A Nice Brew & Something New With Benny Neylon/Giveaway

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I am pleased to have Benny Neylon on the blog today to discuss Multiple-Genre Writer Syndrome and of course, his favorite tea 😉  Benny is the author of several books, including two collections of short stories set in contemporary Ireland (Yarns, and Thumbprints), as well as his first novel, NSA.

He also happens to have a fantastic sense of humor and is a true pleasure to correspond with. Please help me welcome him. Thank you for taking the time to share and visit today Benny!

Benny has also offered to generously give away all 4 of his current eBooks to 5 lucky winners. This will be open internationally, so stick around!


Multiple-Genre Writer Syndrome

Help, I think I’ve got Multiple-Genre Writer Syndrome.

It’s okay, MGWS is not that rare – you’re going to be just fine.

Who are you, and what the heck do you know about it?

I’m Benny, and I too am a multiple genre writer.

Forgive me if I sound a little suspicious–

I am, really! I’ve written microfiction, essays, screenplays, short stories and novels in sci-fi, non-fiction, contemporary fiction, satire, thriller and parody. Hell, I’ve even dabbled in freeform poetry and haikus… what can I say, I’m sick!

Why is this happening to me? All I wanted to do was write a steampunk series and now I’m midway through penning a historical romance and a self-help manual!

I don’t know; it’s just how it goes with MGWS… That said, here are four off-the-cuff unproven signs you might have MGWS:

  1. You read voraciously and sponge up information, squeezing it into that giant soup cauldron we call the human skull. Later (usually inconveniently late at night), stories fall out, not always in the genre you’d imagine: [Thumbprints, my short story collection, materialised just like this.]
  2. You think to yourself, “Why the hell not? There are so many interesting things to write about, so many different styles of writing possible, that it would be an absolute shame not to try more than one.” I mean, would you want to go through life having sampled only one kind of tea, when the greatest tea in the world – Pukka’s Three Tulsi, see below 😉 – might have passed you by?
  3. You have developed a mental crutch to deal with those moments when you are struggling to write or edit one particular story: by switching to a completely different genre, you create a workaround for writer’s block. Then, when you return to your first story, it’s as if the barrier has melted away. [For example, I wrote The Holiest Bible Ever – a short and irreverent retelling of Genesis – as I wrestled with the form and message of NSA, my first novel.]
  4. Deliberate practice: you are a keen student of scientific methods and strive for excellence, figuring that working across different genres will make you a more complete writer because science.

[More unsubstantiated theories are available on request.]

Well then, what can I expect to stay the same with MGWS?

–Your voice: each writer’s voice is unique, from the way you arrange words, to where the focus is (or isn’t) in a scene, to what you as narrator notice in the world you have created. Unless you are consciously aping the style of another writer, that voice – your voice – shines through, whatever the genre.

–The end goal: creating fiction for others to enjoy, completing a work you are proud of, and crafting a story with something to say. You don’t need to force social or political commentary into your work, but just knowing that your story has brightened someone’s day will always be worthwhile.

That all sounds good… what’s going to be different?

–Your level of organisation may need to step up a notch with MGWS. Writing in a single genre, a particular character could drop seamlessly into one story from another; this is clearly not the case with MGWS. You must isolate and compartmentalise your genres, put them in separate buildings (or computer folders) and securely patrol the perimeters, to prevent handcuff-loving musclebound hotties from your erotica novella inappropriately slipping into your WWII-era historical thriller.

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Putting the ‘mental’ in Compartmentalisation

–With MGWS, there is no cosy niche. Your efforts to find readers will be spread broad but thin, rather than focused in on one particular area. On the other hand, your work has the potential to reach a wider range of people, and if a reader loves your writer’s voice, they might just be willing to follow your writing and try a new genre, so everyone’s a winner!

So overall, you’re saying the outlook is…?

Positive and sunny – embrace the freedom of MGWS and enjoy writing about (almost) anything!

Want to know more? Ask any question on multiple-genre writing in the comments below and probably definitely receive at least one answer.



