Saturday, January 4, 2014
Between the Bindings with Edward Lorn
E. is a funny dude. I found that out the first time I talked to him on BookLikes. My kind of funny - you know, where you're probably going to go to hell for thinking that in the first place ... or even for laughing at it. Over the few months of conversations, I'm happy to say that I think of him as a friend. He is one of those writers that I don't have a panic attack before talking to because he's so down-to-earth and so much fun to talk to.
Then I read my first Edward Lorn book. Life After Dane is incredible, one that I just didn't want to end - and one of my top four reads of 2013. I'm now a fan. I love how things are not what they seem, how you think things are going one way and are blindsided when you learn the truth. I love the way he keeps you interested and his characters. (I'm currently listening to the audiobook of Bay's End and I am loving that too.)
I already knew that he would be all over the idea of spreading his advice to the masses before I even asked, but when he sent it to me and I read it, I knew that there just couldn't be a thing like Between the Bindings without his words of wisdom ...
I like tacos. You like tacos. (If you don't like tacos, I don't want to know you.) But all of us have gotten tired of tacos at some point in our lives. Either we grow out of them or simply need a break. Some of us have eaten so many tacos that it seems we'd projectile vomit anything consisting of a corn shell, meat, cheese and lettuce, should it Splinter Cell down our gullets. Sometimes, a new type of taco presents itself, like the Doritos taco, and we salivate all the way to the drive-thru, only to find that it's still only a taco. A delicious taco, but a taco all the same. And, now, our fingers are orange. A neon-orange that's caused many a suicide in the taco-enthusiast community. So, what does any of this have to do with books? Why am I talking about tacos (and possibly offending some of you taco purists) here on Between the Bindings? Because I've had my fair share of tacos, and, though I love them, I've had my fill for now. It's time to try something different.
No matter where you go in search of e-books, you'll find a title by Edward Lorn: Apple, Amazon, Nook, Kobo and so on (aside from Smashwords, because of reasons). Every piece you find with my name on it, either traditionally-published or indie-released, will be horror/thrillers. I dig that genre, like six-feet-deep dig it. It's been my bread and butter for the past two years, but, recently (like less-than-a-month-ago recently), I started over. I sat upon a shelf all my current projects and jumped into a few new genres: sci-fi, literary fiction, comedy, even (wait for it...) romance. This created a surge in my creativity. So much so that I am currently working on three different books (one's a collaboration, so that's kinda cheating), and have twenty-two other novel-length ideas queued. I'm not complaining. Only trying to keep up. I've never been wont for ideas, but opening up my choice of genre made anything possible. It's also allowing me to grow as an author. The problem with this is, as with the childhood variety, literary growing pains can be agony.
First, there's the uncertainty. Will anyone read this garbage? Of course they will. Especially since I started my career with some of the most controversial content I could, and still, somehow, gained fans. I do not think less of my forays into the dark side of fiction, but the writing is lacking. I've been praised for being short and succinct (one reviewer called me Stephen King-lite) but, like Billy Idol's chick in the Midnight Hour, I cried, More, more, more. I need to grow, less people become tired of tacos.
Then you'll have to worry that you'll lose your current fans. My example here is (sorry to drop his name again) Stephen King. The same man responsible for THE SHINING, IT and PET SEMETERY (some of the scariest fiction you'll find), is also the author behind THE GREEN MILE, RITA HAYWORTH AND THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION and THE BODY (which most people know by the title of the film adaptation, STAND BY ME). I doubt I'll lose fans. In fact, the possibility that I will gain new fans while retaining old ones is much higher. After all, it's all books, mang! Most readers have eclectic tastes (I know I do) and genre-hop with the grace and style of an Olympic gymnast. If my current fans don't care for my forays into different genres, they'll come back when I publish my next horror/thriller. That's the beauty of readers. They have better attention spans than non-readers of books. Sorry, Kanye West, it's the truth.
Lastly, new is challenging. I don't know the first thing about writing literary fiction, but I want to learn. Before this change, my work was all about story, twisty plots and themes. Now, I want my work to be about the language, the beauty of the words. I used to expectorate whole paragraphs without thinking twice about the way the words fit together. As long as they were arranged in a grammatically correct fashion and were not misspelled, everything was Hebrew National, baby.
I hope this post helps those of you who might be struggling with literary growing pains. In the end, your main concern should be about your own happiness with the work you are producing. Because if you aren't having fun, your malaise will transfer over to your readers. Nobody likes a bland taco, but everyone loves variety.
Great advice, E. And so true. I, for one, can't wait to see what you come up with in these other genres. Good luck! :)
Until next time y'all ...