New Year’s Eve

Isn’t it crazy how Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve both fell on regular blog posts days here at Chase Connor Books? It’s like the universe wants to be sure that we all check in with each other on the important days, to make sure we stay connected. Of course, the 24th and the 31st are exactly one week apart, so it’s not weird that they both fell on Tuesday when you look at it from that angle.

New Year’s Eve is usually for partying, drinking champagne, and kissing someone at midnight–preferably someone we want to see more of in the following year.

However, many of us (myself included) would rather stay home in warm pajamas, in front of the fire (and the Christmas Tree I still haven’t taken down), and snuggle up with my loved ones–furry or otherwise. Maybe we will watch a good movie or read a good book.

If you choose to go with a good book, you know that I have recommendations. You can always read any of mine on Kindle Unlimited by going here:

Chase Connor’s Amazon Page

Or you can check out some of my LGBTCrew Book Recommendations by going here:

LGBTCrew Books

Two books stood out this year as my absolute favorites:

Icarus is a stunning achievement. It retells a tale as old as time, in a way that tears your heart to shreds, yet simultaneously makes it soar. Wing makes this epic Greek myth accessible, while still honoring it’s antediluvian charm. Admirers of the recent works of Madeline Miller will hold Icarus in similar esteem. Wing’s skillful storytelling, combined with his masterful writing talent, make this a book you will not want to miss.
This first novel from A.J. Stiles is how any author wants to debut. Part travelogue, part love letter to food and Brazil, the past and the present collide under the heart-wrenching specter of war, lost love, grief, and finding oneself…all while romance and hope blooms. This book tore my heart out of my chest, ripped it up, pasted it back together, made me swoon. It was like a feast of words, every single one I could taste and smell. I will be watching for more from this author and will buy each new offering without a second thought. This is, simply put, a masterpiece.

Two of my favorite movies this year were JUDY and CATS. Yes. CATS. I don’t know what all of the hate for CATS is about–but it was stunning, gorgeous, and amazing. Every actor was perfection, the songs were stunning, the CGI pays tribute to the original stage production of humans pretending to be felines…it was phenomenal. And JUDY couldn’t have shown Renee Zellweger’s acting and singing ability more perfectly. I was a teary mess by the end and often forgot I wasn’t watching Judy Garland herself perform. I can’t recommend these two movies enough. Regardless…

This year with all of you, sharing my books, hearing your thoughts, reading your books, getting to “meet” so many of you, and getting to know so many of you so well has been one of the great joys of my life. I hope you all know what an honor it has been to be able to share a little piece of myself with you and have that returned. I hope we continue to do so for years to come.

So…I will see you all next year. Yes. I used that joke. Don’t hold it against me.

Tremendous Love & Thanks,

Chase

A Jacob Michaels Christmas

Since it is a holiday for many people, I will keep today’s post very short, sweet, and to the point.

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas, whether you celebrate it or not. I hope today and tomorrow–and every day after–is filled with light, love, family, friends, good health, plenty of food, adequate shelter, clothes on your back, and a smile on your face.

From Chase Connor Books and The Lion Fish Press, we wish you the very best going forward.

Thank you for being with me, and allowing me to be with you, on our journey through this writing journey.

Joyeux Noël, Feliz Navidad, Buon Natale, Merry Christmas. And, as a special treat to my readers and friends, here is a sneak peek at JACOB MICHAELS IS DEAD (A POINT WORTH LGBTQ PARANORMAL ROMANCE BOOK 6).

This excerpt has a spoiler, so if you haven’t read the first 5 books and CARNAVAL, you don’t want to start here.

Enjoy!

Point Worth, OH

1975

          Sitting atop the tree stump just inside the halo of light cast by the campfire, the man slowly opened the book, letting it come to rest upon his lap. The children gathered around the perimeter of the campfire sat in the lotus position, leaning forward expectantly. All of their parents had brought them to the old lands out by the lake to hear this story, just as parents had been doing for many generations past. Flames from the fire licked high into the night air, sending sparks and embers floating into the velvety blackness above. Skeletal arms and fingers of the trees in their deep autumn slumber flickered in and out of sight with each spout of flame from the fire. The man looked slowly around the circle of children sternly, solemnly, before suddenly clearing his throat, making the children twitch anxiously. Looking down at the book, his mouth opened and his gravelly voice poured forth:

          “Once upon a time…”

          evil came to this land.

          Its name was Bloody Bones. Though, what it was, no one knows.

