Monday, July 20, 2009

Guest post by Jack W Regan, author of T’Aragam

Guest post by Jack W. Reagan, author of T'Aragam.

Here he tells us how he got around writing this book. You can visit his site to learn more about the book. He is in some kind of a book tour to promote his book


By Jack W. Regan

I sat huddled over my laptop, the comfortable noise of a public library swirling around my ears. Comfortable, except for the screaming of the small child two aisles down.

I could only make out a few words: “WANT…BOOK!” it shrieked. Ah, so the little tyke wanted a book. One would have thought from his screams he was being fed feet first to a pack of wolves. I wouldn’t want that. Of course I wouldn’t.

I looked back at my screen, where text covered the first half of the page and left off abruptly, the blinking cursor the gatekeeper to a vast expanse of white, uncharted space. I glanced at the clock. 6 pm. Still two hours of writing time ahead and I was stuck.

The child screamed again. Death by wolf might not be so horrible, I thought. An idea struck me. Wolves! I could…! No, wait. I’d already used them in Chapter Seven. Blast.

It wasn’t unusual for me to be here, at the library, this time of day. I was quite the regular--ever since I’d seen the announcement in that writer’s magazine: Novel Writing Competition - $25,000 Cash Prize.

When I read that advertisement, I’d already been working on a novel, a young adult fantasy, for months, albeit with little success. Rewrite after rewrite, viewpoint changes, major plot shifts, lengthy strings of profanity…nothing worked. It just wouldn’t click.

Then I had read the magic words: twenty-five thousand dollars. I had looked at my calendar, checking it against the deadline, and my blood cooled. Only six weeks. Six weeks to churn out what had been eluding me for months, with no respite in sight!

I knew I had to try. Every possible day, I’d dragged myself to the library and sat there for hours, ensconced at a reading table or in a study room, typing away on my laptop. Until today, when things had come to a literal screeching halt.

The child was still going strong, despite his parents having bribed him with ice cream, a pony, and even a BMW on his sixteenth birthday.

I counted the days in my head…twelve. Twelve more days before I had to turn in my manuscript. And I was stuck.

At last, the parent surrendered and hauled the child across the library toward the exit. I tried to show my joy in a gentle, sensitive manner, but leaping into the air and clicking my heels together may have been a bit extreme.

As they disappeared out the front door and the rest of us patrons breathed a collective sigh of relief, I turned back to the laptop and squeezed my eyes shut, fingers poised, twitching, above the keyboard.

The fingers dropped and I wrote the first thing that came to mind: “Somewhere in the distance, he heard a scream.” I smiled.

Twelve days later, I typed “The End” at the bottom of the manuscript and sent it off to be judged. It wouldn’t win the $25,000, but I would ultimately end up with a book in my hands: “T’Aragam: the Max Ransome Chronicles.”

Turns out, it was worth the long hours, the panicky feeling when you don’t know what to write, and even the screaming child two aisles down. Besides, if he bothers me while I’m working on the sequel, I can hit him with my book.


Thanks Jack, for the guest post. I really enjoyed reading this.


serendipity_viv said...

Fabulous to read what actually motivated Jack to write. Perhaps I need to look up some writing competitions to push me into writing.

Craig Hart said...

Thanks for commenting, Scrap girl. And a big thanks to my host, Gautami. This has been an excellent host blog.

Zia said...

What a fantastic insight to read on a Monday morning! I'm not a writer but I sure enjoyed reading how you got motivated to finish up your book.

Craig Hart said...

Thank you, Zia. I appreciate you stopping by and also your kind words!

joe doaks-Author said...

This is both interesting and evocative. I can picture the screaming, I can actually hear the child. I feel your frustration. Both are clear, thanks to the way you wrote it. Good job. You'd probably rather have the book than 25K, anyway, right? Grin

Best regards, Galen

Imagineering Fiction Blog

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Hey, gang. I'm dropping in to say thanks for the heads-up, Gautami. You know I check my inbox before I check my reader!

I've got this posted at Win a Book for you. Jack, if we can be of any service, holler.

Craig Hart said...

Galen: Glad you liked the post! And...I would have preferred both the money AND the book, but...I have to say the feeling of having the book is pretty awesome! :0)

Susan: I appreciate the posting!

Anonymous said...

This was great fun! I've seen the same $25,000 mirage, but it has not motivated me as much. I'll have to check out his book.

ibeeeg said...

This was an interesting post. I do like reading about authors...what motivates them and such.
BTW: I checked out the book. It sounds interesting. It is going on my TBR list.

Mary said...

Totally enjoyed your post. I had the privilege of reading T'Aragam and highly recommend it to all.

Melissa O. said...

What a great story! Well, I suppose screaming children aren't so great, but it made for a cute story. Amazing how quickly the story ended up coming together...

Craig Hart said...

Stacy: I really just needed a kick in the pants, a motivation. I guess it gave me an "excuse" to finish!

ibeeeg: Thanks! I appreciate your interest in the book.

Mary: Thanks for your comment! It's great that you've read the book and, from the sound of it, enjoyed what you read. Thanks a lot.

Melissa: Ah, yes...screaming children. I suppose they serve their purpose, eh? For writing material, if nothing else. :0)

Staci said...

I love Jack's sense of humor!!! Very cool author post.

Anonymous said...

A really interesting guest post. You'll never know where the inspiration comes from right? You could probably write 'Screaming kid' in the acknowledgement section :)

Craig Hart said...

Staci: Thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed the post.

violetcrush: Now, why didn't I think of that? Hopefully, the kid doesn't grow up, read this post, and take legal action. :0)

gautami tripathy said...

It's really good to see interaction here!

Maybe I too need that monetary incentive to write. Or to publish my poetry. Just click on my name to read my poetry!

Sheila Deeth said...

Oh, I really enjoyed this piece. You should probably try not to hit too many obstreperous kids with books though.

Craig Hart said...

Gautami: I went and read some of your poetry and I definitely think you should try to publish them.

Sheila: Thanks! And I'll try to refrain from too many thumpings. :0)