Word of the week: discern \di-ˈsərn, -ˈzərn\ (hear it!) - verb – 1a : to detect with the eyes;
b : to detect with senses other than vision; 2 : to recognize or identify as separate and distinct : discriminate; 3 : to come to know or recognize mentally - (Merriam-Webster Dictionary)
Word of the week: trenchant /ˈtrenCHənt/ - (hear it!) - adjective - 1: keen, sharp; 2: vigorously effective and articulate; 3 a : sharply perceptive : penetrating; b : clear-cut, distinct
Author’s Note: Even though my scheduled indie author of the month was unable to provide an interview for this week’s post, I’m still going to feature him because his projects deserve as much attention as any other good indie author’s.
So, with that said . . .
Indie Author of the Month: Please Come Meet . . . Linton Robinson
For many years, Mr. Linton Robinson has been a wealth of writing and publishing experience and knowledge, all of which have been sorely missed by the online writing community I help admin. Not only does he support authors who strike out on their own in indie publishing, but he also often successfully and quite trenchantly refutes those restrictive and sometimes downright stupid “rules” that can stifle a decent writer’s creativity and capabilities.
In other words, Mr. Robinson has duly “smacked” some of us out of our little gilded cages and taught us how to fly free (writing- and publishing-wise, that is), and for this, we say: “Thank you!”
Back in the autumn of 2012, I’d had the pleasure of reading one of Mr. Linton’s many novels: Boneyard 11. . . . And I loved it. Well written, with an engaging plot line that moved at a moderately quick pace and an ending that left me completely reader-satisfied. But even more so, it was the characters who held me fast to the digital page, displaying various facets one wouldn’t normally attribute to the types of people they represented. And this, of course, made them “come alive” on the page. Cliché characters are flat, and usually boring to read. The characters of Boneyard 11 were anything but.
My favorite? Nan. Bold and beautiful, cunning and intelligent; a woman with a strong moral core. In my opinion, she totally “made” the tale, and since Boneyard 11 is listed as the first in Mr. Linton’s Borderline Series, I’m truly curious to see who else surfaces (or re-surfaces) in this particular story world!
In the meantime, there are other Robinson books available to read: Sweet Spot, Bailin', Afro-Cuban Boogie-Woogie, The Way of the Weekend Warrior . . . plus those he’s co-authored: Imaginary Lines, Sky Seeds, Mexican Slang 101, Mayan Calendar Girls . . . all of which are available at Amazon, Amazon uk, or from Adoro Books. Very much worth a browse-through. Plus, you can get to know him a little through his bio page or read more about his available books found at his website: linrobinson.com
Another great indie author who deserves our recognition. Please, do consider supporting his projects. You’ll be glad you did!
Word of the week: audacity /ôˈdasitē/ (hear it!) - noun - a : intrepid boldness; b : bold or arrogant disregard of normal restraints - Merriam-Webster Dictionary
Time, Effort, and Dedication
What makes someone a “real” writer?
So often I've heard this question around the forum I help admin. Used to be a “real” writer was someone whose work was picked up and published by someone else, and sure, that somewhat holds true today for some people. All right, a lot of people. Still. But come on, really, does that mean those who write full stories, however long, and never get picked up by a publisher aren't writers?
I would certainly hope not.
By definition, a writer is: “One who writes, especially as an occupation.” All right, so by definition, money is apparently attached, as the definition of “occupation” is: “an activity pursued as a livelihood” and a livelihood generally requires funds to support. But if a writer never receives any money for his work, what then? Does that mean he's not a writer?
I would certainly hope not.
The amount of currency and the ability to live upon the turnout of one's work shouldn't be the only measure of success for a writer, not with so many different measures of success out there. Yes, it's certainly possible that what one person deems successful, another might deem a failure. Does that mean one writer's success, however small, however non-money related, however quiet and unknown, makes him a failure?
I would certainly hope not.
What I believe makes a writer a “real” writer is his (or her!) strict dedication to the craft. The willingness and determination to learn it well—and by this I mean all of the ins and outs, and yes, even how and when to bend those supposed “rules” everyone's forever yammering on about—plus the time and effort to create a well-written, well-developed story with engaging scenes and circumstances involving a host of well-rounded, well-fleshed out characters, all coupled with the drive and ability to captivate a readership.
So to hell with “Oh, I must be traditionally published to be a 'real' writer” crap. No. That's a bogus measure of success, and in my humble opinion (as tiny as it is in this hugely enormous world of writing), it's a lame excuse not to move forward on one's own, especially with such easy access to a possible readership.
Unfortunately, however, all-too-many would-be authors have the audacity to believe “easy access, easy work,” which is absolutely not the case. A serious writer—a “real” writer, if you will—totally dedicates himself (or herself!) to the craft and treats his writing like an occupation, money received or not. And he doesn't settle for anything less than the finest turnout of his best work . . . erm, to the finest and best of his (or her!) ability, that is.
My measure of success? I'd love to have an underground readership. Nothing fancy. Just a smallish group of followers. No fame, no fortune, no high recognition. Just readers. They are my ultimate bottom line.
But you know, I gotta tell you a secret . . .
Some years back, I'd submitted a story to an online magazine, whose short story fiction editor recognized my name from the work I'd done in Writer's Beat Quarterly, online magazine for The Writer's Beat writing community. What a small, startling, and gratifying mood-booster that was! A small online press, sure—hell, seriously, what big-name company would ever know a small-time writer's name?—all the same, it was a mini-thrill. To know my name was “out there,” somewhat, already? Yeah. . . .