          Where it came from, no one knows.

          What it looks like, no one knows.

          What is known is that it has almost always been here. Lurking. Waiting. Watching. From beneath us.

          Rising from the depths of the water, it would drag wicked children into the depths, never to be seen again.

          “Sass your parents…Bloody Bones will getcha!”

          “If you don’t clean up your mess…Bloody Bones will getcha!”

          “Fight with your brothers and sisters…Bloody Bones will getcha!”

          Parents would often say these things to their children, warning them that bad behavior would summon it. Bloody Bones would come for the wicked children. No one knew why everyone thought Bloody Bones only came for wicked children because, truth be told, he comes for all. Eventually, Bloody Bones comes for all of the wicked people, children and adults alike. No one is safe from it. It is everywhere at all times, waiting for its next wicked soul to claim. Though, no one really knows much else.

          The one thing that is known is why it is here.

          Many years ago…centuries…eons…who knows really? Bloody Bones simply rose from the ground, given life by the very magic that permeates every inch of this Earth. But it wasn’t just the magic of the land that gave life to it…it was also the evil that seems to fill the nooks and crannies where magic doesn’t reach. Where there is good, there is always evil.

          Bloody Bones began its wrath of terror, claiming souls for its own. Ripping children from their beds and dragging them away, leaving tearful mummies and daddies wondering where their babes had gone. It killed livestock and family pets. Flying through the countryside, distorting the very magic which had begat it, attempting to create a new world in its vision.

          Hell on Earth.

          And if Bloody Bones had its way, that’s exactly where we would be now. Instead of sitting around this campfire, safe and sound.

          For many years…generations really…the people of this land lived in fear of and in servitude to Bloody Bones. Afraid to anger the master of the magic of this land. Parents clutched their children tightly to their bosoms as they put them to bed each night, wondering if Bloody Bones would come. Food and drink, sometimes pets and livestock, were left as offerings on the doorsteps of the homes as the sun went to meet the horizon each night.

          Bloody Bones was satisfied…for a time.

          It had magic.

          Rule of this land.

          Blood. Meat. Drink.

          It was king.

          But even kings grow weary and dissatisfied with their kingdom.

          Bloody Bones wanted more.

          More children were taken. More livestock destroyed. Houses were burned with families inside. His wolves terrorized the villages. Years of famine and illness cast a dark shadow over these lands. Bloody Bones cast these lands into darkness for many years.

          But…as things usually go…where there is magic, there is hope.

          Just as Bloody Bones appeared, so did The Guardian and The Oracle.

          And, finally…the witch.

          The witch knew that no one but she could release her people from bondage—to free them from Bloody Bones’ reign of terror. Barely more than a child, the witch and Bloody Bones met on the field of battle. It was brutal and it was not quick. The Guardian and The Oracle watched—as Guardians and Oracles often do—as Bloody Bones was sealed in the ground. Right here. Beneath us. Right where we sit at this moment.

          It was obvious, as the witch collapsed to the ground, that the child might recover. However, instead of living to fight another day, the witch gave her life, the last of her power, to seal Bloody Bones away for good. As her blood spilled upon the Earth, she cast a wide net of magic with her final breath. As long as the magic of her family was in this land, Bloody Bones would never return. It would stay sealed beneath us…forever.

          Watching.

          Waiting.

          Plotting.

          The Oracle and The Guardian watched as the witch’s body was swallowed by the land. A peculiar artifact sprouting from where she had laid.

          They knew that with her spell, the witch had balanced the fate of these lands upon a razor’s edge.

          The magic would hold Bloody Bones.

          But there are those who would seek magic.

          To claim it as their own.

          To use it.

          Even the witch’s own family.

          History becomes stories, and stories become legends, and legends become myths…and myths become nothing more than lies. Future generations of the witch’s family would not believe that the magic truly held Bloody Bones within the Earth. They would attempt to use the magic as it suited them, to bring them their hearts’ desires. Eventually, the magic that held Bloody Bones would be gone, squandered and perverted by the very people the witch had given her life to protect.

          With a blood oath, The Oracle and The Guardian swore to watch over these lands, to ensure that if Bloody Bones were ever to return, they would be ready. They would find the most powerful witch in the family’s bloodline, and—regardless of the cost—get that witch to imprison Bloody Bones again.

          With each witch’s death over the years—oh, yes, humans are weak and seek out the use of magic, and evil never rests—Bloody Bones grew stronger and stronger. The Oracle and The Guardian knew that…eventually…Bloody Bones would soon be too powerful for the same magics to keep it at bay. One day, it would rise from these lands, no matter who stood against it, and Hell would come to Earth.

