I woke this morning thinking about how blessed I am to be able to follow a “bliss” that is so inherently magical. I literally cannot count how many times I have felt the real-life sorcery that unfolds during the process of crafting a story. And when this magic occurs, it is like an unseen force suddenly takes over; as if a spirit from a different realm has been summoned by me, and for me. This, is the wizardry that comes with being a writer.
Later, I was explaining this supernatural benefit to my most lovely wife of nearly twenty years, while we were having a “date” at Starbucks, and that’s when I decided I should also share this piece of insight as a post. Of course, this perspective is nothing new to all my writing friends. We even have a name for this magic: The Muse.
But to any of you who have never experienced this surreal event, I encourage you to pick up a pen and paper and to just go for it, just start writing. If you have a hard time getting started, begin with something easy, such as, “Today I will…,” or, “That was when I first learned how to…,” or perhaps, “The minute I looked that old crone in the eyes, I knew I would…” Just try it, I encourage you. It’s been over seven years now, since I first unlocked this magic. And I have yet to let it go.
I’m not going to preach about this image, but I will say that this is the kind of reality that makes me want to be a better person–to be a person like Danny Wilson, that’s for sure. I guess that’s the little bit of Ed in me talking.
For my part, my family and I do our best to avoid buying plastic, and we certainly take the measures to dispose of our trash in the proper place. Also, we’ve stopped buying plastic water bottles, and use reusable containers when appropriate. But sometimes I don’t feel like what we do is enough. On that note, what are some things you do, to help keep our planet clean…?
On a similar note, I’ve swam in the ocean plenty of times myself, and I know how challenging it can sometimes be. I couldn’t imagine doing so while surrounded by a bunch of tangling garbage!
An author I know once told me that nothing in the publishing industry moves quickly. Truer words have never been spoken, as I have experienced the harsh reality of that statement more times than I would like to count. Be that as it may, for the creative wheel within this author (yours truly) has not failed to stop turning. I hesitate to announce all of the good news that sits on my horizon of literary endeavors at this time, but I will say that, at a minimum, the short stories keep on coming!
Of particular note, my story Soft Bellies Made of Flesh and Stone and Oodles of Love has been accepted at Humboldt State University’s very own literary journal, TOYON. This story will be published this March, and it goes without saying that, as a HSU Alumni, I am most proud of this achievement.
Also, for those readers (and listeners) who enjoy a good old fashioned horror story, two of my chillers have been recently published as well, in audio format: The Dead of Night, showcased at The Nosleep Podcast; and White Noise, over at Tales to Terrify . . . sleep tight!
I had a great time touring the Pacific Northwest, seeing old friends, and signing copies of my book. Only some of the highlights are showcased below…
— Giving the talk at Northtown Books, Arcata, CA. —
— Two wonderful friends … and two “inspirational” characters —
— Signing a copy for Todd … this guy makes real boats! —
— Good to see Baxter, after so many years —
— Even Bobo took a break from his Squatching schedule to get a copy! —
Today is the big day, the day I’ve been looking forward to for many years. I can officially call myself a novelist. So many people to thank–everyone at Coffeetown Press, Blackstone Audio, and of course my agent, Mark Gottlieb.
This is a great novel (if I may say so myself), which tells a very big story…of friendship, self-sacrifice, forgiveness, and the achievement of dreams, against impossible odds. Now available in all formats.
Finally, for those of you who have already read it, or will read it, the next time you’re in a tough spot, just think to yourself–what would Danny Wilson do!?
When I wrote THE SINKING OF THE ANGIE PIPER, the notion that it would one day get published in audio formats never crossed my mind. But that’s a reality I’ve been living with for almost a year, now–and I owe this great opportunity, and honor, to not just my agent, Mark Gottlieb, but to Blacktone Audio, as well as award-winning story teller, Andrew Eiden.
Speaking of Blackstone Audio…
I’m totally excited with the wonderful cover art they put together for my novel, which is showcased at the top of this post. I can’t wait to get that pictured framed, and on my wall!
I am both ecstatic and terrified to announce my first book signing event, scheduled to take place on July 11th, at Third Place Books, in Seattle, Washington. One of the topics I plan on talking about is how, and from where, I drew inspiration for my novel, THE SINKING OF THE ANGIE PIPER. I believe the answer might surprise people. And, I hope that it is also as inspiring to them, as it was for me.
The Sinking of the Angie Piper is now available for pre-order, at Amazon. I am both excited, and terrified. Yes…terrified. I am truly surprised with the emotions that apparently come with getting a first novel published. Just a normal part of becoming a published author, I keep telling myself. As a consolation, I KNOW that there are many people excited to read this book I’ve been shouting about for over a year now. Without further ado…
The Sinking of the Angie Piper, by Chris Riley
As I prepare my wild journey into becoming a bona-fide NOVELIST, I am forever reminded of the value of home…and for me, that place is somewhere north of here. THE SINKING OF THE ANGIE PIPER is a story set in the untamed waters of Alaska. It is a territory that many of the stories I write (including my current project, as well as a planned third novel), are set in–the Pacific Northwest.
I have no real explanation for why I tend to write within this particular setting. Perhaps I have a deep-seated longing to further explore this wild land. Or maybe I just miss living there, as I spend 6 months out of every year baking in the sun-burnt lands of Central California. Or, maybe I just miss my home. In any case, as much as I have yet to understand my own aspirations, I certainly won’t let such ignorance prevent me from plodding forward.