Writers: Don’t Wait. Write a Banned Book Today.

“If a story is in you, it has got to come out.” –William Faulkner

I love that quote by Faulkner. It’s how I’ve always felt about my best writing. When the story is in there, it just needs to come out, and the only way is through my fingertips. It’s a wonderful feeling.

What isn’t a wonderful feeling is how I feel about the publishing industry right now. I feel like writers are becoming less of artists because they’re at the mercy of publishers and consumerism. Will a story sell? If a publisher, editor or agent says no, too often the story is never written. Or if a writer sneaks and writes it between his/her agent-approved projects, it becomes one of Stephen King’s “trunk novels.” Filed away in a forgotten place.

When did writers start writing what everybody else WANTS them to write? If that were always the case, there’d be no banned books week (September 27-October 3, just fyi). Can you imagine Huxley pitching A Brave New World? Or Ray Bradbury trying to sell an agent on Fahrenheit 451? What if, at the time these books were being written, the publishing world said no and the writers didn’t write them? What if those books had never been there to inspire thoughts and feelings that aren’t always pleasant, but nonetheless help us to become a better place?

I believe it is the duty of writers and artists to bring things into the world that wouldn’t otherwise be there. If it’s a story that sells a million copies, great. The important thing is to get it on your computer screen and out of your head. Then do your damnedest to send it out into the world. Through the normal channels, through a small publisher, in ebook form or pamphlet or on your own blog, if need be.

“Let the world burn through you. Throw the prism light, white hot, onto paper.” –Ray Bradbury

Because that’s your job. That’s why you’re a writer.

In honor of banned books week, I’d like to urge all my fellow writers to join me next week in writing something they want to write. Don’t write it because somebody else thinks it will sell. Write it because it’s in your heart. You may rediscover that joy that writing used to bring you.

Standing on the Verge: Another Release Day

Today’s the day. Release day for Close Up Magic, yet another book I’m cutting the cord on and sending out into the bittersweet world of readers. I’ve called Close Up Magic the book of my dreams, the one I’ve always wanted to write, and it’s true. So today as I stand on the edge of the cliff getting ready to jump into who knows what, I know it matters a lot what happens from here. I’m throwing myself behind my book with all my weight. I’ve already started two more in this series, so the fate of Close Up Magic really does matter a lot. It’s time to put up or shut up.

Release day has to be nerve-wracking for all authors. You know, to the reader it’s another book to pick up or cast aside. But to us, it’s much more. It’s our heart and soul. It’s not ink that book is printed in. It’s blood and sweat and tears.

So here goes. One step and I’m off. Just one link to post and the ball is in your court. But before I do, I’d like to point out that advance readers and reviewers have said Close Up Magic is “magical”, “insightful”, “smart”, “fun to read”, “entertaining”, “humorous” and “passionate”, among other complimentary adjectives. I neither threatened these people nor paid them off, and none of them are related to me in any way. So maybe you’d like to check out Close Up Magic, and just in case you’re of the “try before you buy” mindset, you can read the entire Chapter 1 right here: Close Up Magic Chapter 1.

And with no further ado, here’s my leap. Buy Close Up Magic Now on Amazon!

Final note: Don’t forget to join me on Twitter and Facebook today for pictures of me in fabulous Las Vegas holding a copy of Close Up Magic! And check back a little later to find out who won the Kindle Paperwhite and the $20 Amazon gift card giveaways!