Who are you? Really?
I know many of you would say that you are a writer if I asked what you are. And I would tell you the same if you were to ask me. At the core of my being, I am a right brained, creative type, who loves writing more than I could have ever imagined. Unfortunately, most writers, myself included, have a day job. We wake up, shower the night stink off our flesh and brush the bacteria out of our teeth like every other working stiff. We go to work, obey the man, gulp down a 5 hour energy drink or cup of Joe just to lubricate our brain, and then diligently slave away until our literary dreams have come true.
And yet...we somehow find the time, motivation, and the creative energy to write our story - maybe many stories depending on our circumstance, shuffling family, life and American Idol (can't wait to see Steve Tyler) into our shrinking schedules. Why I ask? Why do we do it? Shouldn't we be content with the work we have already chosen? Are our lives so pathetic that we write each new chapter just to cope, or as a means of escape? Maybe. Sometimes, I think my writing is somewhat fantisorical, although as frightenening as my prose can be, I'm not sure I could handle everything I throw at my little darlings. Afterall, they're not real - I am. And I don't like to get too dirty and I scare easily! (Uh, nevermind that last comment)
What really interests me though, is the face behind the authors mask. I mean, didn't everyone want to know who the Lone Ranger really was? What about Zoro? Didn't all of Me-heco want to know who the brave swordsman was hiding behing the black cloak? I did! And I still feel that way. I am still drawn to the story behind the author. I want to know what makes them tick, what their life is/was like, where they came from and where they got all their material. Admittedly, I am a sucker for a true story, and I love hearing that Mr. Poetwritesalot really works for the trash company, or that up and coming Author-X, is really a legal secretary finishing up her third courtroom thriller!
Although I'm at the risk of losing all credibility, I'll admit to having a long and dirty career working as a maintenance man, pipefitter and HVAC installer. I've worked on an assembly line, and ate transmission fluid on a daily basis just to get a paycheck. And through it all, my wife and I have been raising 4 kids, which as it turns out, is the hardest job of them all. Having said that, I can look back on my life and history and experiences and know that I can add something to my writing that no one else can. For example: in my political thriller Killing the Giants, I basically blow up a couple buildings using buried natural gas lines by adding a tiny bit of injected oxygen - a very dangerous, yet real weapon known mostly to men and women in the pipefitting trade. See? That is my experience. And it makes for a very dramatic ending if I do say so myself.
Now please, I beg of you; Please, oh please comment and tell me what you do. I know you're a writer or maybe a reader, but please tell me what your day job is, even if you are a 100% full-time writer or a janitor who works nights. Share your story and what your life brings to your writing and how it makes your work unique.
And while I'm on the subject of careers, I'd like to bring your attention to the upper right corner of your screen. Do you see the Thrill of the Week? This week, it is The Butcher's Boy, a career that, by the looks of the cover, can be quite deadly! What's the thrill of the week, you ask? It is a free book highlight that I am offering on a weekly/bi-weekly basis to writers (indie or published) who write in and around the thriller genre (And yes, I'm flexable). Why? Because we all need to cross promote and I want to set an example. Email me via my web page jeffbennington.com with a link and a jpeg and I'll get you on the schedule. BOOM!
P.S. Thank you for all the wonderful and encouraging comments on my forthcoming book cover for The Reunion. Cover #3 won by a long shot. I will tweak the final according to your input. I appreciate all of your votes!