Alright kiddos, gather round. Today we have Steven Shrewsberry stopping by to entertain you. Put on your raincoats in the first four rows, this might get messy.
I met Steven at Fandom Fest where I was privileged to not only lift a glass of moonshine with him (and Brady Allen and John Hartness) but to also sit and discuss the late, great Robert E. Howard with him and Brady Allen. It was a blast. Steven is a helluva guy. He writes some kick ass sword and sorcery as well as kick ass horror. I loved HAWG, OVERKILL, and THRALL and highly recommend them. Steven has promised me a story for THUNDER ON THE BATTLEFIELD, the sword and sorcery anthology I’m editing for Seventh Star Press for next year and, by Crom I plan to hold him to it!
So kick back and listen as he tells you about creating a new story.
A CREATION THING
As a guest blogger, I’ll try to behave and not wreck the place or wipe anything on the curtains as I go. Much. I’m author, Steven L. Shrewsbury, by the way, writer of sword & sorcery hardcore horror and a good dad, so I hear.
I’m enjoying going through the third draft of a novel. There seem to be so many folks doubting themselves or unsure of how they should approach things. Just do it, well, it cannot be that simple all the time, of course, but getting after it, yeah, do it. I like it. I feel good about it. I’m not filled with doubt, worry if I’ll offend anyone or any of that manure. It feels right. Now, that isn’t valid in every scenario in life, but this time, I feel the burn. It’s warm.
At times, I smile at things I write, stuff I forgot in the earlier drafts. There are times I have qualms that I wrote it at all. But that doesn’t scare me. Then there are the moments of passion, or outright Christmas morning glee when everything hooks up and the answers are revealed. Those are the times I feel it, I feel something, or someone in my mind. Maybe it’s my higher self, or my low-life, baser self, conducting an orchestra of the mad. Whatever the cheesy application, it’s damned good to listen to. It burns through the darkness and light splashes on the page. Does it smell like victory or just a mental napalm barbecue with legions of victims? Dunno.
All writers have a God complex. Some fess up to it but others whack off against the idea for eternity. It’s a creation thing, some are weirder or more obsessive than others. Some, their balls never drop and they work their jaws in discussion on a topic instead of working it out in a tale. Others, spread it out too much and the money shot gets old after a spell. Today, though, I looked at what I made. And it was good.
Why do writers write? That’s a complex one for a panel, but frankly, my answer has always been because I have to. Not out of financial need, but really that the tales must come out. I’ve been telling tales since I started re-fighting the battle of Jericho in my sandbox as a kid. Granted, Joshua didn’t have part off a Navarone play set and the will o’God behind him together, but I’ve always had the urge to relate a story. Many a tale is told easily and others have a terrible habit of torturing me for years. This novel I’m brushing up about a Confederate in his 90s facing a band of maniacs the Coen brothers would love is killer, at least to me, anyways, and it came out right. It isn’t S&S, and while parts are horrific, it is more survivalist/thriller, but I hate labels. Someday, I’ll share with the class.
Someday, someone will read this book and tell me it blows chunks. They may say they didn’t care for it, it wasn’t their kind of thing or, it fell short of what I must’ve had in mind. That’s okay as well. I told the story. It exists. It belongs to no one else. Those who cannot try can bite me. There are people that bitch to God about the weather, their taxes and why a platypus lays eggs. Today, I’m God. If only for a little while.
I’m sure He understands.