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The First of Many: A FREE, Ghost-Free Time

“Eugene is teeming with ghosts and for some stupid, God damn reason, I’m the only who can see them.”

Since releasing my first novel, friends and family always seem to ask one common question: “When’s your next book coming out?” And while, yeah, that question can become taxing, it can also be inspiring. For the longest time not having an exact answer to that question only exacerbated my anxiety, but it also forced me go home, sit down in front of my computer and start typing away until I finally had something to talk about. Which brings me to why we’re all here, reading this article. Today I finally have an answer to that question. “What’s Next?”

Well, let me tell you!

To satiate my writing lust while I work on penning my next great novel, I wanted to do something that was shorter, easier for readers to pick up and enjoy, while still giving everyone the most bang for their buck. The best way I could find to do this is to start writing short stories, which is honestly difficult for me, but I’ll talk about that in another post. It’s always been easier for me to find the thick novel in every idea, but writing short stories is a completely different beast and I think found a way to entice readers by using an episodic format. By writing an episodic series I can still plot out the long over-arching story, while still focusing on writing a complete tale in a fraction of the pages. In conjunction with Emerald Inkwell, we decided that the easiest way to get these stories into the hands of readers is to make them digital. Traditional print books are still our favorite (and there’ll be more to come) but eBooks are easier to publish, especially when short, and it gave us the opportunity to offer the first episode, the “Pilot,” absolutely FREE! (great for readers and great for spreading the word!) That way readers can introduce themselves to any of the episodic worlds I create without any hesitation and find out which stories interest them before continuing on with the series. So, without further ado, the first Emerald Original Series I bring to you is a supernatural adventure taking place in Eugene, Oregon and is inspired by many types of popular paranormal fiction. Enjoy!

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For a Ghost-Free Time, CallCover - For A Ghost-Free Time Ep1jpg

Description:

At the young age of nine, Jared developed the unnatural ability to see the lingering spirits of the dead, and beyond its initial novelty, all it’s ever done is piss him off. After having to grow up rather quickly on his own, Jared took something that would have easily driven most people insane and found a way to use his unwelcomed gift to his advantage. He studied and took notes from the most prevalent movies and television shows, and armed with every mainstream supernatural trope and cliché he could find, started his very own—more or less legitimate—ghost removal service. With years of hit-or-miss cons and a number of temporary solutions to combat the most crippling aspects of his “gift,” Jared finally found a way to live a “normal” life and a way to fit in with society. However, one day, while working a routine job for a rich mark, Jared will be confronted with his own lies and a glimpse of the truth behind the world around him and his abilities.

For a Ghost-Free Time, Call is available on iBooks / Nook / Kindle apps and devices!

For news and updates regarding For a Ghost-Free Time, Call keep an eye on the product page HERE or follow Emerald Inkwell on Facebook!

And as an added bonus, The Drive Home: A Tale of Bromance and Horror (4.3 out of 5 stars on Amazon!) is available until August 31st for only .99c (a $2 discount!) on Kindle apps and devices ! So, if you didn’t get a chance to experience The Drive Home earlier this year, now’s the time to grab it for only .99c! Enjoy!

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Welcome to Sean K. Novels, a New Journey

Welcome, everyone, to the Sean K. Novels site. For those of you who know me, and some of you who don’t, you know that I recently published my debut novel: The Drive Home: A Tale of Bromance and Horror. With that release, I wanted to have an outlet to explore writing and the process of creating a novel. The title, Sean K. Novels, is a tag I’d used for social media (@seanknovels & facebook.com/seanknovels) and thought I’d continue with it as a  blog identity.

I began writing a blog some time ago TDH-FB-COVERtitled The New Writer’s Journey that I hoped to do something similar with, but lacked the experience or the focus to continue writing under that banner. Which is why I wanted to do something new; a clean slate to really focus on all things writing. Like things that I came across while writing my novel. Things like editing problems, interesting writing concepts or styles, character development ideas, and the creation of a physical novel itself.

With some of the posts I’ll be writing I hope to bring up topics that can give some insight to those looking to follow the same path as myself and countless other authors. There have been so many times during the creation process that I thought, “well, how do you do this?” So, I would Google search for hours trying to find answers. Hopefully, I can keep you from having to binge on Google with regards to certain subjects and keep you writing longer.

