I’d like to introduce Todd Russell, talking about his new book, just in time for Halloween. Welcome, Todd!
Can you tell us a little bit about your book?
Fresh Flesh is my debut psychological thriller horror novel and is about a woman who is shipwrecked on an island with a man who is not what he seems. It’s available in paperback and ebook with gorgeous hand drawn cover art by International Horror Guild winning artist Aeron Alfrey.
What about this story made you have to write it?
I was fascinated by what happens on the island. I won’t give away specifically what that is because that’s part of the fun of reading the story, but there is something very dark and mysterious happening there. Over the years the island has occupied a part of my mind and never floated completely out of my subconscious.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned during the creation of this book?
During the 2011 final rewrite I was surprised to learn that the story would not end. The original two drafts of the book in 1988-1989 had this being a standalone story but during the final rewrite in 2011 it occurred to me that there were more stories needing to be told. If I live long enough, perhaps a lot more stories in this series will be told.
What was the hardest part to write?
I don’t remember any part being difficult to write. The draft moved really well compared to other novels I’ve written where I sometimes have stalled around the 40-60% mark of the story.
What do you like to do when you are not writing?
Read, hang out with friends, watch movies and play with gadgets. I’m a tech gadget freak. Oh, and Tabasco sauce on everything that’s not sweet. Tabasco sauce is must!
Can you share a little of what you are working on now?
Sure, by my little doesn’t seem very little. I’m working on several projects.
This week (crossing fingers) I’m about to put out my first digital-only eBook. A collection of 13 Halloween-themed flash fiction scary tales. The title is Flash-O-Lantern and it will alternate between 13 events that happened in October and tied into 13 original flash fiction tales.
Every day since Monday, August 22, 2011 I’ve been writing at least one short story (minimum 250 words). As of October 17, 2011 I’m at 57 days in a row. Interested readers can check out these stories for a brief time linked in my fan area at http://toddrwrite.com/fans/
Next month I’ll be writing the first draft of book #2 in the Fresh series. I have an outline about 80% complete for the story but I haven’t started writing the draft yet.
The first draft of Fresh Flesh was begun on November 2, 1988 and my plan is to begin writing the first draft of book #2 in the Fresh series exactly 23 years later to the day. Seems like this will be fun. I’m also making this my NaNoWriMo 2011 book. I’ve never written a novel from an outline before, so this will be a new experience for me. The seven novels I’ve completed were all pansters (written without an outline).
Meanwhile, I’m working on getting my second novel ready for beta readers. Hopefully I can get that done by the end of the month and then get it over to editing and final proofing in late November. I’d like to see this book get out by the end of 2011, but that might be too ambitious. The cover art is almost done and I can’t wait to announce the title.
I’m working on more than this, but I’ll shut up here
What advice would you give a new writer?
Let me reference something from a blog post I wrote awhile back here: http://toddrwrite.com/blog/2011/most-important-writing-skill.phtml
The skill that young (in career, not just age) writers need to develop most IMHO is the discipline to take an idea from conception to completion to maturation to publishing.If you can learn to finish what you start, you’ll be way ahead of all those other writers who say: “I wish I had time to write.” Getting stories written and done, even if they are something you determine not to be publishable is very self-motivational and rewarding. For me, anyway.
Links to Todd’s work/web site:
Thank you, Sarah!