Today we welcome Bill Walker, author of A Note From an Old Acquaintance!
I hear a lot about authors who outline their novels before they start writing, outlines that can often be quite extensive. I’m not one of them, at least not with the books I’ve written thus far. For me, if I had to sit down and ponderously map out every little move my characters make and every twist and turn of the plot, I would more than likely lose interest in taking it any further. To then sit down and write the book would be like repeating myself. At worst, it would be excruciating. At best–anti-climactic. And I need that catharsis that comes with discovery. More about that in a minute.
The method that works for me is to first have an idea so compelling that it seizes my imagination and won’t let go. Call it an obsession if you like, because I won’t deny that it has the feeling of one, and for me I need that unrepentant passion to carry me through the months of work to get to a first draft. The next requirement is discipline, having the will to sit and type at least three pages per day. If I want to do more, fine, but that doesn’t get me off the hook for the next day.
Because I’m a film school graduate, I have always tended to see my stories as movies on a big screen in my mind. And that is the way I write, in a sort of cinematic trance. While I have a firm grip on where the story is going, the characters will often assert themselves and take the story in a different direction. Sometimes I have to rein them in and, at other times, I’m delightfully surprised to find them taking me in a fresh direction I’d never previously considered. These are the moments for which all writers live, and an outline will kill it. Not because those moments will elude you if you’ve outlined your book, but because you’ve put so much work into that outline, you won’t want to deviate from it to go somewhere else with the characters and the story.
My advice, then, is to take that basic idea and just start writing it. Once you get the first draft down, THAT will be your outline. You will then be able to see what needs to be changed with a much clearer vision and you will not have hampered your creativity at the outset by creating a rigid roadmap.
A Note From an Old Acquaintance:
Brian Weller is a haunted man. It’s been two years since the tragic accident that left his three-year-old son dead and his wife in an irreversible coma. A popular author of mega- selling thrillers, Brian’s life has reached a crossroads: his new book is stalled, his wife’s prognosis is dire, and he teeters on the brink of despair. Everything changes the morning an e- mail arrives from Boston artist Joanna Richman. Her heartfelt note brings back all the poignant memories: the night their eyes met, the fiery passion of their short- lived affair, and the agonizing moment he was forced to leave Joanna forever. Now, fifteen years later, the guilt and anger threaten to overwhelm him. Vowing to make things right, Brian arranges a book- signing tour that will take him back to Boston. He is eager to see Joanna again, but remains unsure where their reunion will lead. One thing is certain: the forces that tore their love asunder will stop at nothing to keep them apart. Filled with tender romance and taut suspense, A Note from an Old Acquaintance is an unforgettable story about fate, honor, and the power of true love.
Too Old to Get Married?
The aforementioned question hardly ever bothers men. But when women turn 30, and there is no ring to adorn their left hand, some become a little uneasy. When the biological clock starts ticking and viable prospects start to dwindle, the question of whether or not it will ever happen begins to loom in the mind of some and send them into panic mode. At the risk of sounding old fashioned, I am going to go against the status quo and suggest that they should be concerned. I don’t say this because I think that marriage doesn’t occur after age 30. I just believe that society, as a whole, needs to reassess the “right time” to get married.
With every generation, comes an adjustment in beliefs and values. This all so true with marriage, but have the generational shifts adversely influenced the institution of marriage. In times past, if a young woman got married at 19, that was the norm, and if she was not married by age 25, well then … she was an “old maid.” On one hand, it is good to know that we have evolved from the labels, and women are encouraged to pursue their own aspirations. However, on the other hand, there are still many advantages to getting married earlier in life. Allow me to elaborate on a few reasons why.
Getting married resolves the issue of sex. Of course, some would say it doesn’t always, and this is true. However, if a couple models God’s plan and design for marriage, it does. The older an individual gets, the harder the challenge is to abstain, particularly for men. Singles tend to spend a great portion of their time pursuing relationships with the opposite sex. Married couples are typically settled, and in turn, more focused, which places them in a better position to accomplish their goals.
