Writing is a solitary, at times lonely, occupation, which is probably why I decided recently to start a rock band. It’s been one of those things I wanted to do for years, so why not do it while I still have all my joints intact?

I’ve always loved rock and roll (I refuse to call it by that farty moniker classic rock) and I consider myself fortunate to have grown up during its heyday. Ten years ago I wrote and produced a popular web series about a 1970’s rock band called Gemini Rising. It won a Webby Honoree and was recommended by the Washington Post and the Boston Globe.  I’d like to say it was picked up by HBO, but alas no. It’s still out there, however, to be discovered and enjoyed. I put a lot of heart into the writing of the show and in the original music, and it’s always the artist’s hope that these strong emotions will somehow resonate with an audience.

Which is why I was thrilled to learn that my novel Black Magick: an Occult Thriller  is being featured on Wattpad’s Undiscovered, For Now list. Recognition at last! This book has been languishing in the Amazon jungle for awhile now, neglected and unread, so I don’t mind putting it out there for free (you can still buy a nice soft cover or 99 cent Kindle version). Real talk: I’m currently polishing the text after I discovered a few errors in the original upload (damn it! It’s tough editing your own work).

Getting featured on Wattpad is a real boon for any author . My other story that got featured went from a few hundred to over 25K reads in a few weeks and it’s continuing to climb on the site’s “hot list”. The overall positive response to it fired me up enough to start working on a sequel. Every creator needs a little encouragement.

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A few thoughts on Wattpad: as a writer and observer of trends, I truly believe that a platform like Wattpad is the future for fiction. Now, does it kind of suck that I’m not getting paid for all those reads? Yes, but that’s the system we’re currently in.

Take YouTube, I watch if far more than standard television. I enjoy the no-holds barred honesty of opinions unfiltered through the lens of political agendas and commercial interests even if what is being expressed sometimes makes my blood boil. It’s all grist for my writing and keeps my sense of humor honed. In the same fashion I enjoy the often rough-and-tumble prose offerings from my fellow Wattpaders. Their stories help me understand the nature of narrative, how telling tales is innate to all of us, and anyone with the discipline to sit down and put the work in can be a writer (myself included). I especially enjoy those highly dramatic stories that appear to be providing some kind of catharsis for the creator. More than ever, we need art to function as emotional release. There should be no law in that arena.

I love to write about artists, musicians in particular. I’m fascinated by what drives them to create. I must confess I’ve never lost my schoolgirl crush on that sexy music man archetype. I worship him from afar, identify with him on some level, and I enjoy beating the crap out of him (in fiction only). A piece of advice authors often hear is write what you know. My daily journal would be a major snooze-fest, but writing what I know internally (oh, the chaos!) has led me to plumb some dark mines of emotional truths. The worst advice is write what you think won’t offend anyone.

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The only sin is dullness.

Sometimes a story needs to bake in the oven for awhile, and I think that’s the case with  this novel. I’m happy to see it getting some recognition at last. Long live rock!

Here’s a recent reader’s review:

This is a terrific read, a sleek and sultry occult-noir thriller steeped in a sort of luscious, corrupt carnality reminiscent of Argento or Bava. The author is also a filmmaker, and both the imagery and pacing benefit from a cinematic sensibility: Scenes are set with vivid descriptions, and the story zips along at a lean, economical pace, begging to be read in a single sitting. Fun and creepy, and worth seeking out.

 

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