Tuesday, June 17, 2014

My Story

“Long patience and application saturated with your heart’s blood - you will either write or you will not - and the only way to find out whether you will or not is to try.”
—Jim Tully

To all those who may follow this blog (Hi, Mom!), I apologize for the long hiatus. It's been an interesting few years. They were filled with changes and inspirations, triumph and heartbreak, successes and failures.

For starters, in 2009 I decided to pursue a dream. I wanted to be a filmmaker. I still do, actually, but I now realize what I was really trying to do was to tell stories. Film (or more properly, video) was the medium I chose to tell those stories, mostly because I'm a visual person. I see things in my mind and try to bring them to life. You can see that in my previous posts. I'm a maker.

One of the things I learned early on about filmmaking (and it was a painful lesson) is that it takes a lot of people to make movie magic. Cast, crew, writers, artists... The harder I tried to be a Jack-of-all-trades, the more I proved the maxim by become a master-of-none. I could write fairly good scripts. I was a decent director. My editing was good enough and I could herd cats well enough to pass for a line producer. But I couldn't do it all on my own, and I didn't have the resources to pay people to take on the roles I needed to fill. There were (and still are) a handful of folks that to this day are willing to follow my direction and trust my vision on a project. I'll always be grateful to Rachael Curtis, Emily Pullano and Allie Brown for their friendship and support. They made it possible for me to stretch my abilities and prove that I could create a web series.

One of the earliest stories that tried to claw it's way out of my brain was about a female superhero, a healer, that lost her way after losing someone close to her. This wounded hero, who I named Cassie, lived in a world with many other super-powered people. She was part of one group of heroes called Starforce, and each of them had their own story but the tale closest to my heart was hers.

I wrote a script for her story, but I knew that the costumes, sets, and special effects needed to do justice to it were way beyond my means as a fledgling indy filmmaker. I circulated a treatment for the script, but never drummed up any interest, at least not among the people that could move the project along. There were suggestions that I try to translate it into a graphic novel, but I lacked the artistic abilities and connections to make that happen. I even worked up a plan to shoot a teaser-trailer for my non-existent movie.

And then someone suggested that I write it as a novel.

Bam. It was like a bolt of lightning. Writing, unlike filmmaking, is a one-man job. I knew I could write. That had never really been a problem. Cranking out scripts was the least stressful part of my film work. I might actually be able to do this.

But this was also the part where the doubters gave me that doleful look and quoted statistics about the millions upon billions of unfinished manuscripts, and how many people they had known that were "working on the great American novel" that never saw the light of day, much less amounted to anything.

But, I persevered and I finished the novel. It is called "Burden of Solace". As I started to circulate it to test readers, one of the comments I got was about the backstories - plural. As I said, each of those heroes had their own tale - rich and full explorations of the human spirit. My story coach, a published novelist in her own right, finally convinced me that what I had was a series, and that I had already written the final chapter.
And that is how The Starforce Saga was born.

So far I have five novels planned for the series, with a number of side novels and short stories to compliment the main storyline. As I pen (key?) this post, I'm hard at work writing the first book, "Invulnerable" which should be available in e-book and printed form by October or this year. Be sure to check back here for updates, anecdotes and teasers about the series.

-- Richard L. Wright