About Benny Neylon:
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Benny was hand-reared on a farm in the west of Ireland and is currently alive in Barcelona. Previously, he worked in Europe, Africa and North America as a structural engineer.

His latest book and first novel is NSA, a political satire in the vein of Catch-22.

Benny is also the author of two collections of short stories – Yarns and Thumbprints – set in rural and urban Ireland, respectively. The Holiest Bible Ever, his third book, “finds the funny” in a retelling of the Book of Genesis. He is presently working on a science-fiction short story collection and a steampunk novel, amongst other things (He has MGWS, after all).

image2Benny’s Favourite Tea: Pukka’s Three Tulsi.
Type: Infusion (Bag)
Drunk: Hot water and patience
Website Description: Sacred is the herb that shows you the way […] green tulsi for sweeping away the clutter, then purple tulsi for uplifting the spirits, and to finish lemon tulsi with a zesty twist to inspire you onwards.”

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(But an honorable mention to Nomad Coffee, roasting coffee right around the corner from me in Barcelona)

Find out more about Benny and his work at westclarewriters.com, on Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, and Tumblr


Giveaway!

*Must be 18 yrs of age or older to enter and have a valid email address. All winners will be announced on social media and contacted via email. This giveaway is provided by the author. 

Enter to win all 4 eBooks!

Cheers!

Danielle ❤

Connect With Me: Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram
Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Winners of The Bone Angel Series Drawing (For 1 free eBook of choice in the series)!

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Last week I had the wonderful privilege of introducing Liza Perrat and sharing her discussion on writing historical fiction. You can find that post here if you missed it. It is a fascinating read! She was also very generous in donating an eBook of choice from her Bone Angel Series to 3 lucky winners.

Bone Angel Series

Three standalone stories exploring the tragedies and triumphs of a French village family of midwife-healers during the French Revolution (Spirit of Lost Angels), WW2 Nazi-occupied France (Wolfsangel) and the 1348 Black Plague (Blood Rose Angel).

I am excited to be announcing the 3 winners today! 


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Annie @ themisstery.com

Claire @ brizzlelassbooks.com

Icky Temperance @ IckyTemperance

I will be emailing each of you shortly for the necessary information and forwarding it to Liza so that you can receive your books. Congratulations and enjoy!

lineThank you to everyone who participated and visited the blog! Your ongoing support is deeply appreciated. You are what makes this blog and community the best! I look forward to hosting more giveaways in the near future.

A very special thank you to Liza for the fantastic guest post and giveaway!

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An Introduction of Sorts – Fictional Escape Artist

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Fan fiction is a genre that has remained under my radar for, well forever. It wasn’t until I had the privilege of being introduced to my “nonhusband’s” coworker Stephanie, that I would even discover that this entire world dedicated to fandoms existed. As the story has it, Stephanie and I quickly realized that we shared many common interests and developed a bond.

Stephanie also happens to be a writer that produces fan fiction. While I am still mostly a stranger to this genre, I enjoy reading her content. She is a talented individual and follows many of my favorite fandoms. She recently took the plunge and started a blog! I wanted to take a moment today and introduce her to you, my favorite reading community. Whether your normally read fan fiction or not, I would like to invite you to stop by and say hello to Stephanie @fictionalescapeartist.com (I am a sucker for her blog name!). I asked her to do a small Q & A because I thought it would be a great way to help introduce her, and she kindly humored me 😉 So without further ado…


Meet Fictional Escape Artist

steph


1. When did you first discover that you enjoy reading fan fic? Was there a particular story that stands out for you?

It was like 3 or 4 years ago, and I was on pinterest and someone had made a pin with a link to a Doctor Who fan fic on Archiveofourown.com. It was called “An Unexpected Family” by Bittie752. It was a story about Rose and Tentoo (the meta-crisis Doctor) accidentally transporting back to the 1988 in our universe. It turns out she was pregnant and still affected by Bad Wolf and their baby becomes Rory Williams. The way the writer created their own world and but still tie into the show was amazing, the later chapters actually tie in with episodes in 11’s first season. The story was novel length and so incredibly intricate, it actually made sense. Seriously check it out!
2. I know you have been writing for a while. Do you remember the exact moment that you decided to lend your pen to fan fiction?

