Thursday, June 26, 2014

A Picture's Worth A Thousand Words

Homegrown Fiction

One of the hardest things for me to do as a writer is describe what my books are. What other books do I compare them to? What genre do they fit into?

I don't know.

As best I can tell, I write contemporary fiction, but what does that mean?

I'm not sure.

After writing The Night Train, I came up with the slogan, Vampire-Free Fiction! (the exclamation point is part of the slogan, not the sentence conveying it). I had fun with it. Even designed a display card that garnered more than a few positive comments at book signings and speaking engagements. The idea came from my belief that the market had become overly saturated with vampires and zombies. Bookshelves dripped vampires and zombies. My kids loved them.

A few weeks ago I set out to come up with a new slogan. Something equally fitting, yet something that hinted at what my books are, instead of what they are not.

Enter, Homegrown Fiction.

What do you think of when you hear that phrase? Hopefully, you think of the type of realistic, character-based novels that I write. My only hard and fast writing rule is that my stories, my characters, must be realistic. You won't find any levitating bodies, no Dukes of Hazzard car stunts, and no beyond-the-grave beings that can only be "killed" by blunt force to the brain. What you will find are characters like Jayrod Nash (The Night Train) -- a young boy who escapes his abusive father by hopping a freight train, and Pap Jones (Norton Road) -- an eccentric old man who takes on a giant (a wealthy industrialist, not an abnormally large human), and Dale Criss (Blinders) -- an ex-con who finds life on the outside to be more than he bargained for.

Yesterday my wife slipped away undetected, spread a blanket on the ground, and somehow managed to capture the essence of what my books are with her camera. When I look at the picture above, I can almost see the faces of Jayrod, Pap, Dale, and all the other characters who come to life on the pages of those three novels. If I sound a bit like a doting parent, yeah, it's almost like that.

Writing, for me, is a journey. Come with me, and let me introduce you to people you won't soon forget.

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To learn more about my writing, visit my website. To connect with me, and keep up to date on what's going on in my writing world, like me on Facebook.

1 comment:

  1. Great Post !
    Homegrown Fiction is perfect for your books !
    Southern Homegrown fiction ! (Smile)
    And...our books definitely are our "book babies" !

    Celebrating the South