On The Table Read, “the best book magazine in the UK“, author Joseph V Logsdon talks about his writing career and his new book, Silent Reckoning.
Written by JJ Barnes
I interviewed author Joseph V Logsdon about his life and career, what inspires him, and the creative writing process behind his latest release, Silent Reckoning.
Tell me a bit about who you are.
I’m an author, Youtuber, and avid reader of classical fiction.
When did you first WANT to write a book?
My passion for books was truly ignited when I started reading Edgar Allan Poe in the eighth grade. The richness of his language, along with the baroqueness of his themes, truly mesmerized my imagination. I started writing books and short stories by hand, most of which never saw the light of day.
When did you take a step to start writing?
My grandfather played an instrumental role in nourishing my creativity. As a child, he would often recite stories to me, some of which he created himself. Occasionally, we would collaborate on various stories and themes. My earliest writing was produced on a word processor from the 1980s.
How long did it take you to complete your first book from the first idea to release?
I wrote many books that never saw the light of day, but in terms of my first published book, it took me four months to write “The Rains of Godwin Valley.” I attempted to go through the traditional publishing process, but was unsuccessful. Around a year after I initially composed the book, I self-published it.
How long did it take you to complete your latest book from the first idea to release?
I started “Silent Reckoning” in April of 2021. Believe it or not, the first draft was conceived on a typewriter. For this reason, the book was essentially written twice. The process was very invigorating and enlightening. Not only did I gain a sense of connection to writers from the past, but I also learned to rely on cogitations and ruminations that had previously been dormant. When a writer does not have the ability to erase what is on the page, they are far more solemn in their word choices.
The rough draft was completed in March of 2022. Three months of revision followed, and in June of 2022, the book was finally published. All and all, it took fifteen months.
Focusing on your latest release. What made you want to write Silent Reckoning?
As I said, I wrote the first draft on a typewriter. Since the typewriter was constructed in the 1920s, I decided to set the book in the 1920s, and with “The Great Gatsby” being one of my favorite books, the world unfolded naturally.
The past has always fascinated me. It can seem so very distant, verging on ethereal, but the past is like a dream. It haunts our thoughts, and eventually, we have to face it. I wanted to create a story that would give people a visceral sense of time and place, but most importantly, I wanted to explore the beauty of language on a deep and resonant level.
What were your biggest challenges with writing Silent Reckoning?
There were numerous challenges. For one, writing on a typewriter, although exhilarating, could be tedio and time-consuming. This was also the longest book that I’ve ever written. Most of all, I am very meticulous when it comes to word choice. As a result, I only averaged around 100 words a day.
Who or what inspired you when creating your Protagonist?
The character of Jeanie Anderson was based on various actresses from the 1920s and 30s. In particular, I took inspiration from the following three actresses: Lilian Gish, Myrna Loy, and Lila Lee. Their personal lives were intermingled with the sorrows and agonies of Jeanie Anderson.
In the early twentieth century, actresses were victims within the entertainment system, their purities often sacrificed on the altar of avarice. I tried to capture these realities in “Silent Reckoning.”
Who or what inspired you when creating your Antagonist?
Rubert Miller was partially inspired by Addison DeWitt, a character from the film “All About Eve.”
What is the inciting incident of Silent Reckoning?
When Jeanie decides to blackmail a rival actress in order to advance her career, the drama in the story accelerates.
What is the main conflict of Silent Reckoning?
To answer that question, I’ll summarize the plot: Set in 1929, “Silent Reckoning” explores the trials and tribulations of Jeanie Anderson, an aging actress who desires to reinvigorate her dwindling career.
Obsessed and beguiled by Jeanie’s elegance, Walter Peterson, a lonely factory worker, seeks to assist the thespian in her lofty aspirations. They will be plunged into a world of corruption and vice, through which they will become privy to the ghosts of disillusioned dreams.
Did you plot Silent Reckoning in advance, or fly by the seat of your pants and write freely?
It was a combination of both. Personally speaking, I like to be surprised by the stories that I create. For example, Jeanie Anderson was originally going to be a cold-hearted vixen, but by the end, she was extremely sympathetic. Not only that, but Walter Peterson was the original protagonist, but once Jeanie entered the picture, she took over the story. I then added several flashback scenes at the beginning in order to establish Jeanie as the protagonist.
Did you get support with editing, and how much editing did Silent Reckoning need?
I would love to hire an editor, but unfortunately, I simply can’t afford one. Of course, not all editors are created equal. Even if I could afford to hire an editor, they would have to understand my writing and story on a deep level. I used narration software to assist me with self-editing, but in the end, I remain a one-man publishing company.
What is the first piece of writing advice you would give to anyone inspired to write a story?
There are many pieces of advice that I could give, but all writers are different. What works for me might not work for another writer. In the end, a writer should never compromise. Personally, I write the books that I would want to read. If I don’t love my work, other readers certainly won’t. A writer should write from their very soul.
Can you give me a hint about any further books you’re planning to write?
The working title for my next book is called “The Ecstasy and the Ignominy.” I’m currently working on the second chapter. The story is set during the Industrial Revolution, following the lives of several characters in a small town. It is too early, however, to discuss the themes of the book.
And, finally, are your proud of your accomplishment? Was it worth the effort?
Every book is always worth the effort. Even if I never sell a single copy, creating linguistic beauty is what makes life worth living. Several copies of “Silent Reckoning” have already been purchased, but I’m hoping to reach a larger audience with my work.
Pop all your book, website and social media links here so the readers can find you:
Link to books: https://www.amazon.com/~/e/B0B5PNT93X
Link to books: https://www.amazon.com/~/e/B0B5PMY7D2
Link to YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/batman5224/videos?app=desktop
Link to TikTok: tiktok.com@josephvlogsdon
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