Someone asked me about an artist mentioned in Episode 3 of Reaping Independence: Who is Noah Purifoy and was he really an artist? Yes, he was an accomplished artist that made a difference. The artworks mentioned exist.
Many things influence the journey to writing. Like life itself, we take a circuitous route.
There’s this terrific fabulist noir book of Ray Bradbury’s: Death is a Lonely Business.
I had a teacher in high school named Sheila Kasprzyk. (https://www.facebook.com/sheila.kasprzyk/tributes) She was a wonderful teacher, rest her soul.
An aside. In double checking the spelling, I found another person who mentioned Sheila Kasprzyk at San Clemente High School. But he’s had a lot more success at his story telling. Let’s name drop:
There are many teachers that helped me realize some potential along the way. Most I couldn’t hear, or believe, until I looked backwards. At the time, she saw something I didn’t see in myself. Of the many papers we wrote for her class, one was a book review. You can guess what I picked. I’ll get to more about the book in a minute.
When I got the review back, Mrs. Kasprzyk wrote, “Finally. This is what I’ve been looking for from you. Where has this been?” Something of the sort.
There was more but I got an A. I couldn’t please her before and now I cranked something out and she praised it. Not only that, she let me know that she saw potential in me. Something I did not have for myself.
For me: decent grades sure. But no real interest in school.
To paraphrase Maurice Ruffin: When you write, you honor all those who encouraged your writing. People don’t waste their breathe. They meant it when they said you had a gift.
Now, believe me when I say that I still remember her comments. Her belief. Her effort.
When I re-read Death is a Lonely Business recently, I was surprised to see an influence on my first novel, Reaping Independence. The Venice canals, the pier, the beach. Bradbury’s storytelling among many others. Many, many others. But in the most recent chapter that posted in this serialized novel, there’s that sense of magic in the movies and place. Santa Monica. Hollywood. The people.
So what am I getting at?
A couple of things. You never know what the encouragement you share could mean to someone. (Same with the discouragement but that’s another story for another time.)
A book, some thought and a few well placed words influenced something I made ~30 years later.
What else am I getting at?
Well, go read my book. Just a chapter. You can do a chapter at a time and it’s just getting started. In fact, a new chapter dropped today. Go on. Give me a read. It’s a romp. Maybe you’ll see something in it like a teacher did in me a long (long) time ago.
Weir started publishing and people really liked what he was doing so, of course, he kept going. Publishing week by week. He published to his website and then posted the entire book to Amazon. People were excited and shared the book with friends. Eventually he garnered interest from publishers and producers. Good for him, right?!
Weir serialized some other stories: some fan fiction, a Sherlock Holmes. He has also become successful with two more published novels and I can only imagine more on the way.
Anyway, I love the idea of telling a story over time. There are so many cool aspects of the process of stretching the story out. Anticipation, cliffhangers, even changing the story as we go along. Also feedback on what’s happening.
I will probably talk some more about other serialized books but wanted to let you know a little about what I’m up to. Which is sharing some info about reading and introducing my story with you.
If you’re of the mind, start reading my tale about Kwynn, Glen and Murray. It’s a quest of power and blackouts. It’s set up to read a little at a time. No big commitments. And hop on or off anytime. It on your device’s Kindle app. Thanks for reading.