Thursday, June 9, 2011

Re-Inventing Oneself as a Writer

There are writers who absolutely write the same book not just twice but many times over, no question of it. Like actors, there are many different types of writers. Some are one-book wonders that have a single title come out of the blue to take top honors, awards, bestseller status, but for most of us, we write one book, two, three, etc. until we find we've written ten, twenty, thirty, etc. Some of us are "serial" writers, our nose to the grindstone not of writing the same book over and over but throwing one adventure after another at the SAME character or ensemble of characters.

I fall into the later category, having created something in the neighborhood of 8 series characters, some of whom have lasted through two books, others eleven, most three and four. My last two novels added on to two series as Titanic 2012 continued my fascination with Inspector Alastair Ransom who had earlier had a trilogy. The book after this was purely for kicks, a horror novel, which continued my desire to work again with my character Dr. Abraham Stroud, archeologist and vampire slayer, a book called Bayou Wulf.

A year ago Ransom and Stroud were both "dead" characters according to the 'rules' of traditional publishing, but as a re-invented author, now an Independent Author thanks to Amazon's Kindle store, I can ressurect Ransom and Stroud and any of six other 'dead series characters'....and so I am re-invented anew as an author interested in continuing otherwise dead series. Kindle allows for this.

Even in content, I have taken on a new author personae beyond that of Indie now with Titanic 2012 complete, I decided to go back to the sea for another seafaring suspense thriller, so am now working on Bismarck 2013, a working title.  You might say I am carving out a new genre -- occult seafaring suspense with science fiction overtones and a good dollop of historical to boot.  OK, not sure what to call these books; perhaps the new label or category should read -- Labeless.

As I am way over-tired, I am goint to let a snippet of Titanic 2012, follwed by a snippet of Bismarck 2013 speak for me here. I am blogging on the "Making of Bismarck 2013  at Dirty Deeds - Advice from a pro  found on Google. Here are the snippets: 




Belfast, Northern Ireland, April 3, 1912

Slippage dust choked them. A fine shower of it fluttered about the men like a million black fairies that insisted on entering them. The dark dust created of itself a ghostly, unruly fog. Yet it was so fine, the two wouldn’t have known it was here had not their helmet lights reflected it. The earth around them groaned and stretched as if disturbed from slumber, just awakening. Tim McAffey, one of the two who’d dared enter to inspect the damage wondered why he’d ever become a miner. Then the floating grave ahead of them settled, and he thought of the bonus promised if he did his job. He thought of home and family and food on the table.

“The day ends with little to show,” said mine superintendent McAffey, frustrated and upset. He knew from experience it’d take days if not a week to get the men comfortable enough about this section of the mine to even begin to clean up the mess where some timbers had given way. “Hell, amounts to a sneeze,” he said to the man beside him.

“Minor inconvenience at best,” agreed O’Toole.


B I S M A R C K 2013

May 5, 1941 aboard the Bismarck, docked in Gotenhafen Bay, Occupied Poland

Adolph Hitler smiled and rocked on his heels, feeling safe, even smug here where the Bismarck had been kept from prying British air patrols—far to the west of where the ship had been built in Hamburg. Here amid multiple land masses, fjords, in the straights between Germany and Sweden.

Hitler felt comfortable here in his 5’10 frame inside his British-made Wellington boots. He smiled and turned his head in all directions from his vantage point on the bridge of the deadliest battleship ever to set sail on the high seas. Her guns were the largest ever assembled on a floating vessel.

Hitler had come aboard with heavy security. There had been yet another recent attempt on his life in Berlin. He had a small army of SS men on all sides of him and four men carrying a crate, a curious wooden crate…something many of the seamen aboard, all lined in rows for the inspection by the Fuehrer, thought interesting. In particular Lt. Commander Ivan Hulsing had noticed the large crate, and he immediately wondered if it had anything to do with the new encryption code machine that Hitler’s top engineers had been working on.

