Saturday, December 13, 2008

Write Now

I'm still experimenting with the whole Google ads thing and how to set it up, so bear with me.

Yesterday, I mentioned that I wanted to build up some non-fiction publishing credentials so that is why this article is important to me. My goal is not necessarily to turn this blog into a money making venture. As always my goal with the blog is to connect with other readers, writers, and other interesting people with the added bonus of hopefully creating interest in my own writing.

My first literary love will always be fiction, but with all the economy hoo-haw and the recent shake-ups in the publishing world the always tough fiction market has gotten all that much harder to crack in.

I still have faith in both of my last two novels ...

A River Without Water which is an emotional women's fiction novel.

At seventeen, Lindsay Parker ran away from her Oklahoma home to escape her grief and anger after having an abortion. She has spent a decade roaming the country the west and blaming her father for forcing her to have the procedure. Blue Riggins is a former rodeo champion from Texas turned professional poker player. He too has a tragic past as four years ago his wife died in childbirth. Blue won't come out and say it, but a part of him wishes his wife would have had an abortion. He provides financial support for their daughter, but leaves the raising to his sister, who has put her own life on hold to care for the child. Lindsay and Blue's paths cross on Thanksgiving day and they wind up traveling across the west together. Along the way they fall in love, but as the truth about their past, and their opposing views, come into light the relationship is put to the ultimate test. The tumultuous homecoming threatens to destroy the hope and love that bound them in the first place.

Plundered Booty is a humorous, modern day pirate tale of mainstream fiction.

Hank Zybeck is a meat and 'taters kind of guy with a lifelong obsession for pirates. His belief that everyone should do the right thing would be an asset, except he sells cars for a living. Given his profession, Hank could use a dash of the boldness like the buccaneers of old, but his idea of daring involves ordering anything other than Chicken fried steak from the menu. Or it did, until his longtime boss and mentor up and died, leaving his rogue son, Junior Habershaw, in charge. Harboring a boyhood grudge, Junior pillages Hank's life by stealing his wife, his job, and his dreams, but when Hank decides to fight back, Junior discovers there is more than one type of plundered booty in this tale of an ordinary man determined not to walk the plank..

Anyway, I have been unsuccessful in finding an agent o rep either of these so I'm going to put my query's on hold for a month or two and concentrate on non-fiction. A few articles and a coming of age memoir based on my Feedstore stories. The good news is that I have a New York editor who is pushing me to write these stories into a cohesive collection so I already have someone willing to look at them once I get a fair chunk written.

I also plan to enter Plundered Booty in the upcoming Amazon contest and I'll probably begin querying again sometime in February.

So, what's going on in your writing world. And if you don't write tell me what you've read lately. And if you haven't read anything lately, let me say, shame on you.


laughingwolf said...

sounds like you have the right attitude, travis... and persistence pays :)

Lyzzydee said...

Keeping on pushing you will eventually break through!!!!

Got some ad come up on your blog, one for tooth whitening and another for orange mobile phones!!

PastelGuy said...

My writing and reading have been whatever my seventh grade students have been working on. Right now it's writing scripts and reading the Outsiders. Unfortunately, between grading papers and making jewelry, I don't have the chance to read my own stuff (except your blog, of course!) until either Christmas or summer vacations.

Josephine Damian said...

A writer friend was told you have to write 4-5 novels before you figure out what you're doing and are at a publishable level.

2 novels is not 4-5. Writing non-fiction doesn't quite count, IMO.

What if you stopped blogging for a year and focused all that time and energy on writing a new novel? I'm taking a year off from blogging come Jan. 1 for just that reason.

Terrie Farley Moran said...

Hi Travis,

I finally saw the google ads. They come up between your blog posts.

I think both novels sound as though they have great merit, but I am more a Plundered Booty kind of girl. This is probably not a bad time to halt query efforts until after the holidays.

As to my writing, I am presently writing short stories. I just sent a submission to a contest and am working on two submissions for two different venues. I hope to get the first draft of one done by New Years Day, and the other by the end of January. I tend to work back and forth when I have multiple projects in the fire.


I will miss you around the blogosphere. Please stop in to say hello once in a while and may you have great luck with your writing.


Barbara Martin said...

Good attitude there, Travis, keep plugging away.

I have been working on my second manuscript, and despite what Josephine commented, a writer either has a gift to write or not. For some writers it may take longer to get into the swing of writing, others publish their first novel right off the bat. If one writes regularly whether day job related, blogging or manuscripts (non-fiction and fiction), their style and plotting improves.

Travis, you can write either non-fiction or fiction as you've proved it here time and again. Listen not to naysayers.

Plundered Booty sounds like my kind of book.

As to reading, I'm well into a non-fiction book "Quantum Shift in the Global Brain" by Ervin Laszlo, twice nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. This is research for my ongoing manuscripts.

ssas said...

I'm writing short fiction as well, as I let agents "absorb" SENITINEL. The latest is an angel noir peice in which a Fallen Angel regains a little standing among the higher-ups.

Carleen Brice said...

Hang in there, Travis! Nobody ever knows what could happen that could open up the market for either book.

Terri Tiffany said...

