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…And the winner of who my favorite author is…, ME!

August 18, 2010

Yes, you read that right.

I, George Allwynn, aspiring author, oddity at large, and all around charming person – claim myself as my favorite author. I believe in my magic to tell an interesting yarn, and I recommend myself to anyone, anywhere, who wants to read a damn good story.

I just have to get a book published!

This isn’t a case of swaggering egotism. Nor am I passing it off as my sore attempt at humor. I truly love what I write, not because I am a great writer, but because I am passionate about writing. And when I am passionate about the subject I am writing about, the story radiates with a life force of it’s own!

My characters react with vitality, my scenes have spirit, and my plots entice readers…, “Come! Experience a story I wrote especially for you.”

Or so I would hope that is how my stories are perceived. Especially for anyone who craves a GLBT romantic suspense with an element of humor.

Seriously, growing up in a world where good, GLBT fiction was scarce on any level, I was left to read books about other people. You know, people, different from me, leaving me feel as if me and ‘my kind’ weren’t good enough to have stories or televison programs or songs written about.

In my naive state of mind, I decided to write what I wanted to read. What I wish I could find to read or to watch on TV or hear on the radio. Then, I could share these with people like me. I mean, there had to be others out there like me, right? Because God didn’t make mistakes – that is what my Sunday School teacher told me

If I took up a pencil and paper, what I knew to be true in my heart would, somehow, translate to be true on the page as well as true in life.

So, I wrote.

I wrote the stories I wanted to read. I wrote stories for what I wanted to see on television (which was later termed fan-fic.) I re-wrote the words I wanted to hear to the popular songs played on the radio.

And, when I courageously handed my beautiful stories over…

I got laughed at.

Ridiculed.

Threatened.

Abused emotionally by peers, teachers, relatives…

And, at some point, physically hurt by those who swore it was their duty to ‘straighten’ me out

Yet, my veins don’t run with mere blood. It’s a mixture of ink, insanity, stubborness and determination (shaken, not stirred.) Whether penned in secret or disguised by using unisexed names and other cues (taught to me by my lesbian high school Art/World History teacher), I kept writing the stories I wanted to read. Why? Because someone had to.

I was bored and in desparate need to read – to entertain myself in a fictional world where I could escape modern day cruelity and bask in the fantasy that, one day, people like me would have their own books – written with pride, with zeal, and with an ardor no longer tethered to heterosexual mandates or secret coding.

Thirty years later, I gathered my courage and decided to take my little hobby over the rainbow. I am still aspiring – a work in progress. I know my stories aren’t for everyone. My grammer and sentence structure (among a few other things) go against the grain of ‘Acceptable Publishing Rules.’

By secular terms, I’ll never be a popular, celebrated author. I will never be a New York published author, because I refuse to sell out my life-blood to become another cookie cutter factory voice, force-fed to a population of readers who hunger for originality, flavor and variety.

I won’t rank among Ernest Hemingway, Sir Arthur Canon Doyle or Harper Lee. I can’t claim to be a Truman Captoe, a Victor J Banis or a J.L. Langly. Heck, I can’t even hold a candle next to my friend D.C. Juris – at least he has some publishing bragging rights to stuff down his trousers.

However, through my own blood, sweat and tears, my stories have earned the right to be loved, appreciated and read several times over. I deserve to be somebody’s favorite author.

Even if that somebody is me.

Remember the authors motto:  You gotta love what you write.

24 Comments leave one →
  1. August 18, 2010 1:51 am

    George, that was beautifully expressed. I say good for you, my friend. Your passion and dedication is inspiring. *HUG*

    • August 18, 2010 11:32 am

      Hey DKJ!

      Thank you for the compliment! Especially from one as talented as you! I am eagerly awaiting your next book, as the first one was a great read!

  2. August 18, 2010 8:28 am

    Well, George, I can see you being lots of people’s favorite author. I think readers want something fresh and different. Even though these ideas have been percolating in your head for 30 years, they are fresh to readers who haven’t found you yet. I think your writing style, from what I’ve seen briefly on these posts, is unique and wonderful, and has the potential to go viral – I’m not talking about something bad. Something that is catchy, that takes off. Your writing has that.