          But then…another witch was born.

          And The Guardian and The Oracle recognized an opportunity to be rid of Bloody Bones forever…

          “That’s not true!” The boy doubled over with laughter; his arms slung across his tummy.

          “True as we’re sitting here!” The man’s brow furrowed as he turned to glare at the boy who had distracted him from his storytelling.

          “What a bunch of crap.” Another kid, freshly in her teens, rolled her eyes as she jumped up from the ground. “You’re crazy.”

          The man shrugged his shoulders as the children rose from the ground around the campfire. Chilly autumn air blew through their circle, making the firelight dance. Winter would be in Point Worth soon.

          “You’ll think crazy when Bloody Bones visits you tonight.” The man cautioned her, pointing his finger brusquely at each of the kids in turn.

          Mumbling about the “crazy man” and laughing amongst themselves, the children began to disperse, heading back up to the Old House where their parents were waiting to drive them home. Every year, on the same day, the children of Point Worth came to these lands to hear the tale of Bloody Bones. At first, this was a sacred event, regarded with great solemnity by the children who were dropped off by their parents. Over the years, it became nothing more than one of the “crazy men” in town trying to scare the children with an ancient myth about their hometown, and, before that, the lands that belonged to the indigenous peoples.

          The man sighed to himself as he closed the book and placed his hands on his knees, preparing to rise from the tree stump, when a child caught his eye. One of the young boys had stayed seated by the campfire, watching the man. This boy lived on these lands with his family. It was curious that he would be the only child not to heckle the man for his story. The man settled back on the tree stump, his gaze turning to the young boy, sitting there by the fire, captivated and terrified, his wide eyes affixed to the man.

          “It’s just a story.” The man said.

          It had been for the sake of the boy’s comfort. No truth laced those words.

          “Where did you hear that story?” The boy asked.

          “Same as you.” The man winked. “From an old man around a campfire. The last man to own this book.”

          “Is…is it tuh-true?”

          “Don’t let it bother ya’ none.” The man winked at the boy. “Bloody Bones ain’t comin’ for you, Robert. And, if he does, I’ll fight him off for ya’.”

          Robert thought about this for a moment, then a brilliant smile split his face. Leaping up, he gave the man a wave, and then he was running back towards his family home in the clearing in the woods, away from the shore of Lake Erie. The man watched as Robert ran gleefully towards home, allowing a passing smile to adorn his face. When the boy was swallowed up by the darkness and shadows of the woods, the man’s smile disappeared and his eyes went to the fire. Shadows danced all around him as the flames licked towards the canopy of trees overhead. A shiver, like Death’s finger ran up his spine.

          “Ya’ know,” The man started at the sound of a woman’s voice, “no one really believes that story anymore. Which is a problem.”

          “Who’s there?” The man’s head whipped around, looking for the sound of the voice.

          “The ground can be shakin’ and the wolves can be prowlin’. The moon can turn to blood and the lake can boil…but that story is no more than a myth anymore.”

          “Who’s there?” The man repeated, clutching the book to his chest.

          His eyes landed on the spot where little Robert Wagner, Jr. had been swallowed up by the shadows. A woman, old in visage but spry in body, stepped out into the light of the campfire. The man’s eyes grew as the woman, a stranger to him, sauntered out of the shadows and towards the campfire, coming to stand on the other side of the flickering flames.

          “Where’d you come from?” The man asked, unnerved by the sudden appearance of the woman he had never seen before.

          “Here and there.” The matronly woman shrugged as she peered into the man’s sparkling eyes, not yet dulled by age. “Mostly here.”

          “Who are you?”

          The corner of the woman’s mouth turned upward slightly as her eyes lingered on the man’s a moment longer. Then her eyes were on the book.

          “That book doesn’t belong to you.” She said.

          With a flick of the woman’s hand, the book flew from the man’s grasp into the waiting, outstretched hand of the woman. She gave the man a smile and promptly tucked the book under her arm. Without another word, she turned and began to step away from the campfire.

          “Huh-who are you?” The man demanded, rising from the tree stump.

          “Well,” The woman turned back to the man, “I’m Esther Jean Wagner. Or, I will be. After a spell.”

          She winked.

          Horrified, the man jabbed a shaky finger in her direction.

          “You aren’t Esther Jean Wagner.” He demanded. “Esther Jean Wagner died in childbirth years ago.”

