Grisham, Ludlum, and Christie

I’ve spent part of this summer going back and reading my favorite novels, and reading new novels by some of my favorite authors.  With one published book and a manuscript in the works, it is very interesting to see how the writing styles of my favorite authors influenced my work subconsciously.  My second novel, which will be a political thriller, definitely is influenced by my love of the Bourne series and by John Grisham’s thrillers.  My first novel has certain traits that show Agatha Christie’s influence, among other authors.  It would be ridiculous for any author to claim that his or her work was completely original, and some of the style and levels of description that these authors used I knowingly tried to emulate in my work.  It is very interesting to see that the influence goes even beyond that.


Brown Bag Lunch

On the 19th, I had the great opportunity to give a talk during an event called Brown Bag Lunch with a Local Author.  The event was hosted by the Fremont Main Library.  I loved being able to talk about the process of publication, and being able to discuss some of my methods and motivations for the plot, setting, etc. of my novel.  The crowd that came was very receptive and engaging, making the event all the better.  It was a fantastic experience, and I hope all my future talks have a similar feel to this one.

My First Talk Over Skype

Recently, I gave a talk to a group called T.G.I.F., which consisted of kids from elementary school all the way up to ninth and tenth grade.  One interesting aspect of this talk was the fact that I was at college in L.A., while this group was in Fremont.  This meant that I had to give my presentation over Skype, which turned out to be an interesting experience.  It was hard to talk to so many people over Skype, but I was able to talk with them and hear little pieces of some of their works.  The experience was rewarding, and it allowed me to hear the works of many aspiring authors.  I certainly hope that they keep up their work.

The Great Juggle

I find it amusing to think that I believed that most of the work would be over once I published my novel.  This could not be farther from the truth.  Now, halfway through my hardest semester yet in college, I find that I have to juggle working on promotion for my novel, writing my second novel, and working on short stories as well.  I also try to set aside some time to read, as the best way to improve your writing is to see how other writers practice their craft.  Also, I have to start worrying about midterm papers soon.

Despite all this, I am finding these different tasks very enjoyable.  I have loved receiving feedback on my work, and have been encouraged by the fact that, in general, everyone seems to be engaged by my writing.  A few weeks ago, I finally put out the short story, The Hospital in the Rock, and so far it is probably the work that I am the most proud of.  This feeling, along with positive comments about the work, have further convinced me that it would be fun to explore writing historical fiction.

A Slight Change in Pace

I recently returned to the U.S., after three great months living and studying in Vienna.  As I mentioned in the last post, there is a story that I started writing in October, inspired by my trip to Budapest.  I was forced to put it down for a while, due to studies and travel, but I am planning to pick it up again soon.  I have found that I enjoy writing historical fiction, and I would like to expand my literary focus to include this as well.

Moving Forward

After a very successful book launch, I am now very excited to begin a semester abroad in Austria.  My American and Viennese friends have shown excitement about my interest in writing, and about my novel.  The internet is showing its usefulness here, as I find that I can still promote my work and keep in touch with folks in the U.S.

As I continue to work on the draft for my second novel and develop ideas for short stories, I am struck by how much a change in setting can provide as far as inspiration for tales.  One of my short stories that I’ve started working on, The Hospital in the Rock, was inspired by a recent short trip to the city of Budapest.  Here, in Vienna, I see countless sources of inspiration that I may act upon in the future.  As I move forward with my written work, I may put a greater significance in the role that the setting has on the story.

August 19th: mark the date!

We have a release date for the novel: August 19th!  It is definitely a piece of work that I feel proud of.  The novel, Twenty Years to Judgement Day; has been the source of much frustration over the last six years, but I have had an amazing time at each step of its creation, and looking back I would definitely say that all of it has been worth it.  That being said, I have definitely learned a lot from the experience, and the next novel should be a much smoother ride.  For more information on the book, check out the ‘novels’ tab on my website!  The release date is the 19th, but you can place your order today!

My Novel: The Next Step

I just reformatted my novel; now it actually looks like a book and not a Microsoft word document, albeit still being on the computer.  This is an exciting step for me.  I have spent six years writing and editing the novel, and so it feels good to focus on a different aspect.  Throughout the years, I’ve had plenty on my plate, and I haven’t always been able to give this piece of work my full attention.  It feels good to know that I haven’t dropped it, and that I’ve actually gotten to this stage in the process.

A Vision for My Short Stories…

As I had said before, I have been posting short stories for the past couple of months, and I thought I would give a little background into where my thought process is for these stories.

My short stories take place in an alternate world that hopefully reflects some of what is going on today.  Currently in this alternate world, U.S. President Frank Mason is taking the controversial step of increasing U.S. military involvement in Latin America, in the hopes of turning a fresh corner in the War on Drugs.  This is not only controversial domestically, but other nations decry the move as heavy-handed and imperialistic.  Meanwhile, back home business owners are finding the market volatile, and while some people are struggling to stay in business, other – bigger – institutions are moving towards expansionistic and monopolistic tendencies.  People are finding it harder than ever to thrive and succeed.