Monthly Archives: January 2012

Guest Post by Samantha Anderson: The Panic-Stricken Non-Conformist (Sort Of)

Today, I have the pleasure of introducing my first guest blogger! Samantha Anderson is the author of The Devil’s Angel available now. The sequel is scheduled for release this spring.

So without further ado, here’s Samantha! 

 

The Panic-Stricken Non-Conformist (Sort Of)

You see why I go with the title of Oxymoron most days? 😉 Even in a moment which requires only minimal conviction I somehow still come off like an indecisive fool. Root causes of this? I have no idea, I’m not a psychologist. Most would say Daddy issues… most would likely be right. Oh well, I’ve accepted who I am, you should too.

As I was saying before I rudely got sidetracked (sorry folks, it happens often), I consider myself a non-conformist… in most instances. Meaning that I march to the beat of my own drum, don’t like following a crowd (or being a part of one in any way), and in general, if you ask my opinion be prepared to deal with what I say.

That being said, I’m a total nutjob over things as well. Conviction comes across easy, perhaps even a bit arrogant at times, but what most don’t see is the inner turmoil I have when I voice a decision. I over-analyze every little detail… to DEATH.

The most recent came when writing the sequel to my debut release. I have struggled since the writing of the first novel over which point of view to use. First person literally came so easy to me when writing the main character, it was a very easy natural choice. However, now that I’ve at least gotten a first draft done of the second book, I’m stuck in the terrible world of making a decision about a POV again.

I wrote it in first person, same as the first novel, but there are other key players that the reader needs to know. Dialogues between two characters that are not the main character, scenes in which things occur where the main character isn’t involved but are crucial to the story (in my honest opinion anyway).

Those scenes I’ve written are done in a more third person feel, as they should be. However, many things have led me to be panicked over this very jumpy method of writing. Here are just two of the biggest…

  1. – It’s comfortable to me, not just in writing but reading back.
    The kicker to this is that the story SHOULD be comfortable for me to read and write, I’m the writer!
  2. – I have done my research and all the high-profile critics say you should never do this, or that 1st person POV writing is for lazy authors.

The flip side is, I don’t want to be a cookie-cutter author and the beta readers so far have LOVED it.

It was with much inner turmoil, late night crash-writing sessions, and editing the first 5 chapters into 3rd person that I came to a realization.

Agents and Publishers keep looking for fresh, new writers, something out of the norm. They want a non-conformist, so screw the experts who say that I shouldn’t, screw the people that are stuck in their little niches and don’t like change… It’s my book and I’m going to do what I want. My goal isn’t to make friends, or enemies even. It’s just to write. Whether anyone really buys my books outside of the people I know and love, I honestly don’t care. I don’t write to make a living, I write because if I don’t, I think I might go insane.

So my advice to you is this… be yourself, write for you and forget all the rest. Most of the greats did exactly that and look where they are now!

 

Samantha Anderson is a single mom that works in the IT field for a large company in the Midwest. She is a published author, slated to release the sequel to her debut novel, The Devil’s Angel, in Spring 2012. A self-proclaimed oxymoron(loves thunderstorms but hates rain), she admittedly obsessives over random things, her favorites being the Bobby Bones show (radio show out of Austin TX, can be found on iheartradio), The Vampire Diaries, and can quote almost every episode of the series Friends. She is an avid music fan and enjoys spending time with her two daughters, Kaylee and Trysha.

Advertisements

Book Review Stephen King 11/22/63

Disclaimer: I am a total Stephen King fan girl. Not to the point where I believe he can do no wrong, but I have read (and enjoyed) most of his work. If a new Stephen King book comes out, I’m going to buy it. I’ll read it and enjoy it and be inspired to get to work on my own writing. Mr. King has inspired me since the first time I read one of his author’s notes.

Spoiler alert!!! I don’t say anything here that wasn’t spelled out in any review or interview, but if you really want to take this ride with no idea of what’s ahead, don’t read this post.

Image

11/22/63 is King’s latest work, about a man, Jake, who finds a time portal which takes him back to 1958. He goes, with a list of things to change, most importantly, the Kennedy assassination. On the way, he visits a town in Maine familiar to any Stephen King fan.  There are bumps in the road, lots of them, bullies who (as usual in the Kingiverse) get what they justly deserve, and good people who find pain and trouble, because that’s the way life is. A lot can, and does happen between 1958 and 1963. It would be hard not to make a life in that time, to develop relationships. Just supporting oneself can be a challenge, especially with no work history before say, 1980. 

In order for this story to work, you have to agree with the lone gunman theory. I don’t. But in the interest of reading pleasure, I suspended my disbelief for a while.

Mr. King paints Oswald as a sneaky, disillusioned loser who killed President Kennedy so that he would finally be recognized as… what? Someone important? Then the plan was to immigrate to Cuba. We sympathize with Marina Oswald, brought to America to live in squalid conditions. King shows us the people from that time, the good, the bad and definitely the ugly. It’s quite a ride. He knows we’ll follow because he knows what we expect. It’s a common belief that if John Kennedy had lived, the Viet Nam war would’ve never happened. Bobby Kennedy would’ve lived, and probably Martin Luther King Jr. as well. What a different world it would be! We imagine the best.

Stephen King, being who he is, imagines the worst. Our hero Jake returns to the present, but it’s a nightmare. Everything that could possibly go wrong, did. And this is where my literary hero loses me. I can buy the world not achieving the utopia we imagine. I can believe the space time continuum if you will, would start to crumble under all those drastic changes. It is a supernatural story after all. There will be supernatural consequences. However, I can’t believe that humanity would rip itself apart the way King says it did in the alternate time line. He goes too far.

That being said, I thoroughly enjoyed the story. I was emotionally invested in all of the players and stayed up late several nights just to read what happened next. King waxes poetic on occasion, sounding a bit like one of my other literary heroes, Kurt Vonnegut.  Here’s my favorite bit:

“For a moment everything was clear, and when that happens you see that the world is barely there at all. Don’t we all secretly know this? It’s a perfectly balanced mechanism of shouts and echoes pretending to be wheels and cogs, a dreamclock chiming beneath a mystery-glass we call life. Behind it? Below it and around it? Chaos, storms. Men with hammers, men with knives, men with guns. Women who twist what they cannot dominate and belittle what they cannot understand. A universe of horror and loss surrounding a single lighted stage where mortals dance in defiance of the dark.”  — Stephen King

 

4 stars out of 5

JLZ