There is something you should all know, though. I have no degree or extended study in my fields. Not only will I be using this blog to explore writing and editing concepts, but I’ll be using this to help my writing grow as well. To grow in the scope of this blog, but to also continue growing as I work on my fiction writing and a storyteller. So, let’s walk this path together and grow as writers and creative thinkers.

With that, all I have to say is:

Cheers!

Sean K.

A Not So “Ghost-Free” Episode Two

It’s been a long journey already. Writing, that is. I was, and still am, very much excited about keeping up with an episodic series. My last post dove into a few of the reasons why I love the prospect of doing a series, but this one is to announce the release of Episode Two from my inaugural series For a Ghost-Free Time, Call.

ghost-free-time-ep-2-cover-01-25“For a Ghost-Free Time, Call: Episode Two picks up the week following the mysterious events of Episode One, Jared’s life has all but returned to normal, as normal as it can possibly be when you see ghosts everywhere you go. Although he’s content to slip back into his old life, Jared is continually haunted by the strange reality he was recently confronted with and his persistent curiosity about a world he was finally starting to understand will compel him to test paranormal boundaries that some would say are better left alone.”

Download now for only $.99: Kindle / Nook / iBooks

Doing a series is more than exciting and it’s definitely motivating. I’m ready to push myself to continue with this series on a reasonable timeline. Then, I’ll be ready to start another one! And, hopefully, another and another after that. I hope you enjoy Episode Two and now I’m going to go work on Episode Three!

If you haven’t given Episode One a read yet, you can download it absolutely FREE on your favorite devices!  Download for FREE: Kindle / iBooks / Nook

 

Shows and Movies to Inspire Writers

Need some inspiration to get you started on your next piece?


When I’m writing, trying to write, or stuck not being able to write, I often need some inspiration. This inspiration can often come from reading my own writing or the work of my favorite authors, but for me reading is a time-consuming endeavor. I like to sit down and read for as long as possible, which can often engulf hours of my time. But, when I need to get some writing done, nothing keeps me “in the mood” like movies or television shows about writers writing, that I can play or binge watch and simply zone out while I get some work done. Sometimes the writing can play a small part, sometimes it’s the major plot point, while other times there is no writing at all, but a writer struggling with their own demons that compel them to write or are derived from their writing.

In the grand scheme of things, there are A LOT of movies and shows about writers, but (at least for me) only certain ones give me that “I’m ready to become a prolific (or struggling) author like that guy,” feeling. Here is a list, in no particular order, detailing some of the most inspiring television shows and movies about writers and their writing that inspire the hell out of me.


