writing

Writing Wednesday: What Influences My Writing

Last Week’s Goals

I made my blog posts as usual; in my

None of my stories returned from markets, so they are still remaining out there like Heinlein told us they should be.

My next release will be October 23rd (WEIRD, But Not TOO Scary Tales, already set up for preorders and presales – see below.)

I continue to study marketing – trying to uncover all the things about indie publishing that I must be doing wrong, in hopes of getting this writing gig to work the way it should. And production-oriented Bill actually didn’t push so hard on WRITING so he could spend more time on this part of the BUSINESS.

Really enjoying Patrick Rothfuss’ The Wise Man’s Fear – one of the best things about it is the layering of the story within the story. Present day is told in third person, while the past is related in first. He manages to create extended cliffhangers on the internal story by interrupting it with what’s happening in the present day. It makes it very hard to put down and get back to my own writing (it doesn’t help that Nick Podehl does such a fascinating job narrating.)

I wrote only six days again last week, and produced 3,277 words of fiction. Swordsmaster’s Sequel is over 35,000 words. I’ve arrived at a point where I’m backtracking and filling in some details that I glossed over. It’s starting to shape up that the community being built around the garrison at Taernfeld may matter more than just a bunch of extras. Also, who (and how) Svaerd will influence is evolving (like I’ve said, where my stories decide to go often surprise me – one of the joys of writing), so I need to firm up backgrounds and characters. Time to do some interviews with the new cast… 

My Influences

When I was Meandering Monday About Being Under the Influence, I had intended to talk about my writing influences, but as my thoughts tend to meander, well, they did, and the post became about something else. It’s probably more appropriate for a Writing Wednesday, so here it is.

I read a lot in my youth, in the traditional sense of sitting alone in a chair with nothing and no one else to distract me from the story printed on paper in my hands. No TV, no internet, no music.

I had lots of different interests – insects, mythology, history – I think I read a lot about the American Revolution. I think I found my first science fiction somewhere around fourth grade (Arthur C. Clarke’s Against the Fall of Night or Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time.) I expanded into Fantasy when a friend introduced me to Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings when I was in my mid-teens. After that most of my reading into my late twenties was either Fantasy or Science Fiction (Asimov, Clarke, Zelazny, Moorcock, Harrison, Le Guin, etc…), until my reading of books petered out as LIFE got in the way. Going back to school nights for five years to get my Bachelors while working overtime in a machine shop left little time for sleeping, let alone reading. Our son was born right after I got my degree, and parenting is a whole ‘nother time drain. Fortunately, we had Rowling’s Harry Potter series to drag me back into reading fiction (now it was a family affair.)

Books were not the only influence on my writing. I grew up watching television, particularly Rod Serling’s The Twilight Zone, and quite often my stories appear in my head like those shows did – like I’m watching the story happen on an old black and white TV (and sometimes the difficulties in seeing what’s coming next feel like static – or ghosts.) Television and movies have added color, and sometimes that look seeps into my writing, too.

Another thing that influenced my writing was theatre. My first taste of acting was in sixth grade, but then I was in it pretty steady from my mid-teens – between  school drama clubs, Tewksbury Teen Theater Workshop, then Richland College when I went to college the first time (as a theatre major), until I stopped auditioning in my mid-twenties. I attribute my strength in writing dialogue (or at least how easy it is for me) to being used to the characters LINES being the main thing that was happening on stage (if you ever read play scripts, that’s almost all there is.)  

When I decided to seriously pursue writing back in 2004, part of my “training” was to resume genre reading, and most of that was paperbacks of pre-1980 books (from a list of a hundred scifi stories an “expert” said everyone should read.) As I became more jealous of my writing time, my “reading” shifted to audio books, and more current works. So another influence has been listening to how words sound (and are interpreted by the narrator – who is ALSO a reader.)

And then there are all the other things in our lives that seem to have nothing to do with writing, but make us the unique people (and authors) that we are. My love of music (playing instruments, karaoke, and listening), my early fascination with silly math problems, my wargaming days, Dungeons & Dragons role-playing, and lots of other things in my life influence where my writing starts and where it goes.

And then there are those voices…

In the end, you never really know what your influences are until they become evident on the page. Just saying…

That being said, what do you THINK your influences are? I’d love to see them in the comments. – thanx!