    You give yourself too little credit for your skill. I don’t have to wade through poor grammar or wordcraft skills that are lacking. You hang, baby!

    But, you make an important point, and I thank you for reminding us. Why shouldn’t we be our favorite author? Why do we always have to look over the fence to greener pastures? If we don’t love our own work, how will the reader?

    That said, we have to love it enough to work on all the rest, to rewrite and revise, get shot down with critiques and judging, editors and agents, but love it still. Learning whose advice to take and whose to toss is an important step. More than anyone else on these posts recently, your writing and ideas have not only been accepted, but praised. Sometimes opening ourselves to criticism helps us develop skills we wouldn’t have had otherwise. In lots of other businesses, rejection is what makes a person great. “I love rejection. It builds my bank account,” was one of the chants I did every day in my former business right before I got on the phones. Without the “at bats” there would be no home runs.

    Erase, erase that tape that says you won’t be a popular, celebrated author. You already are. You already have a fan base of other writers here who appreciate your insight and skill. IMHO, writers sometimes are a tough bunch.

    So, George, let others be critical. You go right ahead and love your work. I think we all should trust our own instincts and write to our heart’s content. Thanks for reminding me of it.

    • August 18, 2010 12:13 pm

      My Wednesday buddy!

      Thanks Sharon, for the uplifting words of encouragement. I agree – if we can’t love our own works, how can the reader?

      I read somewhere when writers jump on the bandwagon of the latest trend – and they are doing the writing for the money/popularity (verses what’s in their heart) it tends to bleed over into their works and gets picked up by the reader. In other words, if the writer isn’t happy, neither is the reader.

      And you are right. We had better love what we write – as many times we’ll be reading, editing, reading, layering, rereading, revising, proofreading, another read, writing up the queries and the synopsis’s’, reading it again, looking at the changes the editor wants, revising, rereading, sending it back in…(not to mention how many times to repeat a cycle or the time spent promoting the thing – Eh-gads! Can you imagine going through all that and loathing the blasted thing?)

      And I like your chant – gonna have to remember that. My main mantra is “Sex, Food, Sleep, Repeat.” Not too creative – and I really need to fit writing in there somewhere. Guess that’s another thing I’m gonna have to work on.

      As for erasing that tape in my head? Have you been teaming up with my psychiatrist? I’ll tell you like I tell him – I’m trying to erase all this negative tape in my head – I’m gonna walk around with a guilty look like I’m apart of the Watergate coverup. BUT I do understand what you are saying. I’m a work in progress. Sometimes I get negative attitude mixed up with realism, pessimism and fatalism.

      Remember the old trick on how to tell what type of attitude you carry by describing the glass with a half amount of water? If you immediately say the glass is half full, you are a optimistic person. If you say the glass is half empty, your outlook on life is negative.

      So, when I look at that glass, what do I think?

      “D@mn it! Who left this glass out and only drank half of the contents? Don’t they know it’s wasteful? And if they were finished with it, why couldn’t they dump it out and leave it by the sink? Freakin great – another thing for me to wash and I just got done doing the dishes for the week. What am I? A slave? Need I dress up in a skimpy french maid outfit and let my hairy legs get some sunshine? Clearly, I’m the only living creature in this household that gives a hoot. Company coming? Oh, come on in and welcome to the den of iniquity and filth! Never mind the ugly glass sitting on the end table without a coster underneath it. I oughtta just leave the d@mn thing there until it grows mold and I have to throw it out…”

      The rant continues until I run out of breath or I remember I live alone now and it was me who left it there to begin with. (::rolls eyes)

      But again, you are right. I need to work on the doubt a bit more.

      At least I’m at the point where I do love myself! (* throws confetti)

  3. August 18, 2010 10:15 am

    George!

