Will Nicholl has little in common with a private investigator working a missing person’s case and a young woman avoiding her abusive ex-boyfriend. That is until he finds a book – the book- that throws his whole world into chaos. The book is blank except for one page; a page that Will wrote and told no one about. As he delves deeper into the genesis of the book he finds he is spectacularly connected to both the young woman and the private investigator. But the deeper he digs the more dangerous life becomes.
My name is Boyd Jamison. I am 25 and I have a Masters degree in Creative Writing. During the day, I work as a poultry farmer but my nights are usually devoted to writing novels or writing articles for my blog. In my downtime I enjoy watching wrestling, martial arts or superhero films and television shows about dark, conflicted characters.
I write part time, usually in the evening after I've finished my farming for the day. In the future I would like to write full time though.
I write in the evenings for the most part, after I've eaten and relaxed a bit from working. Sometimes I write a little and sometimes I end up writing until 4 or 5 in the morning. Though I would like to, I don't write every day.
I have always loved reading and imagining my own stories. When I was younger I would watch the Power Rangers and after every episode I would act out my own stories for the characters. As I grew, I developed my own original characters who were the focus of my writing in internet wrestling e-feds, which are fantasy wrestling promotions where writers enter their original wrestlers and develop them through written segments and scenes. The best written entries would decide the winner of the matches. This was fun and I really enjoyed it as a way to evolve my talents and learn about writing for an audience but I wanted to go deeper. I expanded my reading by studying English Literature in my undergraduate degree and then fine tuned my writing through my Masters in Creative Writing. Putting all that I have learned into practice by writing a full length novel felt like the next logical step.
My most recently published work is I Plagiarized this Book from Myself which is about a young man named Will Nicholl who wants to be a writer but finds that his work has been stolen and published under a different name. He sets about trying to avenge this work and his path crosses that of Kirk P. Mittelmark, a private investigator who is delving into the case of a missing child who reappeared years later.
The longer that I created and wrote my own characters, the more I wanted to write extended stories. I began to move away from stand-alone segments and more into story arcs and long running stories. Eventually it felt necessary to expand beyond fantasy wrestling. It was during the Creative Writing course that I really felt motivated to produce a novel that was different and challenged both the reader and myself. Everyone in the course were such fantastic writers and taught me so much. They inspired me to go beyond my own interests.
Mystery and suspense. When I read novels, whether its fantasy or a gritty, realistic thriller, the constant question of “what's going to happen next?” is what keeps me invested, so the mystery and suspense genre felt like a natural fit. That being said, some of my favourite authors, such as Isaac Asimov and George Orwell, wrote speculative fiction, so I would like to try my hand at that in the future.
For Will Nicholl's role in the book, I didn't need to do much research. I had already experienced the life of an aspiring author. For Mittelmark's part however, I had to do extensive research on missing children. This included reading a 57 page translated police report of the Madeleine McCann investigation.
My skill at crafting longer stories has improved. I Plagiarized this Book from Myself helped me learn a lot about constructing and structuring novel length prose. However, because the Creative Writing degree was predominately focused on short story writing, I also learned to write in a concise and pointed manner, highlighting the necessary and eliminating the excess.
Ending the book was the hardest part for me. Not because of fatigue, but rather, as the finale closed in, I kept wondering whether there was anywhere the book could go from it's current point or whether it could develop in a different way. But eventually I had to go with my gut and just write that final line.
Seeing the scene in my head come to life on the page was really rewarding. Having the characters and the story come together was exciting too because in those moments the book becomes real.
A little bit of both. I plan plots in my head, mulling over ideas for a few days before finally writing it down. I do usually have an ending in mind when I begin writing a book and I know the trajectory of the story but I do change some parts as I go along if I come up an idea that is more compelling.
I have a couple of beta readers who usually read first drafts as I'm editing. I also converse with some readers in the comment section of my blog.
I take their suggestions under advisement, but at the end of the day I have to be satisfied with my own work. Therefore, sometimes I will change the parts they have issue with and sometimes I'll elect to keep it the same.
Support groups are great for helping to enrich a story. Many times in the Creative Writing classes a student would present a story and the group would come up with many different ways to develop the characters and the plot. At the same time though, I do think it is important to be able to work alone and be confident in one's work. But support groups are great for building upon that self-confidence.
I did work with an editor through World Castle Publishing who published my novel. The editor was great at finding the parts that might confuse readers and generally just making the novel presentable to the public. When it came to the story, I did make most of the changes but it was ultimately up to me whether I felt the changes were essential.
I think everyone in my life, in some way, influenced my writing. Teachers at school, specifically my History Teacher, were real inspirations to me to pursue my ambitions. Fellow e-fedders in the internet wrestling community also gave me a lot of advice when it came to writing. I learned a lot from the books I read. And I don't know if I would have gotten published so soon if it weren't for the lecturer and all my classmates from the creative writing class.
Word of mouth is the most valuable asset that a writer has. Whether it is in real life or on the internet tell everyone about your work and get them to tell everyone else.Outside of that, the Writer's Handbook is a great resource with a list of magazines that writers can contact. Groups on Linkedin such as Book Marketing and Indie Book Review can be valuable methods of getting word out about a book.
I Plagiarized this Book from Myself was independently published by an American company called World Castle Publishing.
A book series is great and I admire writers who are able to pull it off. It's a fantastic feat to draw together plots into an ongoing story and it can serve as a great way to keep readers coming back if the characters are interesting and the story is engaging. It is also problematic in that readers can often be demanding if they know more books are coming, such as the recent case with George R. R. Martin and his fans. Authors of long running book series also have trouble moving on because fans don't want to read anything else. That said, I would like to write a book series when I've got a good enough idea.
Go to Amazon and check out their listings for top reviewer rankings. You'll have to go through them one by one and check their profiles to find out if they review books and which genres but it can be worthwhile. Linkedin groups are also good because reviewers will sometimes come there to look for books to review.
Don't expect too much too soon. Bigger success will come in time.
My favourite book is George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four. The prose is so clean and clear and yet it is so evocative and engaging. I love how the sense of dread and helplessness build throughout the entire novel and yet it still tricks the reader into believing that a happy ending is really possible. The main character is so savvy and still manages to fall victim to all of Big Brother's traps. It is just such a cleverly written plot about relatable characters in a fully realised world.
I have no plans for a book trailer although if I could design a professional looking trailer then I might consider it. Far too many book trailers look rather amateurish and make me cringe rather than wanting to read the book behind the trailer.
Currently I am working on a novel about a group of outsider teens who, in a bid to be popular, plan the biggest house party their school has ever seen. But they discover that fame and adulation come at a cost and what could be a party for some might mean a funeral for others.
I pace. Sometimes I just have to go away and leave it untouched for a couple of days in order to work through the issues but normally just walking around the house stimulates my mind.
Have fun with your writing and try new things. Consider all the advice you receive but find what works best for you. And don't be discouraged if you don't meet with success right away. Authors who find fame early in their career often have a hard time keeping it.