The bulk of the work of writing takes place in a solitary room. It happens between a writer and his or her computer. However, even for Indie writers, creating a finished product, producing a physical novel from the ramblings of the mind is not really a solo act.
Editors, proofreader’s, cover designers, interior layout designers, writers groups, beta readers, family and friends all contribute to the process. Although, those who put up with the most, often receive the least amount of gratitude. For example, the family members who endure the last-minute thrown together dinners because the words were flowing or tolerate the mood swings when characters are not cooperating. And the friends who read the early and not so great versions of our work, but still offer honest feedback, while remaining supportive.
So, to my entire support network: Thank you! Here is a glimpse of the Acknowledgement page of “Secret Agent of God”:
There is every possibility, I will have forgotten to thank someone. Please know that this is not intentional. There is also a real possibility, that I might thank someone who will never even read my book. Some of my very best friends don’t follow my blog, or my twitter feed, and do not even have Facebook accounts. That’s OK, they have my back and for that I am forever grateful.
Oh and by the way, the first person to like this blog post on http://www.wordpress.com, will receive a free, signed copy of my new novel. It only seems fitting, since this is where my public writing journey began, to say thank you with a gift.
In 2012, I attended my first writer’s conference. Although, at the time, I had already been writing for years. Walking in that first day, I was certain that at that point in time, I was ready to become a published writer. Turns out, I wasn’t.
An agent was kind enough to review my work, but I was devastated when she said I was likely a year away from being ready. Another year, I thought. I’ll never make it. Alas, after many more hours of writing and after completing multiple rewrites, just shy of two years later, I emerged with a completely different manuscript.
I just published my ‘first’ novel, “Secret Agent of God”.
I say ‘first’, but what I mean is third, because the other two never saw the light of day. My real ‘first’ novel, the one I attempted to write about twenty-five years ago, was a summery love story. From what I can recall, it was along the lines of Snooky’s book about the Jersey Shore, but mine was about a little known island called Block Island off the coast of Rhode Island. I think I still have the story in a shoebox somewhere. It was hand-written on an assortment of cocktail napkins and in several beer-stained, spiral notebooks.
My second novel was another lovelorn tale about a single working gal, who was very similar to my former single-self, but in a fictional setting. Said ‘gal’ tried desperately not to fall in love with a very attractive private detective who had just breezed into town. YAWN. Sixty-five thousand words into the manuscript and after (I’m too embarrassed to say how many years), I decided the story was not unique enough to publish.
What’s the moral of this story? Both of these writing exercises helped me to become a better writer and more importantly, they made me realize some things. I don’t really like writing romance unless it’s wrapped in another package like paranormal suspense. Furthermore, if my life were exciting enough to read about, I wouldn’t need to write fiction. Finally, it takes as long as it takes. While deadlines are important, you need patience to become a writer.
In my first published novel, I created a protagonist who is nothing like me, threw her into a crazy situation and viola! I wrote a fast-paced thriller, with a strong female protagonist who is quirky, upbeat and funny despite her bleak circumstances. I almost feel badly about everything I put poor twenty-one-year-old Janice Morrison through, but I’m confident that she can handle it. She is ‘spiritually challenged’ but remarkably resourceful.
The weird thing is, I keep thinking, that someday I’ll be signing books in a mall somewhere and Janice will walk right up to me and say, “Hey, you stole my life!”
To my followers…Thank You! Sorry I’ve been away for awhile. I’ve busy, busy working on publishing my first novel…”Secret Agent of God”, which will be available on Amazon very soon! Here is a brief description compliments of http://www.createspace.com:
Janice Morrison has a special gift, even if it sometimes feels more like a punishment. She has prophetic visions, an ability that makes her very valuable to certain people.
Just how valuable becomes clear when a terrorist cell kidnaps Janice on her way to her daughter’s daycare. The leader of the cell─a suave, dangerous man Janice nicknames English─believes he can use Janice’s ability to time successful terrorist attacks. To coerce the frightened but defiant woman, English threatens to harm Janice’s friends and family.
What follows is a tense game of wits between captive and captor, as Janice attempts to avoid contributing to a terrorist attack on US soil while keeping friends and family safe.
The dangerous world of terrorism and the paranormal blend in a fast-paced and suspenseful thriller. Janice’s visions will have horrific consequences unless she learns to be a Secret Agent of God.
My research began on a ghost tour in Annapolis, Maryland, which led to digging into the local ghosts and perusing several books by Psychics, Echo L. Bodine and John Edward and then to Sidney Kirkpatrick’s book about “Edgar Cayce, An American Prophet”.
On the side of science, I discovered, “Tracks in the Psychic Wilderness: An Exploration of ESP, Remote Viewing, Precognitive Dreaming and Synchronicity”, by Dale E, Graff, which references the Stargate research program: NOVA episode about Stargate
And because of synchronicity, I stumbled on Carl Gustav Jung’s “Selected Writings” compelling, including theories on “Synchronicity”, “On the Nature of Dreams” and “On Life After Death”.
There’s a long history of questions, theories, beliefs in the field but hard proof is still difficult to come by. Still, I had way too much information rattling around in the attic of my brain to stop at one article and I’m intrigued by the notion of finding a connection between paranormal psychology and science.
What I have found, is a consensus among the “experts”, psychics and mediums suggesting we all have psychic abilities that are either undeveloped or just at different stages of development.
This sparked my interest in writing a novel, “Secret Agent of…God?” The premise: young protagonist, Janice Morrison’s discovery of foresight, leads to the upheaval of her ordinary life, a frightening interlude with terrorists and the ultimate struggle of faith.
I plan to finish it by January, however, as there is no seeming end to research material, I continue my meandering study, one book or reference leading to another. My current bedtime reads include: “Questions from Earth, Answers from Heaven”, by Char Margolis and Victoria St. George and “The Power of Premonitions “ by New York Times bestselling author, Larry Dossey, M.D.
Dossey presents a well-researched, scientific argument for PSI or parapsychology, using case studies and examples including those by well-known physicists. He references great thinkers such as Albert Einstein and authors Upton Sinclair “Mental Radio”, John William Dunne “An Experiment With Time” and “Nothing Dies” a book about immortality.
Margolis, a Psychic Intuitive, suggests ways to enhance your own psychic abilities and includes examples of everyday psychic events, suggesting much of what we call intuition is actually psychic ability.
So, are some scientists now seeing the light once reserved for Psychics?
According to Dossey, The Stanford Research Institute and the Science Applications International Corporation are among those conducting studies to build scientific evidence. Perhaps quantitative data will be the key that unlocks the door to the other side.
So what are your thoughts? Could psychic ability be like any other genetic or inherent gift, such as artistic or musical ability? Could PSI be laying dormant, just below the surface of our consciousness, waiting for us to awaken it?
Assume for a moment this is true, but that some are more talented or have had more time to perfect their ability, like Theresa Caputo, The Long Island Medium. Theresa Caputo Website
What would cause one person to tune in, but not another?
When someone loses their ability to hear or see, the other senses intensify, filling in the gap. By that same token, can you train your brain to awaken your sixth sense by focusing on mind over matter and mentally shutting down your other senses? Or, as Dossey suggests, use the five senses to enhance the sixth.
Whoa, shut the front door! Perhaps, all you have to do, is believe.