    What a great blog. I have so many fav authors of genres I’d be damned difficult to decide who is the top fav! So you have a great trend. One of my good friends said that on Good Reads a reader asked her why shenever clicked on the like on her work, if she doesn’t like herself who will? I love myself 🙂 So I’m going to me my own number One Fan and then of course the others will be right there under me 🙂

    Hugs,
    Hales

    • August 18, 2010 12:41 pm

      Hades! Thanks for stopping by!

      I had trouble with the question at first. I mean, I really didn’t want to say “Me” in fear of sounding trite and full of my self.

      However, like the ones before me, I really don’ t have a favorite author. I have many authors I like – but not “ALL” their works turn me on.

      For instance – I love the mystery cozy series “Southern Sisters” by Anne George. She wrote 8 books before passing away at an early age. I love those books – but her books of poetry I didn’t care for, so I felt I couldn’t say she was my favorite author because I didn’t like everything she wrote.

      The same thing goes for Sir Arthur Canon Doyle or Charlie Cochran. Both have incredible characters in Edwardian England involving mysteries (the original 10 book cannon of Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson, and for Charlie, a M/M 7 book series on Orlando and Jonty from the Cambridge Fellowship Mysteries) — however, I have yet to read anything else written by these authors, so I couldn’t in clear conscious say they where my favorites (though I will never part with those books!)

      Where my other dear peers on this blog noted that they had no favorite authors – but favorite books – I would like to add, other than myself I have no favorite authors – BUT I have favorite series and favorite characters I will read time and time again – depending on my mood of the moment.

      And yes, Hades – you SHOULD be your number one fan. I’ll be your number two!

  4. August 18, 2010 11:26 am

    Awww! *You* grant yourself far too little credit, my dear. Publication doesn’t spell talent – take it from someone who went UNpublished for more years than he’s been published. And it certainly isn’t a measure of passion and love for the craft – we both know that. ::grin:: You are one of my favorite people all around, though, so I’m biased in my opinion. Anything you do is/will be great and worthy, as far as I’m concerned, because it comes from the heart, with the purest of intentions and the strongest of belief and love. 🙂

    • August 18, 2010 12:57 pm

      I agree – publication doesn’t spell talent – either in the big boy’s NY publishing world nor in the e-publishing biz.

      However – with the addition of reputable e-publishing, people like you, me, Charlie, Hades, DKJ, Emo, Leiland, Grey, and a host of others are able to bring our stories, our voices and our passions to the table, and offer the drooling reader a feast of entertaining, well-written, and delightful variation of a genre (and it’s subs) that has been snubbed for ages. These are talents that would have otherwise been ignored and tossed aside by the judgements of others.

      But I digress here and need to stick to the subject.

      Thank you for making time from your busy schedule to drop by and give me the thumbs up. It means alot!

  5. Ien Nivens permalink
    August 18, 2010 11:57 am

    Great post, George! As we gain greater and greater variety in the kinds of voices we allow ourselves access to (as individuals and as a culture), it only enhances the human experience. It also necessarily carves out new niches. Your work will help to define not only that great sexuality sandwich, the GBLT (which wasn’t even on the menu a generation ago, though it was certainly in the kitchen), but the larger world in which we all live and breathe and learn about human intimacy as well as alienation.

    Keep writing what you love, how you love and whom you love, and you’ll make all our hearts bigger.

    • August 18, 2010 1:02 pm

      Hi Ien!

      Your comment made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside!

      I love the way you said this – quote “… Your work will help to define not only that great sexuality sandwich, the GBLT (which wasn’t even on the menu a generation ago, though it was certainly in the kitchen), but the larger world in which we all live and breathe and learn about human intimacy as well as alienation…”

      I am going to type that up, print it on some fancy paper and mount it in my office. (with your permission of course – since it is your quote!)

      There will be a nice little spring in my step today because of your words. Thank you!

      • Ien Nivens permalink
        August 18, 2010 1:24 pm

        Thanks, George! I’d be honored to word up your wall!

