Writer versus Author

A good writer is skilled in the technical art or crafting verse and prose.

An author is the person with the vision to craft a compelling story, an involving saga.

A person can be a great writer and a mediocre author. I’ve read many a novel that was perfect in technical terms, but dull as watching paint dry and unable to summon even one true emotion from the reader.

And I’ve read the polar opposite. The stories written with average skill that touched the hearts of millions.

You can always teach an author to be a better writer, but there are no guarantees that a skilled writer will ever be able to germinate the idea that can move mountains (of readers).

As any author can show you, the story comes first. If a great story comes to you, start writing, no matter your skill level. Get your great story out there.

Introducing Hope Ohlarik

Happy October, everyone!

As my blog approaches its third anniversary this month, I celebrate how lucky I am to be on PDMI Publishing, a publisher perfectly poised to fill a giant void left in the marketplace by the Big Five. A void that can only be filled by a company with a vision to see this need, and the resources to act on it. You’ll be seeing a lot of great things from PDMI in the months and years to come.

One of them is Hope Ohlarik.

She’s PDMI’s hidden gem, a poet who can take you to the darkest corners of your soul, then lift you up to joy.

Her poetry book Through Eyes Of Jaded Hope, cuts right into the darkest corners of the human soul. Not a light-hearted beach read, to be sure; but as she expresses it, Keep reading, keep going deeper, and deeper, maybe the answer you’ll find if you linger. The pains of our existence are never a casual read, but they are an essential one if we are to find the answers to our lives. Only our nadir can make us truly appreciate the simple joys of life. Hope guides you along the river Styx, then delivers you joy when you complete your crossing.

This insight into our real characters bodes very well indeed for Hope as she enters the world of fiction with her forthcoming PDMI novel “Broken.”

Her fearless hero Maria Daron will come to life in the pages. For those like Hope, with the gift of insight into what makes people real, are uniquely qualified to bring a real soul to fictional characters. And through the adventures of heroes like Maria Daron, we find the hero in ourselves.

Hope Ohlarik home page

Follow “Broken” on Facebook

We All Dream Of Iced Screams

Wax Audio: “Enter You”

Time for another Vampire Syndrome snippet! 😈

I’m standing near the entrance of a cave. The stars and a crescent moon are the only lights in the sky, yet I can see all the colors of the surrounding landscape as clearly as if it was daytime. Deep green grass and bright green leaves in the bushes at night. How can this be?
A man in a long black coat points toward the cave. His deep voice startles me.
“It’s time, Jack.”
Time for what? I look at my watch. Three-thirteen a.m.
I take a step, then hesitate.
Somehow, I know I have to go in there. But I don’t want to. Not just because caves are so spooky. I know something’s in there, waiting for me.
The man clears his throat and points again.
I walk slowly to the entrance. Looks okay so far. Time to go inside. It’s dark in here, but I can see everything clearly. The rock walls are filled with little sparkles of gold. Is this an old gold mine? Or maybe it’s all fools’ gold, like in the prospector shop near Buena Vista that Coach Ron and Diane took me to when I was eight.
A crashing noise, coming from farther down in the cave, startles me. Could have been a rock falling. If I keep telling myself that, I might even believe it.
The tunnel becomes steeper as I go down. A very cold breeze is blowing hard on my back. How come I’m not shivering? I don’t even have a jacket on, just a t-shirt and jeans. My brain knows how cold it is, but my body isn’t bothered by it at all.
I pass through the end of the narrow tunnel. Check it out, I’ve just entered a huge underground cavern. The ceiling is full of pointy rocks. Some of them are dripping water. This looks like Carlsbad Caverns, but without all the bright lights. How come I can see all the colors? Lots of brown, green, red, orange and tan. This place is a rainbow of rocks. The white crystal coating on top of the big brown boulders in the right corner makes them look like a giant bowl of frosted cinnamon rolls. Wish I had my camera.
To my left, one of the icicle-shaped rocks breaks from the ceiling and lands in a puddle of water. Was that the same rock-falling sound I heard before? I hope it was. Maybe an icicle rock falling on the floor of this cavern sounds different in the tunnel than it does here. At least I hope so.
I feel an urge to enter the dark tunnel directly in front of me. As if someone inside is calling out to me. But I didn’t hear a sound.
“Jack.”
I heard it that time.
No, I didn’t hear it. It’s coming from inside my mind. Am I hearing voices?
“Jack.”
A woman’s voice. Doesn’t sound familiar, but for some reason, I recognize it.
Gold and silver sparkles on the walls light my way along the tunnel. I increase my pace from walking to running with no extra effort. Feels like I’m moving on a fast conveyor belt.
At the end of the tunnel, a small cave. A beautiful woman stands before me. Her long, curly black hair covers the shoulders of her gold-trimmed black dress.
I know her, she knows me.
Her head is bowed down. Tears trickle down her face. Why is she so sad?
The woman yells, “Look behind you.”
I whip my head around.
Two pale white ghosts. One man, one woman. Both crying out, “Jack.”
It was the ghost woman I heard back in the cavern. Same voice, but now she’s speaking directly to me.
I dash in front of the sad woman. She leaps into my arms and I carry her. How can I be lifting her so effortlessly? I’ve had a harder time lifting a bag of kitty litter.
More ghosts approach us. The sad woman screams in terror. I have to get her out of here.
I run. Fast. Too fast. Even carrying the sad woman in my arms, I’m zipping through the tunnels and caverns like I was downhill skiing. Except I’m running uphill. How can this be?
The echoes of the ghosts calling out my name fade in the distance as I dash up the last tunnel.
Once we escape the cave, a crowd of people watch as I stop running. I release her from my arms and she stands up. We wave to the crowd. She leans down to hug me, her long black hair brushing against me as she kisses my cheek.
The crowd applauds and hollers. I study the people. Where’s the man in the long black coat?
Several men hoist me into the air as the crowd chants my name. Awesome, I’ve become their hero. The woman I rescued begins swaying her hips like a belly dancer. Two women join her in the dance.
I look toward the cave entrance. The man in the long black coat went in there. Somehow, I know he did. I’ve gotta get him out of there. The ghosts will get him.
A woman’s voice. “Jack?”
A nudge on my shoulder. How can that be? I’m way on top of the crowd carrying me.
“Jack?” I know her voice.
Someone just touched my hair.

***

Special thanks to Emily Guido for featuring Vampire Syndrome in Fangs and Hearts Week! 😀