Getting married earlier promotes maturity and unity. Marriage develops maturity because success in marriage demands individuals to be responsible. Responsibility always forces one to grow. In order to grow, one must be flexible. The older one gets, the more ridged that individual becomes, which is not conducive for marriage. The older a person becomes, the less likely they are to change, because their minds are set. Statistics show that people that get married later in life are more likely to get divorce than those that get married young. In addition, the older an individual is, the more likely they are to be already accomplished. When an individual knows that he or she plans to get married one day, it is good to be prepared, but it is also good to allow room for growing and achieving together, because marriage is a partnership. Besides, the more accomplished a person is, the harder it becomes to find someone that will truly love them for who they are, because everyone loves a winner. There is a greater sense of appreciation for someone with whom you can share your accomplishments and dreams. Whenever someone receives an accolade for a victorious moment in their lives, they always express their gratitude for those that have supported them from the beginning.
Getting married earlier in life allows a couple amply time to plan for a family, as well as time to raise children in your most energetic and lively years, which is most desirable when raising young children. I don’t understand people who desire to become parents at a point in their lives when they are more suitable to be grandparents. There is something to be said about doing things in their proper time and seasons.
The “right time” doesn’t mean the perfect time. The right time is when the opportunity is most favorable.
These are the books I read in August:
Seduce Me– Robyn DeHart
Dark Hunger– Rita Herron
Summer of Two Wishes– Julia London
Dreamfever– Karen Marie Moning
The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever– Julia Quinn
Blood Promise– Richelle Mead
For the Earl’s Pleasure– Anne Mallory
Yeah, I totally didn’t live up to my reading goals last month. Hopefully I’ll do better this month.
In a world of modern, involved, caring parents, why are so many kids aggressive and cruel? Where is intelligence hidden in the brain, and why does that matter? Why do cross-racial friendships decrease in schools that are more integrated? If 98% of kids think lying is morally wrong, then why do 98% of kids lie? What’s the single most important thing that helps infants learn language?
NurtureShock is a groundbreaking collaboration between award-winning science journalists Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman. They argue that when it comes to children, we’ve mistaken good intentions for good ideas. With impeccable storytelling and razor-sharp analysis, they demonstrate that many of modern society’s strategies for nurturing children are in fact backfiring—because key twists in the science have been overlooked.
Nothing like a parenting manual, the authors’ work is an insightful exploration of themes and issues that transcend children’s (and adults’) lives.
Thanks to Anna at Hachette, I have permission to give out 5 copies of NutureShock by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman.
Giveaway ends October 6th at midnight EST. I will announce the winner on October 7th. Only open to residents of the US and Canada, no PO Boxes. Sorry international readers :(
+5 entries for leaving a comment answering the question: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
+5 entries for commenting on another of my posts, and coming back here and saying you did
+10 entries for blogging about this giveaway on your blog, Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, Ning group, or other site, and coming back here with the link (please, no links to your main site, it has to be specific to the post). Sidebars count, as long as I can find it
+5 for referring someone here and they tell me you sent them
+ 10 for subscribing to Bibliophiles ‘R’ Us through FeedBurner. Look on the sidebar for the links.
+ 20 for joining me on swagbucks.com. Click the button on the sidebar to join. (It’s underneath the current contests section.) + 25 if you already have joined me (I know who you are)
You can comment, refer, and blog/post as much as you like.
Please make sure the email address you leave is valid. I don’t want to have to hunt any winners down.
At long last, I have the winners for Dark Hunger. With the help of random.org, here they are:
Congrats! Please respond to your emails by Monday September 14th at midnight EST, or I have draw new winners. Thanks to everyone who entered!!
The Effects of Deregulation on the Airline Industry
My novel, “The Target; Love, Death and Airline Deregulation,” is primarily a human story, a tale of one man’s struggles with himself and a world that for him, has been turned upside down. However, there is a strong undercurrent to the book that might cause a feeling of unease in the reader; it is a sense of potential revolt and impending disaster. Given the current disastrous economic situation in our country, it may turn out for this book to be unfortunately prophetic.
