My short stories tend to be very dark.  My favorite short stories are the ones I write in Lovecraftian style.  I am no Lovecraft, mind you, however I have enormous respect for his creations and imagination.

The Waking Dream series is really a mixture of many genres, so it is very hard to put it in any one box — I am not a fan of being pigeonholed.  The Waking Dream Series is an attempt to blur the lines between fantasy and reality.  Much of the subject matter is based on years of research.  I have always been fascinated with the paranormal and the supernatural — specifically the potential of the human mind.  The Waking Dream is my attempt to present a plausible framework for readers to suspend their disbelief and explore their own lives.  Life is a dream, if you really think about it.  We always have control over how our lives go, no matter the situation.  And once you believe that, you can do anything.

The Waking Dream series has elements of horror, paranormal, supernatural, romance, dystopia, apocalyptic events and fantasy.  It is very dark.  One of my fans put it, “It’s the Matrix meets The Stand”.  The first book is my Fellowship of the Ring. It is the twilight before the sun sets on our world. The subsequent books will descend further into the darkness of reality and the human mind.

One final note, there are many things hidden within the stories and novels, tying them together as well as giving avid readers something to discover within the text.  Everything in the Waking Dream Series is carefully calculated.  What have you found hidden within the story?

3) Why do I write what I do?

I love to create worlds.  The Waking Dream is, as I mentioned, an attempt to impart all I’ve learned about the human condition and get the reader to explore and create their own dream.  The world seems to be at an impasse, and we are not moving forward as we should from a philosophical sense.  While the Waking Dream is fiction, there are elements of truth in ever sentence I write — the things I believe to be true.

I write the Lovecraftian stories because I want his legacy to continue, as well as many other authors.  Being able to create a story that emulates the master gives me a sense of humility.  Many writers have walked in his footsteps, but his personal commitment to his craft is something to be admired, respected and remembered for all time.

4) How does my writing process work?

I don’t have a specific process for writing.  When I feel like writing, I write.  And because I have a wide variety of projects I am working on at any given time, I choose the project to work on that most suits my particular mood.  I believe that an author needs to be prolific to be successful.  Very few authors become successful with one book, or even their first book.  The more work you have out, you have a better chance of being discovered by new readers.  It is a snowball effect.

One thing I do tend to stick to in any project is that I usually begin with an illustration.  Next to writing, illustrating is one of my favorite hobbies.  I have over 50 illustrations for the Waking Dream,  as well as maps.  I want the Waking Dream to be similar to the Cthulhu Mythos so that other authors can contribute their own stories to the ever-growing Waking Dream Universe.

I hope that you’ve enjoyed this little excursion into my writing career.  Perhaps you’ll be interested in reading my work, which is listed on the right side bar.  Please be sure to check out Victoria Craven’s answers next Monday on her blog.

Happy Monday!

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The Fate of the Waking Dream

cold-heartGreetings, Dreamers!

I apologize for my recent, extended absence.  Most of you know that I am a very prolific blogger, and the last few months I’ve been rather crestfallen and that does not make for good inspiration.

I know many of you are wondering what’s going on with Book II for the series, as well as my other writing endeavors.  I have had little inspiration lately as a result of some events that have been transpiring over the past few months and they have snowballed into a full on winter of the brain.  But I am back to Book II, which is half way done, and I have other stories coming as well.  Soon you will find out the fate of our world– the Waking Dream.

I apologize to all of you who think I may be ignoring you, or have found others more interesting to chat with, that is not the case.  I appreciate all of my blog, Facebook and Twitter friends.  And I promise, now that the weather is warming, I will be in a much more verbose mood.

The first book of the series is still available, and slowly gaining traction.  It’s very hard to get the word out for your book, especially being a new author.  My other self-published books are steadily selling, and that’s a good thing.  I will not be publishing my future books with my current publisher, but rather moving forward on my own.  I have learned a great deal about this industry, more than I wanted to know, and I feel wholeheartedly that the best course for any new writer is to begin with self-publishing.  I have seen many professional organizations for authors starting to change their view of the self-published author.  And in general, the only person who can really sell your book is YOU.  It comes from your heart, soul and mind.  No one will ever be able to do justice to your story but you.

When you are long gone, people will read your work and try to understand what you were trying to convey — debate it, degrade it or deify it.  This one point is the sole reason I adopted autodidactism as my personal educational journey.  I have learned that I cannot follow the herd in a classroom, because I cannot be taught in a linear, structured fashion.  And, this  realization occurred in the fall of 1991 in my American Literature class.  I majored in English, of course, and one particular day will stick in my mind forever.

We were dissecting “The Fall of the House of Usher” by Poe.  The professor had made an assertion, which he wanted to impress on the students, that the narrator was the one who was insane, and not Madeline and Roderick.  This is not to say that it may or may not be true, however, the professor was asserting that it as fact.  I am a huge fan of Poe, and of course, I had to weigh in this debate.  It became very heated, and I finally asked him, “Did you meet Poe and get the answer from him?”

As a result, I was asked to leave the class.   This was both a victory and an epic fail because, unfortunately, I had the same professor for my next class.  I left college shortly there after, realizing that I was trapped in a box.  The man in a box.

Now that I am an author, I have had many people tell me their take on my story, and I love to talk about it with them, because its more than a story, it’s an exploration of our universe, and my/your inner-self.  Make the dream, own the dream and live the dream.  I write because I enjoy it, but it also carries the sum of all I have learned about our weird existence.

I thank you all for your steadfast support.  And I have decide I will publish a new short story, inspired by my favorite novel, The Great Gatsby — with a Waking Dream twist of course.  That’s assuming I get the permissions to use the name

I hope everyone is slowly thawing out from this brutal winter.

Happy thoughts!

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