          Esther Jean Wagner smiled.

          “What people don’t know won’t hurt ‘em none.” She winked again. “It’s amazin’ what people will believe with a little magic, ain’t it?”

          “What?”

          For a few moments longer, the woman stared at the man. Suddenly, the man lowered himself to the tree stump again, his eyes slowly moving to the flickering flames of the fire.

          “Esther…Jean…Wagner.”

          “That’s right.” The woman nodded. “That’s who I am. You’re good about tellin’ stories. Tell anyone you want about me if it suits you fine.”

          The man’s head nodded up and down like a balloon on a stick.

          “But you ain’t never heard this story before.” She shook the book at the mesmerized man. “That’s one story you can stop tellin’. We don’t need you goin’ around, spoilin’ the ending.”

          “Why?” The man asked robotically, his eyes still on the fire.

          “These kids ain’t the only folks listenin’.” Esther Jean Wagner’s brow furrowed as the ground rumbled underfoot for the briefest of moments. “Tellin’ stories is dangerous, Jackson Barkley. Some things are best left to be forgotten. For as long as they can.”

          “Why?”

          Esther Jean Wagner’s eyes moved from the ground to the canopy of skeletal tree limbs overhead. The chilly autumn breeze blew through the woods once more, ruffling her hair and threatening to extinguish the fire.

          “It might already be too late.” She said, mostly to herself, before turning her eyes to Jackson Barkley. “He’s comin’. I don’t doubt that you’ll meet him.”

          And, with that, Esther Jean Wagner disappeared back into the shadows, the book of stories tucked under her arm. Jackson Barkley sat before the fire, staring into its slowly dying flames.

Tremendous Love & Thanks,

Chase

Five Months Later

In less than a month, BETWEEN ENZO & THE UNIVERSE will go on sale. For now, you can pre-order it in ebook and hardback formats. Paperbacks will be available on the release date. This isn’t the sole purpose of the post today–to beg everyone to pre-order my book. But, like, seriously, pre-order my book. I think you’ll really love this one.

What I wanted to write about today is genres of books. Recently, A SURPLUS OF LIGHT came out on audiobook, narrated by the incomparable Brian Lore Evans (another plug for one of my books – you can find it on Audible, on Amazon, and iTunes) and I noticed that Audible put it in the “Romance” category. That kind of struck me as odd.

ASoL has romance in it, sure, but it starts when the characters are thirteen/fourteen years old. The story is more LGBTQ+ YA or coming-of-age than it is about romance. In fact, most of the story is about overcoming a rough childhood, seeing others for who they are instead of what they present to the world, looking beyond the physical appearance (not judging a book by its cover–ahem), allowing a person the time and space they need to become who they are supposed to be, and realizing that we all have invisible, untold stories that no one but us knows about. It’s also about self-discovery and allowing oneself to bloom without fear of what one might might look like as a finished product. Acceptance of oneself and others for who and what they are, taking the time to see what’s beyond the surface, and a lot of love, understanding, and patience. I hope that’s what people take away from the story. The romance is just a bonus to the other elements.

It has always been frustrating for me, as a writer, to choose 2 or 3 of the most accurate genres or categories for my books. For me, I feel that some of my books are best placed in the “General Fiction” category, even though they have LGBTQ+ elements. Other than the JACOB MICHAELS IS series, most of my books cannot be labeled just one thing. They all contain LGBTQ+ elements (write what you know, right?), and romance elements. However, any of my books could have the genders and sexual orientation of characters swapped and it wouldn’t matter much. The romance elements aren’t super important in some of them, either. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever written a straight-forward romance in my life. Probably because that hasn’t been my experience.

Life and blossoming romances are laid out like train tracks, constantly intersecting at points. When two people start to fall in love, it’s glorious, but life keeps butting its head into the mix. Whether or not a romance survives those things is what makes it interesting and human. Fairy tales are fun–especially if you can keep a level head about them–but they are definitely not a paradigm of what it means to truly fall in love. Life is messy. So is love. I write about both.

Super messy. *jazz hands*

So, in categorizing BETWEEN ENZO & THE UNIVERSE, I was tempted to place it in the “General Fiction” category. Why? Okay, so half of the book is about a night two men spend together, exploring the city of Montreal, eating food, sharing secrets, talking about their lives, contemplating God, fate, and what the universe is doing to interfere with their lives. Romance, right? Well, you don’t find out until the very end if there is a true romance in the works. The other half of the book is about what it means to be “other.” To be an immigrant. To live in blended families. To feel disconnected from one’s cultural and ethnic heritage. To experience loss and grief at a very young age. To be poor and unwelcome in a new homeland. To be on the precipice of Giving Up and looking for anything to persuade you to keep holding on–by your fingernails, if that’s what it takes.

