Publishers often encourage writers to stick to one genre. Stephen King is not about to start writing romance novels any more than J.K. Rowling is going to take us on a spaceship to explore the galaxy next door. And, if you want to jump from fiction to nonfiction, then you are in for similar challenges.
As a reporter I wrote nonfiction, but I have always thought my book-length projects would grow out of the realm of fiction. I was a storyteller and there was no way I could write about cold, hard facts for that long in a way that would interest me, much less anyone else. I have since come up with some ideas, but those are collaborative products where I would be partnering with others to channel their brilliance. Doing it on my own seemed impossible. Coming away from my last writers’ conference, I brainstormed ideas with my wife about how to turn my first novel into a trilogy. I was set to write book two in the series this summer and the third one next summer.
Then one day an idea popped in my head: why don’t I take some of my experiences as a teacher and use them to help parents help their kids? Ruminating over this concept for a few days, I christened the project High School Declassified and decided to launch a new blog, and write the first draft of a book while I design parent workshops to create a platform for the project when, and if, it does get off the ground.
The Monday after I started summer vacation I began to write. Instead of having to force ideas out, they came naturally. With a little bit of planning and structure, the words flowed from mind to fingers to computer screen like a rushing river. Now, to be sure, this is a rough draft and may require radical revision, but I was excited by the progress.
This may be my one significant work of nonfiction for a very long time, but if so, it is a delight to be well on my way to a brand-new world of writing. I am looking forward to what I discover in this enchanting land.
While I may be a Southern California native, I am not, nor have I ever been, the stereotypical surfer dude. Some experiments at boogie boarding in my adolescent years is as close as I came to riding the waves. I would like to blame my flawed eyesight for this, but I suspect I also was never good at reading the signs.
Now I am trying to ride the waves again, metaphorically speaking. As a writer, I enjoyed some early success with my first book, but then there was a lull in the waves, as it were. Sales dropped off and I was left with the question of how to make them rise again. But one thing I have come to learn about the world of publishing is that it is more like a water park or swimming pool—you have to make your own waves.
So here I go with my latest attempt at boosting interest, and sales. I am distributing copies of the book strategically and the next big wave is coming: a bargain basement sale on the electronic version of Chasing Deception. While I don’t expect sales in the tens of thousands, I am learning this is a step-by-step process. We’ll see how far this wave carries me before I plan my next move. I also have two other writing projects in the works, giving me a chance to get better at making, and riding, those waves.
I've been writing stories and taking photos since I was old enough to hold a pencil and stand behind a tripod.