Written by Roderick Edwards
Like all art, be it painting, music, sculpture, cooking, writing or anything else creative a person does it somewhat for the love of it. Do we really expect to support a lifestyle from it? Certainly, many artists can and do but the majority of us will never make much money. That’s just the reality.
What you are about to read is the journey of a young boy who was jotting down thoughts in spiral notebooks ever since he could pick up a pen. It is the story of a teenager who used to cut high school classes and then go to the library to check out books on science and history. This is the story of a true “nerd”, or at least a “geek”. Aren’t nerds socially awkward and geeks kinda cool?
As if this were a play and not merely a life. This author often writes in what may be called “free-thought”. In the middle of dialogue, he may interject as if he is speaking directly to the reader. I wanted to start here so that the reader realizes how this author may be different than authors typically read by bibliophiles.
Any avid reader comes to expect or at least become accustomed to familiar structure. Just as in music composition or theater productions. But every once in a while, an artist breaks out of the expected. Sometimes it works and other times it fails and their work is relegated to obscurity.
So, to begin I want to tell you that I’m not your typical author. Yeah, yeah we all say that. But I mean it. I don’t really read other authors. Not because I’m snooty but because I want to limit being influenced. We have all seen it. We like a certain band because they remind us of another band we like and on and on. Imitation is the highest form of flattery they say, even if you don’t realize you are copying someone else.
DOING IT ALL
Before the era of self-publishing and print-on-demand, a potential author would need to submit their manuscript to publishers. If the author’s work doesn’t get immediately tossed into the trash bin, they next must endure the editor’s red pen of death. Cutting the heart out of their work, yet making it marketable. We see this when books are made into movies.
I was determined not to do it that way. Again, I write for the love of it. My writing is art. Not just the subjects I write about but how I write. Where words are placed. The number of chapters. Of course the cover art. All of it is art. To hand that over to someone else, even a “professional” changes all that. Sure, I might sell a lot more books but the reason I write would be subverted. So, I do it all. From writing to formatting to editing to graphics, to uploading, to promotion. It’s all art. The final product of every book is a personal experience from me to my readers.
A question I get often during interviews is how I select my writing topics. After all, I’m a multi-genre author that writes everything from autobiography to biography, religion, politics, race relations, history, philosophy, and yes even fiction. So where does my inspiration come from? Some people have accused me of being a muckraker; just writing about controversial topics to garner attention for my books. This is untrue. I’m just fascinated with a multitude of topics.
Do you know the famous philosopher Immanuel Kant never traveled further than 30 miles from Königsberg Germany where he was born yet he wrote extensively about the condition of humanity. How did he do this with so little first-hand input? Books of course! But even outside of reading, Kant thought. He speculated. He reasoned.
Sure, I have literary influences such as Isaac Asimov and even Nostradamus but I try to be the Banksy of book writing, striking out in the middle of the night to unleash my work on those willing to discover it on some plain canvas. The subject matter comes to me as fluid as someone making a random comment or as I’m feeding my chickens while walking my property hidden away in the 450 thousand acre forest where I live.
While some authors have routine or a word count they must achieve each day, I write as it comes to me but don’t worry, my books aren’t just a rambling chaotic mess. I was a data analyst most of my career so order and process is in my wheelhouse.
Whether you read my autobiography of being left for dead at the hospital when I was born or you follow along with me on the history of sedition and insurrection or you time travel with me in my fiction series, I promise you will see some familiar bookish tropes while at the same time, be treated to something refreshing.
READING IS DEAD
After publishing 14 books, I do begin to wonder if reading is dead. I mean, the kind of reading I used to do. Before the age of the Internet, I would get ten different books that were referencing each other and sprawl them out on the floor to cross-reference the claims of each. It wasn’t just trust the endnotes for me.
While I see lots of authors apparently making money, it seems the fare is typically romance novels or LGBTQ vampire zombie books. Kant’s contemplations would end in a trashcan today. I don’t observe this in a judgmental or elitist way, I live in the sticks after all. It just seems like in all forms of media now, we want it quick and without attachments. Press the X or mute the sound or leave it at the car lube place. Our books aren’t as important to us anymore. We’re too busy for thoughts.
I hope I’m wrong and deeper thinking makes a resurgence. Art only really has value once the artist is dead, right?
Find more from Roderick Edwards:
We strive to keep The Table Read free for both our readers and our contributors. If you have enjoyed our work, please consider donating to help keep The Table Read going!