A Story-Teller Ascends Hopeful, Optimistic, and Naive

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Throughout my life I’ve been a story teller: I drew my own comic books as a youth; I wrote fiction as a teen; I was a journalist; I defined information flows as an information designer; I communicated language as a teacher; and I've shone a light on some very deserving people as a communications consultant and fundraiser for educational charities in Africa.

Now it’s time to tell my stories.

And I’ve got a number to tell.

I’ve written in many genres although you’ll notice that this list - which is only of novel- or novella-length stories, is dominated by science fiction.

Don’t typecast me!

Tau Ceti and Sol are a matched pair, yin and yang in a series that I'm thinking of calling Quantum Traverse (which is also the name of this blog). I'm really excited at the prospects of writing Sol once I've completed Tau Ceti. There’s a third story here too, but I’m not sure I want to write it and the story, or elements of it, might just fold nicely into Sol. I don’t know why trilogies are so highly prized in the publishing industry. I blame Tolkien.

Hryka is my oldest story, one that I started writing while I was still in high school, and one that’s continued to evolve - as has Tau Ceti, which I started writing in university.

Tau Ceti has evolved to an obscene degree. I swear, I could write an essay just about that story’s journey and what it’s taught me about the creative process. There's a bit more to the story here.

I stumbled onto writing YA Science Fiction when I started re-working a short story idea into a long form novel. The Winds of Zephyr is that story, and it is also one of the very few times that I’ve written in the first person. I’ve always been against first-person narrative, as it takes an element of suspense from a story - specifically, will the protagonist live? Well, the narrator certainly will. It was only after re-reading S. E. Hinton’s The Outsiders as an adult that I realized that first-person narrative could be compelling and that I wanted to rise to that challenge.

The name Deacon Carver is such a good character name that I know I have to use it as a focus, even though in the initial draft of the series, he’s actually a minor character. Publishers have talked about the need for entry-point science fiction - stories that can introduce the concepts and tropes to a new audience and pave the way toward lifelong reading in the genre. I see this series as being in that niche. Depending upon how this seven-story arc evolves in the writing, it might not be YA.

Pilot is a story that has been sitting in my mind for a long time, almost as long as Hryka. It’s more in the style of James Blish’s Cities in Flight series that anything else. It also has hooks that tie into the Deacon Carver stories, if one wants to see them.

"How It Really Happened…" is my bane. I know exactly the story I want to write, but whenever I put pen to paper (or more realistically, fingers to keyboard) it comes out wrong. The story idea is simple. Hollywood always gets alien invasion stories wrong - here’s how it would really happen. Why can’t I write this?

"Earth Bound" is a modern day techno-thriller, one of those "ripped from the headlines" stories. Unfortunately, events in Ukraine and Russia (as of summer 2014) keep out-pacing my story writing.

The Lebanon is an amazing piece of historical fiction that I’m dying to tell. Unfortunately, I’m not a good enough writer yet. When I am, I’ll write it. It’ll be amazing - think Salmon Rushdie good - and you’ll enjoy it. I promise.

There are other stories in this brain of mine, among them, Lost Tales of the Hryka, a short story collection that fleshes out the mythology of Hryka, and In Retrospect, which is a very tentative title for a real-world story about hindsight and wisdom that comes too late to save friendships.

But I'm also learning that being an author today is only 50% about being a writer. The other half of the time you need to be an entrepreneur, a publicist, a marketing guru, a graphic artist, a website designer and a few other things that I may not even have realized, never mind attempted or mastered, yet.

So I ascend hopeful, optimistic, and naive, because that's the only way to face what otherwise might seem daunting and impossible.

~SGP