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A.F. Stewart, aka @Scribe77, did me.
Interviewed me, I mean.
We talked about
- The differences between writing short stories and novels (not much from a crafting standpoint, me thinks)
- Creating sympathetic villains (even the worst person has one humanizing detail)
- Genre writing (I don’t believe I write in a genre. My regular readers tell me my genre is “Joseph”)
- My incredible anthology, Tales Told ‘Round Celestial Campfires
- Being able to do amazing things with words when you’re an author
- The link between Satan and Hamilton Burger
- Getting kudos from your readers
- Ritchie and Phyl, my incredible work in progress
- How writing Flash fiction is like building a ship in a bottle
- Great Opening Lines
- My incredible scifi/military/thriller, The Augmented Man
- Writing about characters rather than genre (the story comes first, the genre comes second)
- Empty Sky and my standing offer; read the book, leave a review, and I’ll send you an autographed copy of the rewrite when it’s published.
- Children growing up
- Stories that grew out of my anthropology studies – Mani He and The Goatmen of Aguirra
- Getting kudos from editors and publishers
- Writing almost fantastic fantasies (okay, the story’s fantastic. It uses almost fantasy elements – The Weight)
So, yeah, we covered a few things.
A Writer’s Mechanic’s Manual for Any Car on the Road
Okay, first thing and before anything else, Get This Book!
I don’t care where you are in your writing career, Rita Mae Brown’s Starting from Scratch will give you a chuckle (several hundred, probably) and clarify things that were not only muddy, but had been pushed aside because they were just too damn hard to figure out.
Worry no more, Rita’s got you covered.
I didn’t know who Rita Mae Brown was until a friend suggested I give her a read. This was back in the early-mid 1980s. He thought she was brilliant and hilarious.
That didn’t tempt me.
Then he told me she could benchpress 225#.
Yes, I was that much of an assh?le (may still be) that that caught my interest.
But I didn’t pick up one of her books (that I remember) until my first go-round as a writer. That book being Starting from Scratch.
Reading the book recently, it’s obvious I had read it at least once before; there were highlights in it. There were highlights of concepts I remember, if not exact phrasings. Truth be told, I was probably unprepared for the book when I first read it (my copy was published in Feb 1988). I’m glad I kept it around.
Starting from Scratch is a mechanic’s manual of the English language. Brown explains the purpose of first v third person POV with duh! level examples and lots of them. Ditto subjunctive case (trust me, you need to read this section). Ditto strong v weak verbs (another must read). Imagine someone showing you a crescent wrench and a 9/16″ box-end, showing you they can do the same thing, then demonstrating why one works better on these types of nuts, the other works better on those types of nuts.
Her Exercises chapter…remember what I wrote above about being impressed by her bench? Here’s your cardio and resistance training in one incredible package.
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That Augmented Man…he sure gets around…
Come join the fun!
Thursday, October 17th, 6:00pm at the
34 Northwest Blvd
(in the Westside Plaza on 101A / Amherst St, next to Marshalls)
Nashua, NH 03063
Local author, Joseph Carrabis, will read from his novel, The Augmented Man, answer questions, and sign copies!
What do you do with a deadly weapon when it's no longer needed?
Nicholas Trailer is the last of The Augmented Men, beings created first by society and completed by a political group the public can't even imagine exists. Captain James Donaldson takes severely abused and traumatized children and modifies them into monsters capable of the most horrifying deeds without feeling any remorse or regret.
But the horrors of war never stay on the battlefield. They always come home.
Come find out what The Augmented Man is about in Manchester, NH, on 2 Nov 2019 at 1pmET
I’m on a roll, folks.
The good folks at the Manchester, NH, Barnes&Noble bookstore invited me to do a book signing on Saturday November 02, 2019 1:00 PM.
It would be crackers wonderful if all of you attend.
I mean, heck, I plan on being there…
A bit about The Augmented Man
The US Military concedes that any kind of combat leaves soldiers psychologically damaged and makes reintegration to society difficult.
The solution is to find individuals who are already so psychologically damaged the most horrendous combat experience will seem trivial by comparison. Better, find individuals psychologically damaged who’ve also experienced massive physical insult and trauma. Best, individuals psychologically damaged, physically traumatized, and emotionally vacant.
But where to find such individuals?
Captain James Donaldson suggests using massively abused and traumatized children as the basis, arguing “…they’ve already experienced more at home than they’ll ever experience in the field. All we need to is help their bodies catch up to where their psyches and emotions already are.
Nine individuals are selected for Augmentation and entered into combat.
And comes home.
I’m finding people’s reactions fascinating. Yes, the book reads like a military sci-fi thriller, and intentionally so. However, the real story is in the metaphor of the abused child.
Children from abusive families tend to think of themselves as monsters unworthy of love, hence the suffering they go through – often without even being aware that what’s happening to them isn’t normal, a “fish don’t know they live in water” kind of thing.
This monster self-concept is often reinforced by society which, not being able to recognize the child’s trauma, blames the child for its behaviors and problems.
So for me, the real meat of the story occurs when Trailer (the main character) uses everything he’s been taught (to be a monster) to heal himself from trauma, and then further when he realizes how much monsterhood he must retain in order to survive in a normal world.
You can find out more than you need to know at my About page.