  1. A Fantastic Fear of Everything mv5bmtyznju3ntawof5bml5banbnxkftztgwnti5mdy5mde-_v1_sy1000_cr006781000_al_
    1. Simon Pegg stars as a troubled crime novelist who has become a paranoid agoraphobic after his extensive research into Victorian era serial killers. It’s funny and clever, and it’s Simon Pegg. Enjoy.
  2. Author’s Anonymous
    1. Kaley Cuoco and Chris Klein star opposite one another in a tale about the varying “types” of writers (who’ve formed a weekly writer’s group), all with different motivations and commitment, but all with the same dream. What this story does best is show that not all writers are the same and exposes how inspiration and dedication to the craft can often go unrecognized due to societal expectations and industry bias.
  3. The Words
    1. A star-studded cast features Dennis Quaid entertaining an audience with his fictional tale about a young author (Bradley Cooper), who finally finds success in his writing after finding and publishing an aged manuscript that wasn’t his own. Could Dennis Quaid’s character be regaling us with a piece of fiction with autobiographical roots….?
  4. Bag of Bonesbag_of_bones_miniseries
    1. Following the death of his wife, a published author (Pierce Brosnan) retreats to his cabin in a small lake-town, where he soon receives paranormal visitations, is drawn into a strange custody battle, and must learn a secret about his own bloodline that will haunt him forever. A lesser known Stephen King adaptation.
  5. The Secret Window
    1. Another Stephen King classic about a writer (Johnny Depp) dealing with presumably false claims of copyright infringement by a deranged and violent psychopath who stalks him wherever he goes.
  6. Misery
    1. One of the most recognized of Stephen King’s adaptations, Misery follows the story of a renowned children’s author (James Caan) who is rescued from a car crash only to find himself held hostage by a psychotic super-fan (Kathy Bates) who’s not afraid to get a little rough to keep him around.
  7. Stranger Than Fiction
    1. Stranger Than Fiction was a tale I thought I would hate because of my rash assumption that anything serious Will Ferrell stars in must be garbage. I was pleasantly surprised by the quirky narrative about a man who hears a woman narrating his everyday life, revealing how the simple act of resetting his trusty watch would result in his imminent death.
  8. Midnight in Paris
    1. Another tale I thought would be ruined by the actor playing the protagonist, Midnight in Paris follows Owen Wilson as a screenwriter who, upon visiting Paris, finds himself mysteriously transported to the 1920’s and is even given the opportunity to meet with some of the most prolific author’s from that time.
  9. Castle
    1. After a serial killer recreates a murder from one of his novels, the author (played by Nathan Fillion, one of my favorite actors) is allowed to tag along on the investigation, resulting in a semi-serious crime series like Law & Order, but with a light, literary feel.
  10. CalifornicationCA_S1_GI113915SC_V2_HR
    1. One of my all-time favorite stories about a writer, Californication follows author Hank Moody after the success of his first novel, who must work on his follow-up while dealing with fatherhood, vindictive relationships with the love of his life and other various women, and a critical need to indulge in sex, drugs, and rock and roll. All of which usually get in the way of his writing and being a good father.
  11. Hector and the Search for Happiness
    1. Another Simon Pegg tale about a psychiatrist who finds himself in the strange place of telling others how to be happy, when he himself far from it. His life isn’t a bad one, just a bit mundane. On a whim, and at the risk of losing his job, his wife, and life as he knows it, makes the decision to travel the world to discover what makes people happy, hoping to find out what will bring himself happiness. While the plot is predictable, his journey is interesting, awe inspiring, and motivating enough to embark on your own search for happiness.
  12. Generation Kill919burer6kl-_ac_ul320_sr228320_
    1. An odd addition to the list, but Generation Kill is an enthralling HBO series following a reporter for Rolling Stone Magazine as he is embedded with a platoon of 1st Recon Marines over in Iraq during the 2003 assault on Baghdad. This is by far one of the most intriguing tales simply because of its splendid melding of fleshed out characters, the seriousness of war and the toll it takes on soldiers, and the hilarity of those soldiers simply doing their best to cope with the shitty situations they often find themselves in. Stay Frosty.

Honorable Mentions:

In this respect, an honorable mention is a movie or series based on a book, but doesn’t have to be about writing. Those types of fiction inspire me because I find myself analyzing each line and scene, asking myself “How would they have written that?” and “How would I have written that?” Here’s a few of the endless honorable mentions:

  1. Fight Club
  2. The Shawshank Redemption 
  3. Goodfellas
  4. The Lord of the Rings Series
  5. The Harry Potter Series
  6. The Shining 
  7. Dexter
  8. Game of Thrones
  9. Full Metal Jacket
  10. Sherlock (BBC)

 

Now, go out there, get inspired, and write something damnit!

To Episode One…and Beyond!


From my experience, and that of other published writer’s I know, one of the most common questions readers, friends, and family ask is: “When’s your next book coming out?” While this question is inherently harmless, sometimes it can feel like your work has been cheapened. But it can also do something else, it can also be motivating. While I’d prefer people ask me about my current work, thinking about what I’ll be writing in the future is an exciting prospect. “What’s next?” is a question I ask myself every day, which can be disheartening when you simply don’t know the answer.

That point is one of the numerous reasons why I wanted to do an episodic series. I’ve had a few people ask me: “Why do short stories instead of another novel?” Well, the answer to that is simple. I’m not. I’m doing short stories, or a series of short stories while I’m working on my next novel. For some writers, they need to focus on one project and see it through until the end. That’s an admirable way to ensure your work is of the highest quality before you move forward. At the same time, I’ve seen that take a very long time to complete a project. Me personally, I have a bit of writer’s ADD. I’ve been experiencing and telling stories my entire life; I can read books quickly (when I sit down to do something other than writing and actually focus), I binge watch seasons and movies in quick succession, and I’m a multi-screen-tasker.