“Lend my pen..” I love that, so poetic! Well, I use to write all the time and shamefully let someone make me feel bad and embarrassed about writing so I gave it up for 10 years. I was trying to find a new hobby to occupy my time and I thought about how happy writing use to make me. I wasn’t feeling overly confident in my abilities since it had been so long, so I thought fan fiction would be a good transition, since half the work was done for me. I didn’t have to come up with characters, just situations.

3. What was the first fan fiction you wrote?

I wrote a Sherlock story called “You’re It”. There was this great Sherlock story called “Small Boxes in Dark Rooms” by tvatemybrain, and at the end she challenged people to participate and write companion pieces or continuations. I decided to try my hand at it. By that time I had read a lot ( I mean A LOT) of fan fiction and knew I could do better than some of what I read.

4. Is there a particular community that you would recommend to others who enjoy or are interested in fan fiction?

I find that Archiveofourown.com is the easiest site to navigate. The people on there seem to be very supportive and typically you see positive comments. Plus people seem to finish their stories more often on that site. You can look me up by my name Steviewho. Another I like a lot is fanficiton.net. That one you find more abandoned fics though, and some really rude comments.

5. What is you favourite fictional film or series to write about and why?

OOf, that is a tough question. I tend to go through kicks of watching a lot of Doctor Who or Sherlock, so it really depends on what I am watching at the time. I typically only write Doctor Who, Sherlock and Labyrinth. I fell in love with the characters, good and proper love with them. I want more time with them, that’s why I write it now.

6. You recently started a blog Fictional Escape Artist. I absolutely love the title you chose. What was the inspiration behind that and what do you hope to gain from the blog?

Well, my weakness is coming up with names for things so I was really struggling with finding a name. I started thinking about how I use fiction, books, movies, tv shows as an escape from reality. I picked escape artist because I am REALLY good at escaping.

What do I hope to gain from it? I’m not sure, I wanted to reach out in the writing/reading community and since we are predominately introverts online is the best way.
7. Describe what the writing process is like for you on any given day.

My writing process is chaos. I typically will get an idea and sit down and write it all out in one go. It is a lot of free writing, and very little planning. The only time I really outline anything is just the timeline cause I’m a stickler for consistency. I always have to have music going, usually David Bowie. I don’t know what it is about that man, but he’s basically my muse. If I put in headphones and turn on Bowie the ideas come flowing. After I get the first draft done, I will read through it a couple of times and make a few adjustments and changes.
8. Where do you hope to be several year from, now in regards to writing and blogging?

My goal is to get a book agent by the end of next year and eventually get my book published (if I could ever finish it!) and hopefully writing another one. My blog, I don’t know. I want to keep it up. I’m not looking for internet fame, but hopefully I can just make people happy. Maybe inspire someone.

9. Tell us a bit about your reading habits. What genres do you enjoy, and do you have any recommendations?

My reading habits are a bit all over the place. My favorite book is Pride and Prejudice hands down. If you’re a fan or interested in getting into it, I would recommend checking out the “Lizzie Bennett Diaries” on youtube, and checking out the companion book. It is a modern-day retelling of P&P and it is translated so wonderfully. It is really great for those who don’t like classic books. I read way too many P&P variations. I love the classics, fantasy, some sci-fi,  I love a good thriller, historical drama is always fun. I’m not a huge fan of romance, but a good contemporary fiction is great. I also love autobiographies by comedians.

I recommend checking out:
Me Before You by Jojo Myers
The Scarpetta Series by Patricia Cornwell
Yes Please by Amy Poehler
Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
I could go on and on actually, so I’ll stop it there.
10. Tells us a few facts about yourself. Share a little of who you are to everyone.

I am 30 years old and have a 6 year old son. I’ve lived up here in Oregon for 3 years now and love it. I watch a lot of movies and tv shows. I live the nerd-life. I can hula-hoop for 31 minutes straight. Geeze, I always have a hard time coming up with facts about myself sorry, it one reason my dating profiles are so lame.  

You can find more of Stephanie here:

Fictionalescapeartist.com
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