Happy Thanksgiving

Most of my holidays were spent with three generations of family members; I was always with my grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. I was extremely fortunate in that I spent my summers and the holidays on a farm in Kentucky, an idyllic setting at any time of year.

Thanksgiving in my family meant food and more food. We had had a cornucopia to choose from––three or four types of meat, plus turkey. We cooked, killed, and cured the meat ourselves, and everyone would stay a week and eat our way through each day. The setting was idyllic and much of how you think of the American landscape, Norman Rockwell style.

I’m grateful for those times and a family that treasures spending the holidays together. And I’m particularly grateful that my kids and family are healthy and successful in their lives. While we may not be on the farm anymore, there is a special feeling when I see my kids with their children and we’re carrying on the multigenerational tradition of spending holidays together, eating too much food and laughing about old times.

Where will you be on Thanksgiving this year, and what are you grateful for?

Just Write the Book Already

Imagining a first bestseller is easy––the sales, interviews on national television, the Pulitzer Prize, the big parties and book signings…but what about actually writing the book?

For me, it takes tremendous discipline, consistency, and commitment just to get the words out, never mind creativity and at least a smidgen of talent. I knew going into my first novel that it wouldn’t be easy, as I’d had many years’ experience writing for theater and television where rewrites and late nights were the norms. Sure, screenwriting was tough work, but I loved the challenge. Hard work didn’t scare me then nor does it now.

Writing novels comes with a different set of demands than screenwriting. For one, there’s not a team of writers to collaborate with, as I write alone. The group effort and tight deadlines meant that others counted on me. But writing a book, well, I could just walk past my office for days, never write a thing, and no one would know…except me.

When there’s a problem with a specific scene and I’m stuck, the onus is on me to get out of a creative jam. At times, I will sit and work on it for hours and other times I will walk away for a little while. And the rewrites are tough. My second novel Fugue required four drafts, each one with substantial editing. Tedious work. But let me tell you, the freedom in book writing – particularly fiction – is boundless. If you want to create a one million-man army, go ahead. There’s no budget that chokes your creativity, no one saying that it won’t work in the frame or on the stage.

But all good writing, no matter how liberating, has to be edited or you may as well not do it at all. And the excitement of finishing a book is like no other creative experience I’ve encountered. After seemingly countless drafts, deep dive edits, proofreading, and a few trusted sets of eyes to review it, that manuscript is all your doing. It’s a major achievement no matter what follows, even if you don’t win the Pulitzer this time around.
Theodore Roosevelt said, “Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty…” Well, I must agree. Writing a book is painful and challenging, but boy, is it worth it.
Do you like to write?

–Gy Waldron
Author of Twist of Time, Fugue, and a third novel on the way

What Is Fugue (and Why Did I Write About It?)

Fugue has a couple of meanings, both of which are used in my second book of the same name. There is a connection to the two meanings that runs like a thread through this romantic thriller, and adds to its suspense and cadence. The more commonly known definition of fugue is tied to music. It is defined as a composition based upon one or more themes that gradually build into a complex and marked climax at the end. It’s also the name of a rare psychiatric disorder, characterized by a loss of memory and dissociation. Some people suffering from fugue will take on entirely new identities and have no recollection of doing so. How do these two work together to become a romantic thriller? For starters, the main character of Fugue is living a double life as a concert pianist who is also a serial killer. He has no memory of committing the crimes. This makes for a perfect marriage of deceit, big trouble, guys chasing you (are they “good” or “bad”?), women throwing themselves at you, and plenty more. The fun of writing this novel was coupling the genius of musical composition with the complication of being a dissociated guy in the midst of something too big for him to comprehend Imagine that everything we read has a musical component to it, a build-up that ultimately leaves you breathless and wondering how it all manages to come together. This is what Fugue is all about. *Look for Fugue on shelves in the coming year. –Gy