The story is about how one night can change a person’s life, while watching the history of a poor, grief-stricken, lonely immigrant unfurl. We watch the past crash into the present. We watch grief, loneliness, loss, hunger, cold, and desperation get mashed together until out pops hope. Not a lot of hope, but hope, in small doses, is powerful. When it is combined with kindness that is freely given, a life can be transformed.

I don’t know if anyone remembers this blog post, but I hinted at the upcoming unveiling of ENZO back in July. I changed the names of the characters in the book just in case things fell through (Enzo was Daniel, Peter was Patrick), but I was talking about ENZO then. Honestly, I didn’t know if I wanted to follow through with ENZO then because I didn’t really know what it was in regards to genre. After developmental editing, it started to come together. A manuscript that was 220,000 words got hacked down to a tight 70,000. Yeah. It was whittled down to a third its original size–and I couldn’t be happier.

And I ended up placing it in LGBTQ Genre Fiction and Gay Fiction. Because I think that gives a potential reader the best idea of what to expect. I like to put my books in the categories that best describe them so readers will be satisfied when they read them. If you also like a touch of romance, you’ll be pleasantly surprised. If you want realistic fiction, you’ll be pleasantly surprised. If you want to read about family, loss, grief, spirituality, and finding where one belongs in the world…you’ll be thrilled. And if you want to have your heart alternatively broken and mended throughout a book–look no further. ENZO will check all of those boxes for you.

In closing, I think the movie industry has a leg-up on the publishing world. One, movies are visual, so a trailer really gives a viewer an idea of what to expect and to hook them. Books are more difficult because all a writer has is a blurb and a genre category to hook readers. Maybe that’s why book trailers are becoming so popular?

Tremendous Love & Thanks,

Chase

Why Do You Write?

Soon, I hope to be able to announce that A SURPLUS OF LIGHT (the paperback is only $6.95 through Christmas) is available in audiobook format. In January 2020, I have 2 new book releases. BETWEEN ENZO & THE UNIVERSE drops on 1.14.20, and JACOB MICHAELS IS DEAD (A POINT WORTH LGBTQ PARANORMAL ROMANCE BOOK 6) drops 1.28.20 (now available for preorder). There are many other things happening in 2020 – such as, a book I co-authored with a fellow writer by the name of J.D. Wade, called A STRAIGHT LINE, will be published. Additional books I wrote on my own, A MILLION LITTLE SOULS, ONE BRICK KINGDOM, IT MEANS SOMETHING DIFFERENT, and A BOY CALLED NEVER, will also be published. Additionally, there’s another tiny little project in the works that I have to keep my lips shut about…for a few months.

Regardless, 2020 is shaping up to be one of my biggest years, both personally and professionally. In fact, so much so that Bae recently asked me a few questions that really made me think. The questions were:

What makes you write? And if you weren’t making money as a writer, would you still do it?

Those are two really good questions that I’m sure most writers get asked a lot throughout their careers.

So, what makes me write? The same thing that makes me a writer. I can’t not do it. Even thinking about never using my laptop to tell a story again not only saddens me…it’s terrifying. I have so many characters and stories living in my head, I would be sad to not tell their stories. For many years, the characters in my head were my only friends. That sounds crazy, but the writers will get it. Also, to consider never doing something that I wake up each morning and go to sleep each night thinking about is like asking me to cut off an arm or leg. Writing is just a part of who I am. It’s one of the most important parts of what makes Chase Connor…well, Chase Connor.

I can take a break from writing new stories for a period of time…as the end of 2019 has proved…but I can’t consider stopping altogether. It’s just who I am. I am a writer. It’s that simple.

Actually–and this is something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately–I don’t know if I’m a “writer.” I was having a conversation with another friend who writes, and I’ve discovered that maybe I am a Storyteller. I’m not the best writer in the world. My grammar, punctuation, spelling, and structure continuously need work…but I’m fairly proud of how I can tell a story and make a person love (or hate) a character. At the very least, even if a book is far from perfect, I think the story I tell within it is good.

Regardless, what about the second question? Would I still write if I didn’t make money doing it?