What all that means is that, for me, working on my next novel (that could potentially take a very long time to finish) is all well and good, but I need something for when my attention shifts, when my mind gets bored of staring at the same page for hours while editing, or for when I get so frustrated at my writer’s block that I want to hurl my laptop through the living room window. But, I think we all know that wouldn’t solve my problem, would it? So, I divert that pent-up energy. I shift my focus to something completely different to stir the creative pot and get the metaphorical gears spinning again. I have to do this. I want to do this. But that might raise issues of quality vs. quantity. I can pump out a lot more content than a few other writers I know, but how do I know that I am not sacrificing quality by doing so?

“The first draft of anything is shit.”

~Ernest Hemingway

Simply put, I don’t. To be entirely honest, when I power through a project, I do so to get a first draft done as quickly as possible. I need those bare bones, that foundation to build upon, and when I go back and re-read it, it’s usually riddled with poor grammar, misspelled words, and ridiculously obvious plot holes and inconsistencies. But that’s just the first draft, you all (the readers) don’t get to read that pile of garbage. I spend, in my own opinion, way too long rewriting and editing even the shortest stories before I even consider it something worth publishing. As you can imagine, with “full-length” novels, that takes a God-awful amount of time to do. I have been working on a science fiction novel since before the release of The Drive Home and I’m somewhere in the eight draft and I’m still scraping off all the worthless bits. It’s a long process and if you’re not careful, you could put something out that casts a grim assumption over your future work.

Which finally brings my back to my actual point and the question…well, in question. Why work on an episodic series while I work on my next novel? I’ve put together a collection of answers covering some of the most prominent reasons:

  • First and foremost, as I mentioned, it keeps me focused and keeps me writing. With each piece I write I am thinking ahead, planning for potential release plans, thinking about where it fits around the novel I’m working on. And that gets me back to wanting to work on that big novel project. Which lets me provide something for readers to enjoy while I make headway on that forthcoming novel.
  • Secondly, it allows me to play with form and presentation. It keeps me guessing and experimenting, even when I think I know what the hell I’m doing. A novel can be a one-off project, or, it can be a series of epic novels. Short stories are similar, in that one can stand on its own or it can be part of something bigger. But episodic, that’s something different. You have to further the over-arching story with each episode and further the character arcs while leaving enough out to intrigue readers to pick up the next episode. All in a small number of pages. It’s a delicate process. You have to think ahead, not just to the next episode, but to every episode, including multiple seasons, if you’re so inclined.
  • I’m a new and, hopefully, rising author. Why should someone pick up my full priced novel if they’ve never heard of me before? Or never read anything I’ve written? With any episodic series I pursue, I’ve chosen to make the first episode absolutely FREE. Like with my current series, For a Ghost-Free Time, Call, the first episode introduces readers to my characters, my story, and my writing at no risk to them. This gives readers the opportunity to experience the story and decide for themselves if it is something they would enjoy. This also provides me with the opportunity to hook the reader and convince them to pick up the next episode. If I’m not convincing you to pick up episode two when it gets released, I’m not doing something right and that gives me the chance to improve my writing for the next one. It’s a learning process.
  • Working on an episodic series also helps improve my abilities as a publisher. I’m improving my knowledge of the process through Smashwords and Kindle Direct Publishing. For each new episode, I’ve decided that I would like to make a fresh, yet simplistic cover to assist with convincing readers to continue with the series. By deciding this, I’ve been able to improve my abilities as a digital artist with Photoshop. I would love to be able to assist fellow writer’s with the publishing process, cover creation, or any aspect of creating written works. Hell, that’s what Emerald Inkwell is all about. That’s why we’ve chosen to brand ourselves as a “PNW Publishing Community.” We want to help independent writers get their work out there just like we’re doing for ourselves. So, if I can improve my skills with Photoshop and help a friend throw together a unique cover for their work, that motivates me. What can I say, I’m a “helper.” With For a Ghost-Free Time, Call’s first episode cover (pictured below) I wanted a simple cover that got the point across and related to the content in the writing. Much like you might see for some of Stephen King’s books (also pictured below). But since that first cover design I’ve been working on my abilities and I look at my W.I.P., sample covers for episode two and three, I find them much more visually intriguing than the first episode cover. Which gives me ideas for a future “updated” cover for that first episode. I’m learning. And that excites  and motivates me further.
  • The final thing I’ll touch on that I find great about the episodic format is that it is inexpensive for the reader and allows me to work on something that is “full-length” over time. So far, the episodes of “Ghost-Free Time are around 45 pages each, give or take. Once each season is finished, I look forward to offering a full season collection or a series collection, depending on the longevity of the IP. And if each episode is approximately 45 pages a single season collection could range from 275 to 400 pages. That’s a lengthy novel right there. So, while currently writing in a short story format, each episode is the catalyst for something larger.

