It's been way too long since I've posted, and it's because I initially wanted the blog part of my website to be about my writing, and to work my end of a dialogue with you as you speak with me through the contact part of this website. However, no one is writing from there, so I'm not sure if anyone is reading (that's the only way I would know if this were being read, right?). So I'm going to change my focus after this post and write about whatever comes to my mind. Actually, that was advice I'd read long ago from a successful independently-published author, and I should have taken it to heart back then. I was worried, though, that if I were to be honest about social, religious, or political matters, I may lose potential readers. Since I don't seem to have any readers, I don't really have anything to lose, do I?
All right, here's the first shot fired... I've been a silent member of a page at Facebook for independent writers. It's all about success, commercial success. I have nothing against that. In fact, I'd be more than happy (as would my loved ones, my banker, and various vendors) to experience a great deal of that. But the point of this Facebook page is not at all creating good fiction or nonfiction and marketing it; it's about writing massive volumes of any fiction or nonfiction and making some money off each title, thereby making a ton of money in total. The administrator and creator of this page himself has self-published around 100 titles since 2013, and he earns a living from those works. If he sells an average of one copy of each per week, that's 100 sales in that time frame. That, for him, would be a pittance, but I've never come close to 100 sales in a week. I don't think I've sold 100 total period, and that's since my first publication in September 2015. I've gone to the man's Amazon page and taken a look at his titles. All swashbuckling in outer space, heavy on speed, explosions, and non-porn sex. But, after I perform the "Look inside" on the actual titles, I see that they lack in character development or writing quality.
I like good science fiction, but note that I said GOOD science fiction. The genre can be art; it can be relevant. The titles STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND (Robert Heinlein), 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (Arthur C. Clarke), and DUNE (Frank Herbert) are long-remembered after the reading. I'll use food as an analogy. I'm absolutely certain that McDonald's sells more individual items in one day that a major 5-star stand-alone French or Italian restaurant does in an entire year in Los Angeles or Manhatten. But I can't remember a quarter-pounder-with-cheese from 10 years ago. The veal parmesan in Lower Manhatten 8 years ago? I can still taste it! But it's unlikely that the titles by the 20-book-per-year author mentioned in the previous paragraph can stay in the reader's mind for very long at all. I am not (yet) a science-fiction writer, but what I do write is done with care and love. I work on a title for a year or two before I'll release my baby out to the world. Yes, I'd love to make lots of money with my writing, but if I do so, I'll do it with quality, not volume for the sake of volume.
I'm sure I've mentioned one of my heroes, Thomas Harris, in a previous posting. To date, he has written only five books in several decades, but Hannibal Lecter and Clarisse Starling are indelibly stuck in my mind. Case closed!