This would make sense. And if so and installed on Bismarck, the admiral and captain of the ship would be deciphering every message sent across the airways between Britain and its allies. Hitler might also ascertain if it was true that the Americans were quietly supplying the British with more than just food and supplies in their so-called humanitarian efforts to back the United Kingdom.

Bismarck was built to lay waste to such foolishness, to destroy anything that dared to move across the North Atlantic. Her guns could hit a row boat fifteen miles off her bow. Ivan Hulsing began to hear the whispers wafting among the rows of sailors lining the deck, all now curious of the box—a wooden crate marked as oranges, ostensibly a gift for Admrial Lutgens whose love for fresh fruit aboard his ship was legendary.

Hitler’s entourage had first come aboard intent on plying directly to the Admiral’s quarters with the crate. Anyone seeing the strain on the faces of the four men carrying the elongated, coffin-sized crate, must imagine it carried more than oranges. Meanwhile, Captain Lindeman and Admiral Lutgens followed Hitler’s men like a pair of puppies in the great leader’s wake. It appeared Hitler, an oddly shaped, small man, which Ivan realized for the first time, was nearly lost in his leather coat—as if it’d been borrowed from a larger man. Hitler had surrounded himself with men selected for the best in Aryan features: blue-eyed, blond-haired six-foot high soldiers in spanking new military uniform and Nazi insignia-emblazoned caps. Alongside such men, the Fuehrer appeared a perfect foil for such men—as Hitler himself was dark-eyed, dark-haired, little-statured man who seemed weak and lost in his uniform by comparison; a man playing at soldier.

And Hitler was intent on getting that crate tucked away in the Admiral’s possession, in the Admiral’s cabin down from the Captain’s quarters. This took the darkly-clad entourage up several flights of stairs and catwalks facing the bridge. Hidden somewhat amid his entrouage, Hitler’s gait was that of a determined ape chasing a female, an ape with a mission fuck over anything daring to get in his path. Determined first to deposit the gift, before anything to do with inspecting the ship or crew.

Once done with the ‘gifting’, this man determined to rule the Earth, would return to inspect Bismarck and the mariners of this mighty ship. Every sailor aboard, including Ivan Hulsing must maintain attention status while awaiting Hitler’s return to inspect the rows upon rows of sailors, two thousand, lining every deck at every level.

THANK you for dropping by and I do hope you will leave a comment in your wake! 
Rob Walker


Debra St. John said...

Hey Rob,

Thanks for sharing excerpts with us.

I love books that belong to a 'series' so to say with either the same character appearing in more than one (ala Dirk Pitt or Kurt Austin or James Bond) or books that have a theme, like your labelless seafaring adventures.

It all works for me, and I am grateful to the authors that keep bringing them my way!

Kevin Lynn Helmick said...

I really like the Idea of, sea adventure, occult books. The occult is something that's always interested me, although I don't know much about it, that dark little section in the bookstore is as alluring to me as the open sea. and I've spent some time there, Black Magic, White Magic, Book of The Dead, Satans Bible, But something from upbringing keeps me at arms length from bringing it home and into my house. Superstitous? maybe.
Re-inevention, or resurection, in my case, is sometime I can relate to. I was a writer, a starving one, but a writer from a young age and through the eighties, working as a carpenter for money. A put it a side as fruitless hobby for years. I've returned to this first love a few years ago in hopes resurecting a unfinished character, me. And maybe creating a source of residual income in the process.
It's great to have the options we have today, the control over the work that we didn't have before. I'd take a book deal in a New York minute, but I don't need to worry about it eithier, I can write, I can share, people will read, and that's all I ever really wanted. Maybe what I do in my life, might be good for kids or grand kids. maybe one of them will be inspired, and maybe they'll be a goddamn Hemingway.

Thanks for the taste Robert, great work. I feel it. I can feel the enthusiasm, and excitment.

Thats enough from me.

Rob Walker said...

Thanks Kevin, Debra -- appreciate your remarks and taking them to heart.