Airline deregulation came about in the late Nineteen-Seventies due to the fact that the Civil Aeronautics Board, which regulated that industry, had become too politicized. The CAB decided what airlines would fly what routes, at what frequency and what fares they could charge. Both Presidents Johnson and Nixon, having the powers of appointment, approval and veto, used this vital component of our national transportation infrastructure to reward their political allies and to likewise punish their enemies. The ideal solution would have been to reform the industry and allow more competition in route awards and fares, but the action chosen was what became the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978.
The promoters of airline deregulation proudly declared that the Act would result in free market entry by both established and startup companies, more competitive fares and result in better airline service and cheaper tickets for traveling Americans. An added benefit foreseen but not often publicly touted by economic “conservatives,” would be an anti-inflationary check on airline employee wages in this highly unionized industry. They privately salivated over the prospect of putting the final screws into the coffins of labor unions.
Rather than recount the past three decades of instability and chaos in the airline industry, let me point out the results. First, the concentration of the industry. Promoters of deregulation were unaware, or simply ignored the fact that the airline business is extremely capital intensive; it takes a lot of money to operate and maintain a modern fleet of jet airplanes in any semblance of flight frequency, safety, and reliability. Further, free market entry by small upstart airlines was nipped in the bud by a simply Darwinian fact of economic life; the Big Fish eat the Little Ones. The big carriers, having huge cash reserves, would simply match or undercut the fares of the low cost carriers and run them out of any competitive market. The result is, that eventually, the industry went from many high quality carriers serving large, medium and small market cities to a very few major carriers, deemed “too big to fail,” skimming the long haul routes, leaving the medium and small markets to be served by contract carriers operating smaller, regional jets.
Secondly, was the overall degradation of service. Economic gurus touted the idea that airlines were finally solving the problem of excess capacity, or “too many empty seats.” The problem was and continues to be that with fewer major carriers dominating “Hub” markets, they are not only able to fill those empty seats, it is established practice to cram more seats into airplanes, making current air travel an exercise in torture. Additional factors, such as fuel prices, weather delays and security issues only exacerbate these problems and make the travel experience even more unpleasant.
The effects of unbridled deregulation on our national economic system are currently there for us to witness every day. Airline deregulation was followed by deregulation of the public utilities, energy, and truck transportation industries, to mention a few. Worst of all were the complete dismantling of critical securities and banking safeguards. One of my first jobs, after my airline underwent a sham bankruptcy orchestrated by a corporate raider, was as a securities broker. My mentor there had come from trust department commercial banking and early on, he warned me; “Just watch; the banks want to get in on the securities business because the bankers see huge profits on the commissions we earn and it will mean disaster for both.”
How right he was! The Glass-Steagall act of 1932 was passed during the Great Depression and placed a barrier between Commercial and Investment Banking, which is essentially a securities function. Glass-Steagall was largely ignored during the go-go days of the Nineteen-Eighties, and then repealed to obviate any undue embarrassment of those who were charged with regulating these industries.
The result has been overall irresponsible and some outright criminal behavior by those who manage and regulate banking and securities. They have turn these crucial businesses into veritable “Crap Games” by designing a plethora of shady products designed primarily to line their greedy pockets. The list is lengthy; the junk bonds used for “Greenmail”, the savings and loan and Enron scandals, credit card usury by the banks, the abusive banking, securities and insurance bailouts with abusive compensation schemes, sub-prime lending; on and on, the list seems endless.
Nothing is more representative of this sickness than the Madoff Scandal. Those who are currently involved in trying to solve this mess are less guilty than Madoff only by degree. Nonetheless, they seem to be repeating the same arrogant mistakes of their sordid past. They ignore the risk at their peril and that of our nation. That risk is Revolution; populist and potentially bloody.