I’m welcoming a special guest today and a long-time writing friend, Gordon Kessler. He is currently promoting his newest writing help book for novice to seasoned authors, STORYMASTERS – Advanced Notions in Novel Writing.
I could go on and on about this talented writer, but I will let him share some of his history himself.
When I started writing novels back twenty-five years ago, I didn’t know how to even begin or where to turn for advice. I was lucky, after going to a writers conference or two, I soon found a mentor in a writer named Mike McQuay, author of Escape from New York, Richter Ten (developed from a short treatment by Arthur C. Clarke), and some thirty other novels.
Before long, I had started a “free university” class in Wichita, Kansas, passing on everything I knew to fellow wordsmith wannabes—and I eventually taught a few community college classes. I queried publishers on my first completed manuscript, JEZEBEL, and I got my first book deal on the second submission back in 1992. The World was mine … nyah, ah, a-ah! Well, not quite. Let’s just say a whole lot has happened since then.
Book deals fell through, big name NYC agents came and went … and so did my beloved mentor. Mike McQuay died in 1996. Soon after, lost and seeking some kind of an anchor for my writer’s soul, I helped form the Kansas Writers Association, and was their first president.
Then along came Leonard Bishop, a wonderful writer and well-known writing instructor, to help fill the void Mike had left. The author of Dare to Be a Great Writer as well as a number of critically claimed novels (one made into a TV movie of the week), Leonard was an amazing man. I enjoyed his friendship and guidance for over five years, until, on a very sad day in 2002, he too passed.
Mike and Leonard were polar opposites in both their styles and in many of their writing techniques—still both had found their own ways of very effectively entertaining their audiences. I consider myself super fortunate to get such a broad range of understanding from two of the most wonderful writing mentors available, and these relationships helped me tremendously with my own career.
With everything I’d learned from my cherished mentors, and in leading writers organizations, attending dozens of conferences—actually heading up a few along the way—developing relationships with those in the publishing industry (including bestselling authors and big-five publishing house editors), reading hundreds of writing books and magazines, teaching novel-writing classes, studying and getting a degree in English composition with a focus in creative writing, I began writing NOVEL WRITING MADE SIMPLE in 2004. Primarily to keep me on track by gathering all I’d learned into one place one snippet at a time, I organized it into a textbook for my writing.
Lots of stories in between of the ups and downs in my writing career, but I won’t bore you anymore about that. I found my soul’s anchor and some success in “indie publishing” my own novels and books on writing, putting out seventeen titles in eBooks, many of those in print (POD), and a few in audiobooks, as well. Of course besides editing expertise incumbent to my English degree, I’ve picked up a few other important skills along the way, including a professional understanding of eBook and print-book formatting, book-cover design and online book publishing platforms. This leads nicely into my passion for helping fellow writers—paying it forward. I’ve found great reward in assisting hundreds of other writers to hone their skills and become both “indie” as well as traditionally published.
StoryMasters, my latest book on writing, could be considered the eighth edition of Novel Writing Made Simple, as I used my old reliable novel-writing text for the basis of the new work. However, StoryMasters is a considerable rethinking and revision of the older text, updated and added to with an in-depth look at suspense, new thoughts on subtext, and visiting new areas like “free indirect discourse,” “full reader empathy and emersion” (FREE), and “story storming”. I hope you take a peek—it’s guaranteed to give even the seasoned storyteller a new way to look at a number of fiction-writing notions.
BUY LINK: Amazon
Website & Blog: http://GordonKessler.com
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Thriller Novelist, Writing Coach, Editor & Cover Designer l Author of Novel Writing Made Simple
BRAINSTORM, DEAD RECKONING & JEZEBEL l “The E Z Knight Reports” Action/Adventure Series