So, if you were to ask me again: “Why work on an episodic series instead of a full-length novel?” I would kindly direct you to read the above, but I would simply respond by saying two things. 1: Because I can and I enjoy it (that counts as one, calm down). And 2: I’m not only working on an episodic series. I’m actually working on that “full-length” novel you’re asking for while providing you with a steady stream of content to keep readers entertained and to keep myself writing. And, in the end, when all is said and done, that’s all I really want out of all this. To keep readers entertained and to keep myself writing. And that sounds damn good to me.


Episode Two is on the way soon! Pick up Episode One to catch up before it drops!

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Salt piles, iron fire pokers, and Ghosts tend to go hand in hand!

Author Interview: The Drive Home, part 2 – *Spoilers*

It’s been a few months since the release of The Drive Home: A Tale of Bromance and Horror and all sales and downloads combined…hundreds of people have enjoyed the novel and many keep asking me about the events that took place during “the drive.” Emerald Inkwell came up with some questions based on personal and fan feedback regarding the story and its twists and turns. We sat down for another author interview, this time, filled with spoilers about the story!

So, if you haven’t finished The Drive Home, click on that link and grab yourself a copy.

This is your final warning: *Spoilers Ahead!*


Oh, my god! What the hell’s wrong with you!?

(laughs) You’re going to have to be a little more specific.

Let’s just get right to it and talk about that ending. I have to say I never saw that coming.

Which part? There were two sides to the ending, Ben’s and then the detective’s.

Let’s go over both. What about Ben’s ending? So, he just snapped and killed a bunch of people, huh?

Basically, yeah. The reaction I got from a lot of people–from the ending chapters as a whole–ended up being the reaction I was aiming for. At first, it gives you that “what the hell?” moment and you don’t quite get why he came unhinged. But then when you start to think about it, you realize it was a lot of little things that we’ve all experienced to some degree just piled on top of him, weighing him down until his mind couldn’t take it anymore. His home life wasn’t what he wanted after he made such a huge decision to move away with Lynn, the long-time job he’d wasted nearly a decade at had gone tits-up, his dream of being a writer seemed unachievable, and his best friends were all moving on with their adult lives, seemingly without him. All of that and more just became a perfect storm of bullshit that inspired that Fight Club-esque mental break.

That’s something I loved about Ben’s break, what “Taylor” tells him in the interrogation room. That Ben “needed a story” and Taylor gave it to him–it was a very “writer-like” thing to do.

That was actually one of my favorite reasons for the break. All the things in life he thought he was controlling (like his job, love life, et cetera) he truly wasn’t. Yet the one thing he thought he couldn’t figure out, like deciding on that perfect story to launch his career, it turns out he was controlling it all along. We’re capable of so much and even if we don’t know that, our souls do. Sometimes our bodies can give us a “push” in the right direction when we’re lost.

It does make a sad sort of sense. Did you pull any of that from personal experience?

In a way. Some of the situations the characters go through or have been through were kernels taken from my life. A lot of the events and conversations were definitely from experiences, either mine or someone I know. I think that makes it more relatable. That’s the side that allowed me to “write what I know.” Then I had to add something to the mix and throw a curveball at the main characters.

I’m guessing that’s the killing spree. I’m assuming you’ve never gone out and murdered a bunch of people.

Well…let’s not get into that! (laughs) No, I haven’t, I swear! But to that point, do you think the writers for Dexter went out and ritualistically killed a bunch of bad guys, just so they could “write what they know”? Of course they didn’t, but they likely did their research and talked to police and serial killers to get into the character’s mind. So, some experiences helped shape the characters in The Drive Home, then I did some research and studied similar characters in fiction to help craft the broken side of Ben. The Taylor side.

So, one question we really wanted to ask was: How is it that no one noticed that Ben was talking to himself all the time? The scenes where he and Ben are together might seem weird from another character’s perspective. 

