Monday, September 13, 2010

Guest Blog by Daron Fraley

Our guest blogger this week is Speculative Fiction Author – Daron Fraley, author of “The Chronicles of Gan – The Thorn”, which is the first of a three part series.

If you haven’t read this book, you really need to get a copy. I loved the way it brought scriptures to life through fiction. There are three tribes who battle for the right to rule. The story of the Gideonite troops, Jonathan of Daniel, and Pekah who is a young enemy soldier kept me on the edge of my seat wondering if the tribes will be united in peace, or will the threatening general destroy everything. There is plenty of suspense in this story, and the ending scene is spectacular. I’m looking forward to book number two.

Before hearing from Daron, he wanted me to mention that he has a Goodreads Giveaway for The Thorn, which runs through the first week of October. There are four books up for grabs. The link is here:

Now let’s hear from our guest.

Two of the best blog posts I have read recently were over on the Frog Blog and written by Jeff Scott Savage (I use both names because he has an identity crisis, and I don't know who he is today). He wrote about the emotions that writers experience, both bad and good. If you haven't read those yet, I encourage you to do so. They certainly will lift your spirits and prove to you that the negative emotions, although very normal, can be overcome by more positive ones. Thank you Jeff.

But I must tell you that as I read the first post which listed the negative emotions, I was struck by how true each of them were in my own experience. I had felt those emotions. All of them. And because of those feelings, I have felt like throwing in the towel at times and just forgetting this silly notion I had of being a published author. Let me tell you something . . . the writing is the EASY part. I love the writing. I love building the worlds, thinking about the characters, plotting out the story, etc. Quite frankly, it is the work AFTER the writing is done that I detest. I don't like doing the promotional stuff. I hate asking for people to review my book. And more than anything, I hate the feeling of being in a huge ocean of writers--big ones, famous ones, small ones, funny ones, talented ones, struggling ones--then realizing that I am feeling like a hermit crab stuck under a rock, largely ignored because of all of the other activity out there.

But I am learning that I am not alone. And I am so glad that I am not the only one who feels this way! Not that I would wish the feelings of isolation and helplessness on other writers, but because it comforts me to know that it seems to be normal. We hermit crabs just need to throw more parties. There must be chocolate at those parties. If nothing else, we just need to keep talking to each other. Thank you for what you do for me!

Let me use the balance of my whitespace here to tell you why I have not given up: I have felt the thrill of what happens when a reader is touched by a story. I have felt a huge amount of personal satisfaction to know that some of the things I have written have comforted others in their times of need. On a plane from Arizona: grandparents flying home to console family members just hours after the death of a young boy. I recognized the name. I knew the husband. Many years previous, while he served as a member of the First Quorum of Seventy for the LDS church, he had taught me important things about the gospel. In fact, I still had notes from his talk in a binder at home. And now, I sat next to him and his dear wife on a flight I was not supposed to be on. My flight had gotten changed just that morning, and that put me in their path. He had once helped me. Now, I was helping them. I don't believe in coincidences.

And that same short story, just days previous, had brought joy to someone else who had been struggling with several health issues. They sent me an email and said some of the nicest things I have ever had any reader say to me. I was thrilled, from head to toe. Not because I had been praised for the quality of the writing, but because the story had made a difference for this person. It had been just what they needed for the day.

Funny thing about Jeff's blog posts. Both of these experiences came back to me as I read his words. And then I realized something about the story . . . I had furiously scribbled down the idea when I was supposed to be doing something else. I was in a training class at work. It was summer. And I had a view of the trees outside. I did not choose the moment of inspiration. It chose me. If you are curious about the story, it is on my website under BOOKS, and is called WATER. The free ebook listed at the bottom of the page contains the story.

Thank heavens for a notepad and a pen. I cannot begin to imagine what I would have lost had I not taken the time, right then and there, to write the idea down.

I am sorry for wandering in my thoughts here, but it IS about the ONE reader, isn't it? You just need to make a difference for one, and then it's all worth it. Keep writing. Never give up on the dream. And don't go anywhere without a pen and something to write on.

Thanks Daron for sharing with us today. We all need that kind of encouragement.


Michael Knudsen said...

Good to hear from you, Daron. Thanks for reminding us that developing our talents is not about worldly success or what anyone is willing to pay us. It's about taking people on an emotional journey.

Taffy said...

Nice post, Daron!
I love reading Jeff's posts. He is a fantastic teacher.

Angie said...

Nice thoughts. It is great to know you've helped someone. And it's great to know that you're not alone. I'm looking forward to reading your book.

Daron D. Fraley said...

Thanks for your comments folks. And my sincere thanks to Connie for having me over to the Blogck! She is truly a very classy lady. Have a great week, Connie!

Sharon Cohen said...

I almost missed this because I got behind in my reading (jury duty called). Sometimes when I feel like quitting before I ever begin - you post something encouraging like this. I hope you keep working at this. I take my queue from you. (Besides - I want to see how the story goes in Gan. Yes, I know how the story goes on earth - but - How does it go on Gan?)