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Sunday, March 2, 2014

AM I A FOOL?



“To write something, you have to risk making a fool of yourself.” ~ Anne Rice

Yep, I'm in the back on the left. Ms. Rice in the front.
I’ve had the honor and pleasure of meeting Ms. Rice a few months ago, sat down and spoke with her and those words are rather appropriate for me. We spoke during the long weekend event several times. So very cool! Made the entire trip worthwhile. Oh, and met her son Christopher (also an author) as well.

Perhaps others who read this post today will feel the same way about what she said about writing.

As writers, we encounter a varying amount of praise to criticism, great reviews to comments bordering on bullying, or success to failure with sales. I don’t know about other authors, but my stories are my babies for the time I’m writing them. A while back, I had to learn to let them go and move on to the next one and not get too attached to them. But darn! There are some characters I’ll defend and love to the end, and have a hard time letting them go. If I have to make a fool out of myself keeping them around, so be it.

I think any creative hobby or profession is always a risk. Heck! Life is a risk every day, but add to the equation putting something out for public consumption is scary stuff. Take making a sale out of the picture for this discussion, and you’re still left with anyone like what I’ve written? How about the plot? Is it original? Do the characters pop off the page—have depth and are they likeable? Or do we just say screw it, I’m writing for what I like and if I never sell a single copy, and I’m okay with that?

I’ve been a published author for three years and in this time I’ve not only evolved in my writing but I’ve also noticed an evolution in the romance genre. I’m mean look at what Ms. Rice did back in the 70’s with her writing. Vampires have evolved from her Lestat. And look at E.L. James. Despite what anyone thinks of the famous, insanely popular trilogy, she did bring the idea of the BDSM lifestyle more into mainstream. She’d been bashed for writing the story as fan fiction and she still persevered and probably felt like a fool for dealing with the criticism along the way, but she’s smiling now. All the way to the bank.

I plan to keep making a fool of myself.

Here’s a snippet from my latest foolish attempt at writing, The Misadventures of Dick Grewcock. Enjoy and I’ll see you next month.
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Dick never realized becoming a vampire would be such a depressing let down. Before making the choice, he read all the books concerning the transformation process, what happened before, during, and after. He watched movies, some of the worst and best. The decision came easy. The difficult part required finding the perfect sire. From everything he’d learned on the subject, for optimum results of an undead after-life, one had to select an experienced and ancient vampire. Their blood was evidently purer. The biggest problem he faced had been where the hell did he find one?
The Internet? Word of mouth? No. An old, dark castle? Forget that one. Florida is fresh out of dank and dreary medieval manors. Surprisingly, he did locate a bona fide vampire. At least the advertisement suggested the existence of one. Andreaus Vladimirescu, the owner of Vamps ‘R Us, Dick later learned, believed in branding his company. Even the VRU emblem plastered on the wall entering the lobby was used on all marketing materials. Dick assumed discretion was the moniker for the vamp community, but how wrong his presumption turned out. Of all places to look, Dick found the elder vamp through the Yellow Pages six months ago. At first he thought the ad nothing more than a possible Goth cult-like nonsensical scam, but soon learned otherwise after he met Master Vlad. So began the journey to the dark side. After exhaustive weeks of preparation, the deed was done and led him to tonight’s visit.
The walk down the long hallway brought back memories of the first visit to meet Master Vlad. Dick remembered the high anxiety he experienced, the anticipation of finally getting what he coveted—becoming a sexy, young-looking thirty-two year old, virile and immortal vampire. With the trip tonight, the euphoric mood faded and in its place, anger.
With a deep breath to calm his nerves before crossing the threshold of the private office, Dick’s heart sped up, thumping hard against his ribs. Thank goodness he ate before arriving, or his legs would have given out. The tall, female assistant closed the door behind him.
“Mister Grewcock, how are you this evening?” The six foot plus, pasty male vampire asked. Vlad stood in front of the mini-bar, holding a decanter. “Care for some? It’s fresh.” He grinned and poured a glass of blood.
“No, thanks. We need to talk.” Dick’s voice sounded edgy to his own ears. Actually, irritation with a bit of anger described his tone. He had to keep composure or else he knew the older vampire could vanquish him as easily as he had turned him. Dick wanted his old life back, not have his existence wiped off the face of the Earth.
“Of course, Mister Grewcock. Please have a seat and make yourself comfortable.”
Dick sat in a chair positioned askew at the corner of the massive, cherry wood desk. Upon sinking down, way down, quite a bit lower than the piece of furniture in front of him. The position put him a couple inches off the floor. The Shaq couldn’t tower over Vlad sitting in this chair. Perhaps his imagination played tricks on him again. Lately his senses acted out of whack, misfiring at the oddest moments, another reason for his visit to Master Vlad, as the ancient vamp preferred to be addressed.
Sucking in a deep breath before speaking, Dick’s voice squeaked. “I want my money back along with my life, the old human one.” He stumbled over a few of his words while keeping his eyes lowered. Speaking this way was so out of his comfort zone. He peeked up sheepishly and caught the ancient one staring.

Cynthia Arsuaga
  Erotic Romance Author

8 comments:

Tina Donahue said...

Great post, Cynthia. An author's life isn't an easy one.

Sandy said...

Cynthia, you did a great job going deep into Dick's thoughts and showing his emotion. Great excerpt.

Paris said...

Interesting blog! As long as you believe in your characters, I think you're on the right track, lol! At least that's always been my philosophy.

Cara Marsi said...

Hi, Cynthia. I love the quote from Anne Rice. And you are so right that when we publish a book we're putting parts of ourselves out there. I read somewhere that writers have to have the hide of a rhino and the soul of a poet. So true. I read Rice's Mayfair Witches series. Very scary. I couldn't read her vampire series. Vamps scare me so I don't read any of them.

Melissa Keir said...

We do fall for our characters. The stories are our babies. I also believe that we are better for taking chances than for sitting by and lamenting never doing anything. After all, who will be able to say that they are the next EL James because she's out there... somewhere... maybe here at RB4U.

jean hart stewart said...

Love Ann Rice and think she's inspired a lot of us in different ways. Good column and great excerpt. As for my opinion on writing,,, all you can do is all you can do. And most of us just have to write....

Cynthia Arsuaga said...

Thanks for your comments ladies! Yep, I'll keep writing and putting my work out there. If one person enjoys, then it's worth it to me.

Renee Vincent said...

Cynthia, that is so amazing that you met Anne Rice. What an honor that must have been, and to sit and talk with her. I'm sure this will be a day you'll never forget!

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