Ah, that is definitely a good question. Addressing that was something I intended on making sure of from the start but didn’t realize I had done it already when I re-read the first draft. It definitely would look weird if someone was arguing with themselves in front of someone else, but there are actually very few times when Ben and Taylor are seen talking to one another in front of other people. Quite often they’re alone when it happens. As for the few times when someone is around them, the dialogue actually blends together as though one person was talking. Other times, Ben is often imagining himself talking to Taylor or is in Taylor’s shoes imagining Ben doing or saying something. Which means that Ben’s mind is playing tricks on him, hearing phrases like “you boys” when someone simply said “you” is just a side effect of that. To the same point, if you saw someone mumbling or talking to themselves, would you really speak up and ask them if they’re alright or just keep on moving?

Let’s shift the focus to Detective Sawyer’s story arc. Why focus so much on him and ruin his life in the end?

Well, if you think about it, that’s why I focused so much on him. So that I could ruin his life in the end. I really enjoyed writing the character and that ending, though. I had always wanted to create that surly, middle-aged detective character who smokes too much and just thinks people are inherently stupid. Originally, the ending was at a slightly confusing spot after the interrogation and Ben had essentially taken on Taylor’s persona while his own consciousness was all but extinct. But it felt unfinished, it needed something to wrap up Ben’s story a little more, which is where the epilogue came in. It gave me a chance to show that even though Ben was once a good guy, things still didn’t work out for him.

But Dan’s poor wife! It was definitely a surprise ending and it really picked up some last-minute steam during the epilogue. Was that intentional? 

Yeah, the added “last-minute steam” was intentional. I didn’t want to follow a standard, single climax followed by a wrap-up, story structure. I wanted to give it more of a rollercoaster at times. And that last little bit definitely gave me the opportunity to keep readers “hooked” even after the last page turned. When I had the idea for Dan to come home to another serial killer it turned The Drive Home into something different for me, something more. It changed from being the end of life as Ben knew it, to being the genesis of Dan’s character arc. He has this traditional cop background, but this is going to change him in ways he could never have imagined. When you realize the story that focused so much on Ben and Taylor wasn’t truly about them, and that it’s sort of an “origin” story, your perspective changes a bit.

An origin story? Does that mean we’ll be seeing Dan again? Or Ben, maybe?

When I started writing The Drive Home the answer to that question would have been “no.” But now that it’s out there and I’m hearing people thoughts on the story I think I do want to continue Dan’s storyline more. Delve into that crime/detective genre some more. People really enjoyed his chapters and got a very different type of energy from them. But, I’ve got some ideas for where he may go from here, but nothing set in stone yet. As far as seeing Ben again, you’ll just have to wait and see what happens, but what I will say, is that Dan and Ben’s stories are forever linked. Whatever Dan decides to do next, I’m sure Ben will be involved somehow.

That is pretty exciting, actually! We talked with a few people as they were reading TDH and found that they all said the same things at certain points throughout it. Things like “I think I know who the killer is!” or “I know where this is going.” But when they reached the ending, they were surprised at the Taylor twist and Dan’s fate. Was the ending always planned like that or did you come up with it during the writing?

Yeah, I had a few people say those things to me too. I had an idea of where I wanted things to end, but I wasn’t sure exactly how or where that would happen. As I was writing, I knew that consistency would play a big part in making sense when they got to the end. Like there are very few times after they leave Eugene that both Ben and Taylor are seen together or actually talk to the same person. As I really tried to develop these interactions and moments it helped me find the ending during the writing, rather than planning it out ahead of time. Where I initially ended it, it was about sixty pages lighter and missing something.

It’s funny how things work out like that sometimes. Alright, I do have one last question and it’s something that interviewers always ask new authors. Do you have any advice for writers who one day want to publish a book?

When I Googled that question, I came up with a lot of very similar answers. “Read a lot” or “Write every day.” While those answers are definitely true, I have one tip that helped me out quite a bit.

If you’re like me and get distracted easily—which a lot of writers I know do—write multiple stories at once. Not literally, mind you, but have a few different ideas, preferably in various genres. That way when you get bored or stuck you have something new and different to switch to. Different genres will keep your creativity on its toes and holds your interest longer.

Oh, and if you’re a writer or an artist or like doing something creative, get in touch with Emerald Inkwell. We’re working on trying to bring together a great community of inspired individuals to collaborate on projects or even just bounce ideas off of. We don’t have a start date yet for any “meet-ups” yet, but it’s high up on our priority list. It’s going to be fun!


