Thrilled to have guest blogger and author Alexander Nader on the site today! Let me introduce him first, and then we’ll get to it …
He looks so normal, right? I thought so, too. Just wait … but first, his bio …
Alex lives in the tourist infested hills of east Tennessee with his amazing wife/muse and three superb children. He would tell you more about how awesome they are, but you probably wouldn’t believe him. When he’s not hanging out with them he’s making pizzas. When he’s not doing that he’s working at a bookstore and occasionally he jots a few words down. He’s a big fan of good music, good storytelling, and mixed martial arts.
He once wrote a short story about pirates to his wife via text message that blossomed into a full length novel and never stopped after that.
And so, without further ado, I give you the very entertaining, Alex Nader …
Hello boys and girls, ladies and gentlemen. Julie has asked me to drop by this nice little space of hers and share some words with y’all. It’s okay, don’t be scared. Well, yes, I do spit when I talk, but you are on the opposite end of the internets; I don’t think my spittle will affect you other there. And technically I’m typing. I don’t spit when I type. That would be weird. Probably just drooling at that point, right? Eh, you can debate it in the comments in between calling me dumb or curly haired or something. Fair enough?
Now that’s over with, I can type about what I hiked my lazy bum over here to type about. Over here to the keyboard that is. Not to your house because we’ve already established, the internets. Stuff’s everywhere. So. I want to talk about voice with you guys. I’m going to talk about it in the writing sense, but I need any kids reading this to understand it can be applied to life too.
The first novel I wrote sucked. The world I built was cool and the characters were mostly interesting and the plot was acceptable, but it still sucked. Same thing with the second novel I wrote. You wanna know why? It’s because I wrote how I thought a book should sound, not how I sound. I held back things I would normally say because they didn’t seem literary. I added stuff I wouldn’t normally say because it sounded literary. The result: two terribly worded novels. Yup, it was a complete waste of a hundred-seventy thousand words or so.
My third book I told myself to forget about everything and write how I wanted to write. I wrote my book. You know what happened? It got picked up by a publisher and they asked for two follow up novels. There were even multiple publishers asking to read it. All attention my first two books didn’t come close to, simply by being myself.
I found my voice and people kind of liked it. Some people probably hate my voice. None of those people are around to vouch for that though. Why? Because I put them in a blender to make protein shakes. What? I said I found my voice, I didn’t say I took criticism well.
My point for all this is simple. If you are an author, write your book for you first. If you want to be published then find a publisher that appreciates your voice. Find fans that like and want more of what you have to say. There are so many sub-genres and indie everythings out there that you can find like minded people. I’m sure of it.
Bigger point: if you are a teen reading this and putting up with the treacheries of high school, find and listen to your voice. Inner and outer. Listen to the voice in your head that tells you what’s right. Don’t look at me like that, there are voices in your head too. I’m not crazy. *pushes the men in white coats away and keeps typing* Let your inner voice guide your outer voice. Speak as yourself. It’s scary and I’m not going to lie, you’re probably not always going to do it. I didn’t. Don’t get me started on how many times I should have listened to myself and didn’t. There was this one time. Wait, no. What are you doing? Get your hands off me! *Shoes squeak against linoleum as the men in white coats drag me back to my nice room*
His new book …
Release Date: February 10, 2014 Adult, Urban Fantasy
Add it to your Good Reads list here: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17826395-beasts-of-burdin?ac=1
Demon hunter Ty Burdin hung up his guns, knife, trench coat and fedora a year ago. Bags packed, hands washed of all demon politics, he’s done. Forever.
In fact, to get far far away, he dragged Nora, his rockabilly secretary, from Miami to the Tennessee mountains where he’s lived a life of peace—if peace can be defined as drowning in scotch and taking private eye jobs to keep the lights on. Jobs for real people. Not demons.
He’s retired from that. Remember?
Demon hunters aren’t a dime a dozen, though, and when Ty’s brother asks him for a favor—just one—what’s a brother to do? Agreeing to take down one hillbilly demon shouldn’t take that long. In. Decapitate. Out. Favor complete. Back to the office where Nora and his bottle of whiskey are waiting.
Unfortunately for Ty, staying retired doesn’t seem to be in the cards, and an avalanche of bad luck draws him right back to an agency he despises and the career that nearly cost him his sanity.
This time, Ty has no way out and will have to face his own demons just to survive.
“Ty Burdin! Answer the phone already. It’s your brother.” The voice comes from the next room in a tone usually used by stress-fried mothers, not twenty-something-year-old receptionists. The harsh words crack through my whiskey-soaked brain like someone snapped a bullwhip in my ear. I pick my head up off the desk and wipe the drool from my mouth, as she bursts in the door.
“He’s adopted, and good morning,” I say, opening the drawer to my desk and digging through it.
“It’s not morning. It’s past noon, you lazy drunk.” Her tone is accusing, but there’s a slight smile to her ruby red lips. I really do think Nora gets enjoyment from trying to keep me in line. Her rockabilly style, all tattoos and polkadots, might scare some people off, but honestly, I think it’s kind of cool.
“Fine, I was wrong about the time, but you’re wrong, too,” I say.
“Oh, yeah? How’s that?” Nora kicks her hip to the side and props a hand on her leopard print skirt.
“I’m not drunk. I’m hungover.” I pull out a flask full of scotch and take a long drink. “I’m working on getting back on track, though.” I tip the flask toward her.
“I swear someone’s gonna find you in a ditch one day.” Her voice has a trace of concern, but it’s mostly drowned out by annoyance.
“In my line of work, that’s almost a guarantee. Now, can you tell me why you disturbed my ugly sleep?” Ugly sleep is a gross understatement. No amount of alcohol ever seems to drown out the vision of the young, innocent girl burned into my memory. The scene is even more ominous in my dreams than it was in real life.
A thunderclap breaks the silence of my memories. Nora stares down at me, hands stuck together. “Wake up, drunkard. Hartnet’s been trying to reach you on the phone for the past fifteen minutes.”
The pocket of my jacket buzzes, probably been ringing the entire time. Nora walks over to where it hangs by the door and withdraws the phone. “Jesus, Ty. You’ve got four missed calls, ten new messages, and over twenty emails. Do you ever check this thing?”
“No.” I have the phone, but honestly, I hate it.
Nora sets the still ringing phone on my desk, puts her hands on her hips and, using only facial expressions, guilts me into picking up.
“Hello,” I say into the phone that smells of smoke. I use my free hand to dig out cigarettes and a lighter.
“Ty! Finally, man, where you been?” Hartnet asks.
“Oh, you know me. I just got back from hiking the Swiss Alps with Edmund Hillary.”
“Real funny, Ty, but I imagine you’ve been spending more time with Jim or Jack.”
“God, no, I hate southern whiskey,” I say. “I prefer a fine scotch, Macallan to be specific.”
“You prefer whatever’s in front of you as long as there’s a proof label on the bottle,” Hartnet says.
I don’t have any argument for that. “So, what do you want?”