I really enjoyed reading your blurbs! Lots of conflict and action! I bet someone some day will want your work!!

I submit a ton of short stories to keep my resume up besides working on books. Trying really hard to free myself and write like I want to!

Travis Erwin said...

A River and Plundered Booty are my fourth and fifth novels. The other three are buried deep on my hard drive.

Chris said...

I just started writing, which is why I come to your blog for a veteran's perspective.

Unknown said...

Good attitude to have! I haven't done much writing latley...only blogging really...
As for reading...well shame on me... I have a storage unit filled with classics that my grandpa left me and I haven't touched them in years...but do go out to make sure they are still in tip top shape!

Cloudia said...

You, my friend, are a writer. You inspire and please a lot of folks or we wouldn't come by here to be schooled and entertained.
I read mostly non-fiction. right now: "Healing with Form, Energy & Light" by Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche. It's a text about traditional Tibetan shamanism. Where do you think my Woo-Woo "take" on mundane existance comes from? ;-)
A GREAT book about writing (and life) is Naomi Wolf's "The Tree House." I heartily recomend it!
One reader is a gift. Charles Gramlich informs me that he has purchased a copy of my little Hawaii novel: "Aloha Where You Like Go?" That made my day.
Keep plugging away, Travis, but also realize what you accompish here every day! Complete strangers who know only your WORDS consider you a friend and writing exampler.
Nice job! aloha-
I'd like to be the "pen of Hawaii" someday ;-)

G. B. Miller said...

Well, let's see.

I started blogging Memorial day weekend, and after through dilligence and hard work, I have a decent subscriber base and quite a few regular readers, for which I'm ever greatful.

I just self-published my novel, and am just starting to generate a little interest with it in both the online and real world.

Come the beginning of the year I plan on taking a more active approach in trying to sell it.

I just started writing a new short story for the first time since the summer of '07.

And I'm editing one of my longer short stories with the express goal of creating a trilogy of interconneted chapbooks.

And overall, I'm having a blast in doing it.

Melanie Hooyenga said...

Oh wow, both those novels sound intriguing. Good luck to you with the non-fiction, I'm thinking about doing the same thing.

debra said...

Now I see the ads: whiter teeth, bait cheese, beef and venison, work from home. Hmmmmmmm
when you write from your heart you hit it right on. You will know what to do, my friend.

Melissa Amateis said...

Both novels sound great. I hope you find an agent for them.

I'm hopefully going to get some writing done this evening since it's Saturday night and I have the place to myself. :-)

DrillerAA said...

I don't have the talent to write. I just wander around the net commenting on blogs that I like. Yours is among my favorites.

Angie said...

I have a New York editor who is pushing me to write these stories into a cohesive collection so I already have someone willing to look at them once I get a fair chunk written.

Travis, that's wonderful! :D Let us know how that goes! And good luck with the contest; I'll keep a set of virtual fingers crossed for you.

For myself, my novelette with Torquere just came to the end of its contract, but the publisher said they want to rerelease it some time next year as a "Classic" -- it'll be down for a while, then back up and available for two more years, with a much better royalty rate for me. :) I'm very happy to have it continue available; "A Spirit of Vengeance" is still one of my favorite stories.

And I have another short story coming out early next year; I'm waiting on edits for that one.


Monnik said...

Good plan, Travis! Hope the compilation gets published! I'd buy it for sure.

Does writing the annual Christmas letter count?

I've been reading a ton, though. Recent goodies have been Loving Frank and One Thousand White Woman. I'm currently amazed with Three Cups of Tea and I'm going to see if the fuss about Twilight is well deserved next.

Can you see why I've not done any writing? All I do is read. :)

Charles Gramlich said...

Nonfiction is definitely more in demand, and pays better than fiction. I do a lot of it, although I decided to cut back a bit on that because I'd been doing so much I couldn't get any fiction at all done. Good luck with the contest. I think that's a great idea.

Clare2e said...

I think your game plan sounds pretty solid, and I'm glad you took the temporary gig to see what happens. Why not? I have a book-length manuscript that seems to have hit a wall, but since I don't hate the quality, I'll let it hibernate while I'm working on other things.

I'm reading many varieties of applicable pulp crap, so I can learn how to write crap + 1: that bit of fluff that's just enough better to get its eyebrows above the heap.

Like others, I'm also attacking short markets (5 of them, 4 paying), and I'm experimenting in other genres, because it's a fun exercise for me. I want to be rejected by a new set of names! If I can find a place where people like my work, I'll keep doing that. But I think if you're trying to develop a career-- as we know you are-- it's only smart to look at the markets and see where opportunities might be that you'd be suited to try. If you have an interested editor encouraging you, H-to-the-double-hockey-sticks Yeah I'd be trying that out!

Let us know how you like it!



You are heartily welcome to my blogs. I thank you for keeping my blog HUMOUR ZONE on your reading list.

For the Google Ads, you can look at my blogs and take your decision accordingly.

Naval Langa

Unknown said...

A River Without Water sounds like a great book!

I wish you the best of luck in getting these published.

Bubblewench said...

I know you will find the right rep eventually. Best of luck, I do enjoy reading your words!