Up for Preorder and Presale

WEIRD, But not TOO Scary Tales, my newest THEMED collection is now available for Preorder and PRESALE.WeirdButCover

Submitted for your approval, a collection of 21 short, speculative fictions by William Mangieri, in preparation for the upcoming Halloween holiday. Or just because… Within these pages you will find ghosts, undead, demons, assassins, villains, aliens, and the mostly normal (by comparison) people who have to deal with them. Enjoy!

WEIRD, But not TOO Scary Tales is scheduled for release on October 23rd, but it’s available now for preorder at a REDUCED PROMOTIONAL PRICE at several online retailers, including, but not limited to:

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1044795

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08JWXKHCR

WEIRD, But not TOO Scary Tales is also available as a Smashwords PRESALE for an EVEN MORE REDUCED PRICE (only 99-cents!!!) HERE from now until the release date: 

https://www.smashwords.com/books/presale/1044795/EPNNMJ

(As always, HONEST reviews are appreciated, especially during the presale/preorder. Thanx!)

Free Series’ Starters

William Mangieri has written several pieces of short fiction, but he also has two series of short stories.

PurrMission-MainTall_025The first series is Herc Tom, Champion of the Empire; the inaugural story – “Purr Mission”, won him the first of his Honorable Mentions in the Writers of the Future contest.

Major Tom’s dander is up. His cub is dying of the Morient Virus, and this cat knows that the Ramses Empire’s sworn enemies (the deceitful feline Baastards!) are responsible, but bureaucats have ordered him not to go to their planet to recover the antidote. Well, it’s easier to beg forgiveness than to ask purrmission. Ready for heroism, space, spies, and lives in the balance? Read “Purr Mission.”

“Purr Mission” can be found FOR FREE at various retailers, including, but not limited to: 

Smashwords:  https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/211302

Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B008SFD2EKNippedCoverFinal

(AND – there’s also a link inside for the opportunity to receive “Nipped in the Butt” – the 2nd Herc Tom, Champion of the Empire tale – for FREE as well!)

His second series is Detective Jimmy Delaney, with “In a Flash” as the first story.

In A Flash-2200Cover-WhiteJimmy was a good cop, but age and changing times were getting the better of him. If he could only get an edge – what would be the harm? I mean, everybody cheats a little, don’t they? Read “In a Flash” to see Jimmy get himself out of trouble.

“In a Flash” can be found at several online retailers for FREE, including, but not limited to: 

Smashwords:  https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/120247

Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B006W8UXSI

Go out and give them both a read (and a review would be appreciated, too – thanx!)

Swordsmaster Novel

The sorcerer Svaerd destroyed the Aurae Council in his quest to take the power of Taernfeld for himself. He almost succeeded in his Swordsmaster4designs, but was defeated by the council’s lone survivor. Trapped within a haeld-sword, he plots his escape.

For four-hundred years, magic has been outlawed by Tor-Haval. Sandrik is the first bright-eye to be seen in Caladon in living memory, and he doesn’t want anyone to think of him as they did the ominous Aurae of legend, so he keeps his special abilities hidden. But there is more to Sandrik than even he knows. Now he is about to enter the ancient ruins of Taernfeld to be declared a man, but another fate awaits him. Will he escape it?

Swordsmaster is a fantasy novel, and is available at several online retailers, including, but not limited to:

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/954501

Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07WNK79FM

Reaching Out…

William Mangieri’s writing has been published on Daily Science Fiction. His other 80-some-odd short stories (plus his collections & Swordsmaster) can be found at several online retailers, including, but not limited to:
• Smashwords:  https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/NoTimeToThink
• His Amazon Author page:  http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B008O8CBDY
• Barnes & Noble:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/william-mangieri?store=book&keyword=william+mangieri

To CONNECT WITH HIM (and LIKE and FOLLOW – you know you should…), go to
• His site on WordPress:  https://williammangieri.wordpress.com
• “William Mangieri’s Writing Page” on Facebook at:  http://www.facebook.com/NoTimeToThink
• His Goodreads author page:  http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6893616.William_Mangieri• His • • • • On BookBub:  https://www.bookbub.com/authors/william-mangieri-58193793-177b-4177-b6f8-6192f5187ad5
• Or on twitter: @WilliaMangieri

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