Monday, October 8, 2012

One Year Later

Last Thursday, I quietly celebrated my birthday.  On October 4th, 2011, J.D. Carner, the author was born.  He lasted all of about three months, but it was under that name I first wrote The Road to Justice.  The funny thing was, J.D. Carner was supposed to be John Fowler.  Confused, if you've read these blogs before, then I'm sure you're used to being confused.  Let me start at the beginning, October 4th, 2011.

You see, I sat down at a computer with the thought of writing a novel.  Now in case you're wondering it took 2 months for me to actually get to that step.  I had kicked the idea around of a short story for a while, but I just couldn't make it work.  So I sat down to write the story of Veronica and Beth.  (If you've read the Road to Justice, you should recognize those names.)  There was no John, Jessica, Chet, Trip, Archibald, or especially Bruce!  There was a story about two girls and how one was killed because of who she was and how it would effect Veronica.  That was the story, I had more back story on the four friends of Veronica and Beth that died on page 6 or so then I did John or Chet!

So what happened?  I sat down to type, and nothing would come out.  There was no writers block, no mental block, nothing.  There was just nothing.  I panicked.  I clearly remembered saying to myself, "This is never going to work."  And then a conversation began in my mind.  (I figure one day my wife will use this to have me put in a home.)  It went something like this.

"You need a lead character"  I ignored it, because this is the sign of a crazy person!  Still nothing.  Then again I heard, "You need a lead character!"

"Like an Alex Cross?" I replied softly.  Now am I hearing voices?  No.  At least I don't think so.  :)  I like to think that this is my creative part of my mind communicating me in a way I can understand.  So the talks began in earnest.

What do I call him.
You know.
No, that's my pen name.
You're not Mark Twain.
But I could be.
You can't write page one, how can you be Mark Twain.
Point.  But what if I want a pen name.
Then do what the woman on murder she wrote did.
Not bad, not bad.  J. D. Carner.  I like it!
So, you're calling him John Fowler.

And that is how John Fowler was born.  I wrote.  I rewrote and I rewrote.  The first couple of drafts were horrible.  I mean atrocious.  After day 3, I hadn't passed what today would be Chapter 2.  (The first two chapters were originally the scenes in the White House and the graveyard.)  After a few days I was ready to quit, and then, well, I started talking to myself again.

Would you let Grace read that?
Would you let your mother read that?
OH @#($*@#&* (@^%$@&%  NO!!!
Then why are you writing that?
Because James Patterson does?
You're not James Patterson.
But I need to be like someone.
No, you need to be David Carner, and trust me, James Patterson is no David Carner.

And that is when I decided to write a clean book.  It took a day or two to clean things up, but after that, man did it take off.  And fun!  Wow was it fun.  Do you know what it's like to be at the zoo, or church or anywhere and being stuck on something and then someone says just one little word and everything becomes crystal clear?  It's an amazing feeling!  And then, it was done, and I didn't know what to do. So I decided to write a second one.  I'll let you in on a secret, John was originally going to die in the White House saving the first lady from David George.  It was always only supposed to be one book, that's all.  It's actually all Clint Bragg's fault.  He said something about John's future adventures after test reading the first 10 chapters.  That got me thinking, and thinking and thinking. 

Well, that's all I have for now.  Next time, I'll talk about Sins of the Son and how hard that was to write.  Don't get me wrong, I loved it, but it was agonizing at times.