That’s all for this interview regarding The Drive Home, but I’m sure there’ll be plenty more based on this project and others! I love discussing writing and story ideas with anyone who’ll listen. And my favorite company (Emerald Inkwell!) loves to listen to me gab on and on. I hope this helped shed a little light on some of the bigger twists in the novel and I can’t wait to bring you more great stories in the future.

Cheers!

Sean

National Tell a Story Day!

America is filled with obscure holidays and random reasons to celebrate, but a number of them are near and dear to me and my passion for storytelling. On top of that, certain holidays even have the potential to do something good, if not great. National Tell a Story Day is one of those days that truly has the potential to do some great in this world.

Things like illiteracy and shortened attention spans have ravaged recent generations (mine included) and finding those who enjoy reading is becoming more and more difficult. Years ago, I nearly fell into that bottomless pit. Not because I didn’t know how or because I hated reading, but because the world of entertainment has been evolving so drastically that other things would snag my attention and my bookshelf started to collect dust. Instead of picking up a book, I’d watch a movie or play a video game–all valid ways to indulge our human need to tell and be told stories–but it took something away from my imaginative process. It wasn’t nearly as gratifying as creating a new world in my own mind, simply based on a few words on a page.

While National Tell a Story Day is based on the Scottish and European equivalent in October, America’s version takes place six months earlier in the year. It encourages all forms of storytelling written, verbal, visual, fiction, non-fiction, whatever! And it should be celebrated more widely.


National Tell a Story Day is the American counterpart of the Scottish and UK holiday of the same name, but is not to be confused with World Storytelling Day. World Storytelling Day is a celebration of the art of oral storytelling, helping keep the traditions of passing stories down through the generations. World Storytelling Day takes place on March 20th, a little over a month prior to National Tell a Story Day.


In honor of today, April 27th – National Tell a Story Day, I took steps working with my publisher to put together a limited time offer based around my debut novel The Drive Home: A Tale of Bromance and Horror. So, for all the world, right now, you can pick up the kindle edition of The Drive Home absolutely FREE. Boot up your Kindle device or app and hunt down The Drive Home on Amazon! If you’ve read it, now you have it on-the-go and can read it again with ease wherever you are. Or, if you’ve yet to read it, you’re in for a treat and can then tell someone else about it, in honor of today. The special will run through the end of April and will hopefully help someone discover reading or at least read something fun that they’ve never read before.

So, get out there and tell someone a story today. Read stories, watch, write and enjoy as many of them as possibly today. This is what the human mind craves, telling and being told stories. Few things can make you feel and “live” like a good story can. I hope you all enjoy the drive and a few great stories today.


National Tell a Story Day SpecialTDH-FB-COVER

April 27th – April 30th

The Drive Home: A Tale of Bromance and Horror, Kindle Edition

Price: FREE. 100% FREE!

 


What other holidays are out there for writers and storytellers? Are there any specials or events taking place today that the world should know about? Let us know below in the comments–or tell us a story!

Author Interview: The Drive Home, Pre-Launch

Prior to the launch of The Drive Home: A Tale of Bromance and Horror, I sat down with Emerald Inkwell so that they could ask me a few questions about my writing and the novel itself. I thought I’d put them together in a nice, beautifully formatted post.


Congratulations on the upcoming release! To start things off, why don’t you tell us who you are and a little about The Drive Home.

Ok and thanks, I’m excited too. My name is Sean Kelly, my upcoming novel is titled The Drive Home: A Tale of Bromance and Horror and it’s a thriller set in the Pacific Northwest. It’s the story of Ben and Taylor who take a road trip to visit Ben’s ill father, but hope to have a little fun and maybe get a little inspiration along the way. Ben is a young man who is fed up with the direction his life is taking so he quits his job and decides to try and write his first novel. Taylor, like it says on the back of the book, is Ben’s best—and quite often irritating—friend, who essentially invites himself on the trip, hoping that things will get a little crazy as all road trip stories usually do. In a sense, their road trip does get a little crazy, but not in the way they’d hoped… People start winding up dead in their wake as they drive through Oregon and Washington until eventually they’re confronted with the reality of their situation.

Love it! We’re from the PNW and we’re excited to read a story based there! Although, I do have to ask, what is this whole “Bromance and Horror” deal?