The simple answer is: “Yes.” I wrote for a decade before I made any bit of money off of my writing. Why would I stop writing now if I stopped making money? I never started writing because I thought it would be my main source of income or that I would get rich. I. Just. Had. To. Write.

The complicated answer is: “Yes. But…”

The “but” is that I would probably structure my life differently. I would schedule my writing time and personal life in different ways. If writing didn’t generate income, I would go back to writing when I had the most time and doing it more as a hobby. But I would never stop simply because there was no money in it. Writing can be a hobby just like anything else. It is not ridiculous to write simply to write, though many people might try to make writers feel otherwise.

Writing can be a fun hobby, mental exercise…even therapy.

I know that when I am dealing with difficult emotions or memories, writing about them (even in a fictionalized way) brings me solace. Writing about events in an Oculi Dei way allows me to see those emotions and memories in a more complete and unbiased way. It helps me understand the people and circumstances that were difficult to understand when living with and through them. When the last key is tapped, I feel everything is expunged.

So…that’s why I write. That’s why I continue to write, regardless of circumstance. It’s something I have to do, something that brings me great joy, something that makes me feel more human.

Why do you write?

You can now own #FCCMERCH/Chase Connor Books goodies by clicking here. (Or click the picture in the right hand toolbar)

You can pre-order BETWEEN ENZO & THE UNIVERSE hardback copies through Barnes & Noble now. JUST A DUMB SURFER DUDE: A GAY COMING-OF-AGE TALE paperback copies are also available on Barnes & Noble.

Tremendous Love & Thanks,

Chase

Am I Normal?

One thing that I get asked frequently is something that new writers or soon-to-debut authors wonder about a lot. They want to know if their way of writing or their habits while writing are normal.

Is it normal if I <blank>?

Do other writers <blank>?

What if I <blank>?

When asked any question about what is “normal” for writers (which is a lot more often than you’d think), I have to do a few things. One, I have to remind the question asker that I am still technically a “pup” myself. Two, I explain that I am not all writers. And three, I have to first ask them: “Do you want to be normal?

“Normal” isn’t a virtue. Can we all agree on that?

The world is full of “normal” and it just keeps getting worse. Just turn on the news. I promise you’ll see what I mean.

Writers often develop odd habits, or, I guess, methods for making sure that they get the job done. Everyone has a different way of making sure that they hit a deadline or word count. If you check out this article on Write To Done, you’ll see what I mean.

Agathie Christie soaked in the tub eating apples and examined murder scene photographs. Truman Capote had strange quirks, like the number of cigarette butts allowed in his ashtray and an aversion to the number 13. William Faulkner liked his whiskey (don’t get me started on Hemingway). Lewis Carroll used purple ink. All of these writers did things and had habits that other writers might find…odd.

My habits include being a creep and observing people too closely while in public places like coffee shops, cafes, and bakeries. I love to hear a heated exchange begin when I am out somewhere because I will listen with every creepy bone in my body (I’ve learned how to shop for soup or sip coffee and listen without looking like I’m listening like a damn professional). Learning about people and their lives inspires me. I also feel restless while writing if I don’t have water (and sometimes a diet soda) to drink. Additionally, I don’t feel I write as well with my contacts in as I do with my glasses on due to eye fatigue. Furthermore, I just don’t feel like I’m doing my best work unless my dog is nearby. Lastly, I feel that I write best between the hours of midnight and five in the morning. I rarely get to do that anymore, but I still feel that when the world goes to sleep, my characters come to life.

So…who am I to judge what “normal” is for all of us?

The best answer I have for writers who are unfortunate enough to get my ear is this:

Try different things. Try writing in bed. At the kitchen table. On the couch. Go to your favorite coffee shop. Take your writing implement of choice and see what happens. Try different tools for writing. Wear comfortable clothes. Dress prim and proper. Make your room quiet. Play music. Try different types of music. Drink different beverages. Try different times of day. Read books in the genre you write for research, but never read that genre while you’re writing. If you read different genres and styles, it will help inspire you to elevate what you are writing to something different than others in your genre.

The most important thing–and I don’t think I’m speaking out of turn here–is that you write. Set aside time each day to write something. Anything. Even if you write a single paragraph, you’re practicing your craft and keeping your skills honed. Even if you end up tossing what you wrote that day, at least you practiced.

And, for the love of all things, when you find something that works, don’t question it. It doesn’t matter if it’s “normal.” Anyone who says otherwise is obviously projecting their own insecurities.

Tremendous Love & Thanks,

Chase