Saturday, March 9, 2013

Writing with Passion as Techonology soars

Have you read the Brotherhood of Dwarves? (Click the link for my review.) If not, you're missing out on a great fantasy series with gritty blue-collar workers struggling in a world that's no so different, not so strange... just perfect for that touch of earthbound reality which makes great fantasy so engaging. Between Dark and Light is the fourth book in the series...



The Great Empire has surrounded the Kiredurks and are preparing to conquer the kingdom, but unknown to them, Kwarck, the mysterious hermit of the plains, has his own plan in action. To the east, he has summoned an elven army and charged Crushaw with leading them into battle. To the south, Roskin will gather an army from the fractured Ghaldeon lands. But to the west, an ancient and powerful evil stirs.

The Great War is about to erupt, if Roskin can overcome the Dark One...

and Roskin is a great character, as you'll soon learn once you start reading. Scroll down for synopses of the rest of the series... See if you can resist it. But first I'd like to introduce the author, D.A. Adams...
 

a novelist, a farmer, a professor of English, and a true gentleman. His breakout fantasy series, The Brotherhood of Dwarves, transcends genre and illuminates the human soul in all its flashes of glory and innumerable failings. He is active on the Con circuit and has contributed writing to literary as well as fine art publications, and maintains his active blog, "The Ramblings of D. A. Adams". He lives and works in East Tennessee, and is the proud father of two boys, Collin and Finn.

  
D. A. Adams is also the author of stories which, to quote his own words in the guest post below, "grab readers and take root inside their hearts." And he has has kindly agreed to be a guest on my blog today, revealing a passion, not just for Dwarves, but for writing and all it entails. If you're an aspiring writer, wondering (as I frequently do) if your novel has any chance of earning you a living, is it even "good enough," and what does "good enough" mean in a world of millions and millions of books, then read on... Over to you Mr. Adams, and thank you for visiting my blog.



One in Fifteen million books?


Roughly fifteen million ISBN’s were issued in 2012.  Fifteen million.  Now, it’s not likely each ISBN made it to publication because publishers have to buy in blocks, and that number counts e-books and nonfiction, but the volume is staggering.  I don’t know the exact figure, but I’d bet at least a couple million of those were issued to works of fiction, and that reveals what I consider to be a positive shift for writers.  With each technological advancement in history, the percentage of literate people has swelled.  The focus of this piece isn’t meant to debate whether or not the same will happen again, but for argument’s sake, let’s assume it will, and let’s assume that more and more books will continue to flood the market.  To me, writers should be ecstatic about this trend.  We have a greater opportunity to reach larger numbers of people than any generation before, but with that opportunity comes tremendous competition.  For writers, this means we will have to work harder than ever before to stand out from the crowd, and I believe one crucial element will be the difference between success and obscurity – passion.

Writers who create with dollar signs in their eyes will not pass the test of time.  Sure, they may get lucky and make a little flash, but if their work isn’t infused with passion, they will not stand out from the crowd long-term.  Passion is a deeply-rooted love for what we create.  This love drives us to improve the quality of our stories because we demand from ourselves that the work reach its full potential.  Without passion, we settle for good enough.  If there are a couple million or more novels, novellas, and anthologies being produced each year, good enough means the same as 1,999,000 other things that came out that year.  Obviously, someone might get lucky and reach a large audience with a similar product as everyone else, but the odds of that work sticking in mass consciousness is pretty slim.  A work that oozes passion, however, that is something people might remember.

Obviously, I’m speculating forward to an unknown landscape, but I believe the days of the mega-author are gone forever.  Back in the day, once an author was established, they could churn out crap year after year and still sell because there wasn’t much competition.  The number of major publishers was shrinking, and readers didn’t have many choices.  Today, readers do have options, and authors are only as good as their most recent work.  If they can’t consistently deliver, readers will move on to someone else because they can.  This new reality is one current authors will have to accept, and if the primary motivation for writing is to earn money, that external motivator will not sustain them through the long, arduous path up and then the long grind of continuing to produce at a high level.  I’m not just talking crap here, either.  There’s plenty of empirical data to support that extrinsic motivators cannot sustain quality long-term, only temporarily.  Quality comes from intrinsic motivation, and for a writer, a passion for language, a passion for storytelling, or a passion for characters is the purest catalyst for quality.

Anyone starting out as a writer today had better be full of passion for their craft because new writers who half-ass it will be trampled by the stampede.  Their careers will be over before they begin if they can’t deliver early and often.  To that end, I strongly recommend before authors rush their books to market, dreaming of riches and fame, they damn well better make certain their stories are their best efforts before slapping them on Amazon.  Today, readers don’t have the time, energy, patience, or constraints to endure shoddy craftsmanship.  Today, readers have the luxury of being discerning, and there is no shortage of writers willing and able to create powerful, compelling, beautiful tales.

I can’t tell others how to find their passion.  It’s different for each individual, but I can say with utmost confidence that throughout history the people who did great things are the people who felt passionately about their work.  As publishing delves deeper into this new territory of digital books, the opportunities are unbelievable, but with those opportunities come unparalleled competition.  Humdrum will not cut it.  Half-hearted will not sustain.  Love for our craft will carry the day, so anyone who wants to write needs to look deep inside and find that passion.  It needs to ooze from the story, from the characters, from the details.  It needs to grab readers and take root inside their hearts.  In this way, authors will stand out from the crowd and be remembered among the tidal wave of new titles published each year.
  
Having read and thoroughly enjoyed Brotherhood of Dwarves (click on the link for my review) I can attest to the fact that this series grabbed this reader and took root. So read on to find out more about the earlier books, and enjoy.
Thank you for visiting my blog, and I'm sure Between Light and Dark will take root in many hearts.

 
The Brotherhood of Dwarves

The dwarven saga begins... Roskin, heir to the throne of a remote, peaceful kingdom of dwarves, craves excitement and adventure. Outside his own kingdom, in search of fortune and glory, he finds a much different world, one divided by racial strife and overrun by war. The orcs to the south want to conquer all dwarves and sell them as slaves. The humans to the east want to control the world's resources. Caught in the middle, Roskin finds himself chased by slave traders and soldiers alike as he discovers that friendship is the best fortune of all. Just when he thinks he has triumphed, an act of betrayal sends him into bondage. His only hope of escape is the faltering courage of a disgraced warrior whose best days are behind him...

Red Sky at Dawn
The dwarven saga grows... Crushaw, Molgheon, and Vishghu have liberated the Slithesythe Plantation. They must make their way to safe lands before being caught and returned to certain bondage. Across the orc lands, they and Roskin recruit and train an army of freed slaves, for between them and freedom are thousands of well-armed, well-trained orc warriors. Near the Pass of Hard Hope, in the shadows of the eastern mountains, they make their desperate stand. But even if they succeed, Roskin's ordeal is far from finished, as he is haunted by visions of something awful back in Dorkhun...



The Fall of Dorkhun
The dwarven saga continues…
The Fall of Dorkuhn, the third installment in The Brotherhood of Dwarves series, continues the adventures of the dwarf Roskin. Having escaped slavery, and survived the Battle for Hard Hope, Roskin returns home to a kingdom divided by war with the ogres.
On one side, his father desires to restore peace. On the other, Master Sondious, hungry for revenge after having been crippled, seeks to escalate the aggression. Roskin and his friends hasten to the capital, to make a desperate attempt to resolve the growing rift, but unknown to the dwarves, new and powerful menaces threaten to destroy the entire kingdom...

Seventh Star Press Links

  

2 comments:

D. A. Adams said...

Thank you for having me on, Sheila :-)

Sheila Deeth said...

You're very welcome!