Yeah, I’m from the PNW too and that’s exactly why I wanted to write something based here; it’s my home! But the subtitle, right. So, “bromance” is a word that really only started to emerge sometime in the last decade thanks to movies like “I Love You, Man,” but the concept has been around for a while in things like buddy comedies. A bromance is essentially when two or more male friends are way, way too close and from the outside it can often be misconstrued as romantic, although there are no romantic intentions between them. In a broader sense, a bromance is like a more intense version of a best friendship, which eventually led to the forming of the word “bromance.” So, in the case of Ben and Taylor they’ve been best friends since childhood and have always been close and really don’t have any boundaries, as much as Ben sometimes wishes there were. In regards to the “horror” in the subtitle, well, that pretty much explains itself because, yeah, Ben and Taylor have been best friends since they were young, but then some scary shit happens and it puts that to the test.

So, you told us a bit about the story, but with this being your first novel, how would you describe your writing style before someone picks up the book?

Well, that’s kind of an interesting question. I’ve never liked the idea of pigeonholing myself into one category or style and I like to experiment with writing styles a bit. But in the case of The Drive Home and it being my first novel, I wanted it to be a fun, easy reading experience that would feel more cinematic. Furthermore, one of the things a lot of literary fiction writers do is really delve into the little details of their surroundings. They create that vivid painting of the setting with paragraphs or sometimes pages of details. While I love that style of writing I wanted this to be faster paced and the things that happen to Ben and Taylor are pretty distracting, to say the least, and I wanted to allow the real life settings to evoke a lot of the imagery. So, needless to say, they’re not going to notice the cherry colored rose resting and wilting peacefully in the walnut brown pot, bathing in the sunlight creeping through the stained glass window. As people are dying around them, that pretty much takes up all their attention and I wanted the pacing of the story to reflect that.

You say the novel is a faster paced, “cinematic” experience, could you elaborate a little more on that? How do you fill all those pages but keep things moving along at that rate?

It’s really a lot of ups and down, intense moments juxtaposed against serene or calmer scenes. To prepare the reader for that flow, the beginning is a gradual rise, developing the main characters before anything too crazy happens. Also, one of the things I haven’t spoken too much about is all the main characters that the narrative follows. What I mean is, we have Ben and Taylor, and their trip towards Spokane, but on the flip side of that, there’s another narrative arc we’ll be following. A surly, middle-aged detective who is tasked with connecting some of the dots and finding out who is responsible for the trail of bodies dropping throughout the Pacific Northwest. That alternate perspective allowed me to really play with that pacing I was talking about and really pick and choose where those highs and lows took place. It also gave me an opportunity to introduce a character type I’ve always wanted to write about: that skeptical detective who smokes too much and is easily pissed off by just about everyone. I love those guys.

Alright, let’s ask you a more difficult question. Without giving away any spoilers, what would you say is your favorite part of The Drive Home?

You’re right, that is a more difficult question. Other than the ending, because I really love the ending, I think that one of my favorite parts would have to be a short ways in when something happens and really shakes up everything the first few chapters set up and it really messes with the main characters. One of the reasons I really like this part is because it takes place in one of my favorite small towns in Oregon: Mt. Angel.

Interesting, Mt. Angel? It’s not during Oktoberfest is it?

No, but that is why I fell in love with love Mt. Angel. It is referenced a little bit though and you get a glimpse of Oktoberfest’s influence on the town. But what I like about it is that you meet a couple really interesting characters, some important and some not, but some of those characters and the conversations with them are almost entirely real. They actually happened to me and I sort of wanted to pay homage to those people who’ve given me those memories I cherish so much.

Is that how you come up with your ideas? Real life situations?

Sort of, yes. I wanted the novel to be grounded in the real world, so a lot of the characters and conversations are based on real people I know or have met. That’s what made them so interesting to me, they’re real. Real characters and real conversations I’ve had with them, which might explain why some of them aren’t very appropriate. Myself and a lot of the people I know have fairly foul mouths and some of that did transfer into the story as well. What’s the old adage? “Write what you know.”TDH-FB-COVER


Thanks for reading the pre-launch interview questions! We’re working on some post-launch questions that delve a bit deeper into the story itself and shed a little light on the future. Pick up your copy of The Drive Home in Print on iBooks, Kindle, and Nook today!