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Garon Whited is one of today's most promising authors of science fiction and fantasy, and he has published several novels and short stories. Garon attended Texarkana College, the University of Fayetteville, and Texas A&M before embarking on a successful writing career. His work features optimistic story lines that often have a surprising feel-good twist. When he's not writing or reading, Garon enjoys playing role-playing games.
For more about Garon Whited visit www.garonwhited.com
Do you have any advice for other writers?
See the blank page in front of you? It’s the most intimidating thing you’ll have to deal with. You can edit anything you put on it, but you have to put something on it, first.
Once you do, you are going to hate it. It’s going to be awful. It’s going to be so wrong that contributing to global warming by burning your manuscript may seem acceptable. Resist the urge. Seriously. Resist.
That first draft is the worst your book will ever be. You can’t judge it by that. Go back into this mess of sloppy words, terrible grammar, misplaced punctuation, and multiply-renamed characters. Fix it, one error at a time. Rephrase that sentence. Remove that paragraph. Confirm that character has always had blue eyes, everywhere!
Every manuscript starts as a steaming pile of stinking crap. But that’s normal! Eventually, with patience and work, you have a garden.
Do you have a specific writing style?
In this series, it’s very informal, very conversational. It lends itself to an audio platform, but I think it’s an exceptionally easy read, as well. While it may not strictly adhere to the rules of “proper” writing, that’s by design. It’s meant to convey a more personal account of events than most first-person perspectives.
Hemingway is reputed to have said, "It's your object to convey everything to the reader so that he remembers it not as a story he had read but something that happened to himself. That's the true test of writing." I think I’ve found a style that helps the reader (or listener) engage easily with the narrating character and allows them to perceive things more readily from the narrator’s point of view.
How did you come up with the title?
According to the place where her Pop adopted her, Phoebe was marked as a “soulless child.” Since he’s a complex and powerful figure from the mainstream “Nightlord” series, it’s an interesting look at the results of his efforts in bringing up a functional human being.
“From His Shadow,” however, starts with Phoebe having recently moved out of her father’s house to live on her own. And, since Eric now is confident of her ability to survive “in the wild,” so to speak, he reluctantly allows her to do so, even though it marks the end of his years-long procrastination regarding other things.
Now Phoebe is out there, living her life on her own, making her own decisions, learning from her mistakes, and emerging… “From His Shadow.”
It seemed an obvious choice.
Do you feel like you’d be a better writer if you wore sparkly socks during your writing sessions?
I beg your pardon? Are you presuming my socks do not glitter like a pixie on meth?
How much of the book is realistic?
Most of it. Oh, there are any number of “unrealistic” things—it’s a fantasy novel, not a textbook. But everything has a surprising level of realism to it. Most of the time, the events taking place are easy to visualize and match our real-world expectations, or, at least, don’t conflict with them. There are still plenty of things that defy our real-world expectations, but the reason they work, the why and the how of it, make sense within the context of the book. It’s internally consistent within its own reference frame. It’s also close enough to the “real world” to be easily identified with and accepted.
What are your current projects?
I have the eighth book in the “Nightlord” series to finish. It’s titled “Penumbra,” and I’m hoping to have it finished before the end of the year. The “Nightlord” series is still kicking right along, which pleases me enormously—but I’ll kill Eric off, sooner or later. He’s just tough to eliminate. Book nine, maybe. Ten, at the outside.
I also plan to write Phoebe’s second book. Both of hers take place between the “Nightlord” books seven and eight (“Fugue” and “Penumbra”) but Phoebe’s story isn’t required reading to follow what happens in Eric’s story. It does offer some insight into things Eric does not understand, though.
I also have a Patreon to keep updated, and the occasional short story to add to my mainstream website.
Do you see writing as a career?
It is my career. Or, perhaps more accurately, I made it a career.
Anyone can write. We all have stories to tell. And, for each and every one of us, our stories are important!
Sadly, though, there are a lot of things that keep most of us from becoming Best-Selling Authors™. Maybe our story is too personal for others to understand. Maybe it’s just not popular. Maybe our grasp of writing or of storytelling isn’t what it could be. Maybe we only have one big story to tell. Who knows all the reasons? It’s hard to make a career out of writing, just as it’s hard to make a career out of painting, photography, acting…
But even if it isn’t a career for you, maybe you have the need to tell a story. By all means, tell it! You never know whose life you are going to change with your story. Maybe yours.
Picture this: You feel uninspired and you’ve sat at the computer for an hour without conquering any words. How do you get your creativity flowing?
It’s hard to picture. People talk to me about “writer’s block,” but I can only imagine a big cube thing were I can put my laptop while I write. I’m sure it’s a real problem, and that some people have it, but I haven’t experienced it so I don’t understand it.
However, that being said, if I was in a dull mood and didn’t really feel like writing, I would just as easily find something else to do. I can mow the yard! (Maybe I should be writing.) I can do the laundry! (Maybe I should be writing.) There’s a lot of brush that needs trimming in the back corner of the yard! (I should definitely be writing.) How many dishes need washing? (Time to write, isn’t it?) I still need to build those new bookshelves and rearrange my library! (Yeah, okay, I’m writing! I’m writing!)
Writing is my procrastination. I’d rather write than do most of the chores around the house. Which tells you a lot about the state of my house…
What books/authors have influenced your writing?
Wow. That’s a list. Just glancing at the shelves…
J.R.R. Tolkien, Ursula K. Le Guin, Robert Heinlein, Mary Shelley, Jules Verne, Ray Bradbury, Roger Zelazny, Isaac Asimov, Anne McCaffrey, H.P. Lovecraft, Douglas Adams, Robert Silverberg, Sir Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman, Steven Brust, Stephen King, E.E. Smith, David Brin, David Drake, Ian Fleming, Christopher Stasheff, Anne Rice, John Steakley, Spider Robinson, Larry Niven, Harry Harrison, Joseph Heller, Piers Anthony, Bram Stoker, Michael Crichton, Julian May, David Weber, Joel Rosenberg, William Shakespeare, Christopher Marlowe, Dante Alighieri, Plato, Niccolò Machiavelli, Bertrand Russel, Charles Dickens…
And I still need to build more bookshelves. Back to writing!
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