Tuesday, September 13, 2016

C.S. Boyack and Speculative Fiction



With us today is C.S. Boyack to talk  about his approach to speculative fiction. Welcome, C.S.

Thanks for the invitation today, Sandra. It's always nice to find new places to promote my work. I'm here with something a little bit different today; it's a book of short fiction.

Last year, I released a collection called The Experimental Notebook of C. S. Boyack. This time I got extra creative and called this book The Experimental Notebook of C. S. Boyack II. If this one goes over like I think it will, I can call the next one III.

There is kind of a theme in the covers too. They are weathered tomes with alchemy wheels on them. One on the first book, two on the second one, and if I produce a third one there will be three wheels.

These stories are speculative in nature. There's a little bit of science fiction, a little bit of paranormal, and one that might pass for fantasy.

I'm a big believer in living documents. I keep several going for story structure, editing, writing lessons, and more. Now I keep one for short story ideas too.

When I write my novels, sometimes I burn out before I finish for the day. This usually involves a plot element, or some continuity issue that I need to spend time with. For a long time I allowed that to kill my quality writing time.

Now, when I still have a few hours left, I use one of the ideas from my living document and work on a short story. I get to remain productive, and keep my word count up.

I stashed them away for a long time, then noticed interest in short fiction on Amazon. Many authors were writing a short story that tied in to a novel they were promoting. This is a great idea, because a 99¢ book could lead to sales of the novel.

I used to read a ton of short fiction before it was used as a gateway drug to novel sales. That's when I decided to release my own collections. I priced them at 99¢ anyway, and maybe they can spark interest in my longer works too. The difference is I'm selling myself, not a specific tie to a novel I'm promoting.

Check out my Experimental Notebooks. There are stories about murder, hauntings, magpies, aliens, and even Chupacabra.

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36 comments:

  1. MORE bookie temptation?
    Sigh. And thank you both.

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    1. Glad you're tempted. Thanks for the comment.

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  2. This sounds most intriguing! Definitely something I will look into to. Hugs, Valerie

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    1. Thank you for that. The early reviews are looking good.

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  3. Thanks to both of you on a wonderful post, good to read first thing this Tuesday norning,
    Yvonne.

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  4. Awesome cover and a great way to keep the word count up indeed

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    1. Thanks, Pat. I think it works because I don't have to keep track of a major character arc, changing seasons, and more in the short form. There is so much more to track in a novel.

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  5. Thanks for hosting me today. I'll see you at my place later this month.

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  6. Short stories and anthologies are very popular now. And at least you don't have to kill yourself coming up with a book title.

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    1. I've never written anything that didn't stand alone, but my little collection sold so well last year the title was kind of obvious. It has a nice cover theme if I decide to keep it going. Thanks for commenting today.

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  7. That's a great idea! I definitely lose my momentum whenever I hit a part of the plot that I can't quite work out. It does help to keep writing something, whatever that is!

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    1. It's a time thing too. I have a full time job, and my available hours are limited. A plot point can waste an entire Saturday. A bit of short fiction allows me to salvage something from that, and often clears my head enough to solve the plot issue.

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  8. If you get stumped and enjoy short stories, write a pulp fiction. Maybe include characters that are inspired by fellow bloggers (with permission for the legal stuff). You'd get lots of buyers and reviews! Definitely will check out your books!

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    1. Thank you for checking it out. There is a serious nod to the pulp era in this book. It might be just what you want.

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  9. I never have went back and forth with writing, it seems I stay on track with a main idea.I do see days of never ending work and days little gets done.

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    1. I did the same thing for years. I also write in a linear fashion. It's how my mind works. I dabbled in a bit of short form and found I could do both at once without killing my novel work.

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  10. It's great to find Craig on your blog, Sandra! For your readers, I highly recommend Craig's Experimental Notebook II. For .99c you can't beat this collection of shorts. I've this collection and the stories are intelligent, witty, clever, and just all around entertaining!

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    1. Thank you so much, Mae. You're a great supporter.

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  11. Sandra, I have never heard of speculative fiction. Love that you are writing as that is what successful writers do. Work work work. I wrote a novel and had the next four planned out but after going through the process of all the different letters with yada yada yada and seeking agents, I realized it was just all consuming for me. I couldn't do anything else and finally gave up. I proud of you for keeping at it as I know how hard it is.

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    1. Writing is a lot of hard work. I collected letters for years before going independent. To me, speculative fiction involves something outside our every day world. There could be a ghost, or an alien, in my stories. Thanks for the comment.

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  12. Great post, Sandra. Thanks for hosting Craig today.

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  13. I've always loved short stories. I'm glad they are being produced more. Your book looks so cool. I need to check them out. Take care.

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    1. Thank you, Ann. I hope you enjoy the experiments.

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  14. "A little bit of science fiction, a little bit of paranormal" you are saying; that is what I thoroughly enjoy.
    I have your collection now and will start reading - I can hardly wait - as soon as my recheck of the latest manuscript, the editor is waiting for, is ready.
    Wishing you great sales and reaching the bestsellers list!

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    1. Thanks for following the tour. I hope you enjoy the stories, and thanks for your support.

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  15. This has a little bit of everything which is great and it really is fun to read short stories. I like how you check the number of words...good way to keep track

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    1. Thank you. I find myself unable to work on a novel with any distractions. There is just too much going on in my mind. I can work on a bit of micro-fiction even when my wife has the television on. Short stories fall somewhere in the middle. It's also a great way to try out new things.

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  16. As a massive lover of short fiction, you definitely have my interest. Gonna wishlist a few of these for when I need some new reading material.

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    1. I appreciate that, Robert. Even adding it as TBR on Goodreads is helpful. Plus it's a nice reminder when you're ready.

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  17. I don't usually read short stories. I'm more of a series kind of girl - the more books in the series, the better! But recently I've taken a chance on collections of short stories and have found them entertaining, so I'm looking forward to reading this. :-)

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