  6. J.D. Brown permalink*
    August 18, 2010 12:56 pm

    George, that was such a beautiful and inspiring post. I must agree with Sharon and everyone else, you have a very unique voice. Just from the few posts I’ve read, I was shocked to read this one and see that you’re not published yet! Your upbeat energy and humor radiate from your every word, I can see everyone becoming enthralled with not just you writing, but with anything you had to say.

    GLBT is slowly rising. Well, actually, it’s rising faster now than in the past. I personally know a GLBT author who has over four books published. They are all e-books, but still. If you want to check him out, his pen name is Max Griffin. He writes in the Sci-fi and paranormal romance genres.

    And you hang in there! It’ll happen for you eventually. 🙂

    • Kris M permalink
      August 18, 2010 1:29 pm

      George,

      To my buddy — you are my inspiration is soooo many way that you don’t even know it. Of course as J.C. said, I too am biased because you are definitely one of my best and dearest friends. I told you from the day we met in ‘cyberspace’ that you were and are an awesome writer. I’m just going to be happy and honored to be able to say ‘hey I knew him when….’ Of course, WHEN you get published, I will be one of the first to download or buy it in print. I hope to someday have an entire shelf dedicated to my buddy George’s books.. and of course I want them all autographed….

      Since I am fffaaarrr behind you in the writing arena I want to be you when I grow up!!!! LOL Think of me as a George groupie… Even when you’re rich and famous, I hope I’ll always be your Ethel…..

      Now after all that gushing, *sniff – wipes eyes*, this was another amazing post from you. Of course I had thought you would automatically say Hemingway since I think you channel him.. [in a good way]

      But you’re right…you have to be passionate about what you write, and love what you do, to find true happiness at the end of the rainbow. You, my buddy, are worth your weight in the pot of gold.

      ****dibs**** on writing our biography..LOL

      • August 19, 2010 1:08 pm

        Hey Ethel!

        I don’t know how I missed this post!

        Thank you for your kind words. Your friendship and support mean much to me and you definitely know that.

        A WHOLE shelf of George Allwynn books? GLBT romance? What will your husband and mother think? Not to mention those furry babies of yours!

        Was that a George groupie or a George gropie? I tend to get the two mixed up – kinda dangerous when I go into my manic high swing of fan-boi craze…

        And remember – it’s not me who channels Ernest Hemingway – it’s that stubborn muse of mine who decided she needed a boyfriend since my love life is pathetic.

        Worth my weight in a pot of gold, eh? When I went to the doctor the other day, I weighed more than I ever had in my life. I totally freaked. I know some of it is the medication I’m on, but still. Time to start walking that dog more. I do not want writers spread – and I don’t want to look like a portly old chap in my book jacket cover photos… (though mutton chops wouldn’t be too bad – maybe I could start a trend and bring them back, eh?)

        And Kris – once again, thank you from the bottom of my heart. You will always be my Ethel to me. Now someday, we need to get together and really make your husband worry!

    • August 18, 2010 1:30 pm

      Hey JD!

      Thanks for stopping by! It is a pleasure to see your smiling avatar!

      I believe I have two books by Max Griffin in my e-library (of over 3,000 books.) I’ll have to check it out again.

      I do have a few publishers after me (aka- have taken a great interest and have been urging me onward) – and I have successfully pitched a couple of stories.

      My problem? Just when I became brave enough to think about submission (I have about 20, 90K-110K stories done in either rough draft or close to submission status) — I decided to take ‘one more class’ — this one on self editing – because my grammar and sentence structure doesn’t always make the grade – and I wanted to hand in a MS that was easy on my future editors brain.

      This was in November of 2009. A month long class to learn how to self edit, taught by two wonderful, multi published authors (and one being a RWA president in her local club.)

      To make a long story short – I failed miserably. I couldn’t follow the directions and I kept trying to revise the sample story instead of self edit. This lead to a month of pouting, self-doubt and self flagellating.

      By January, I was raring to go again – determined to learn all I could about grammar, editing, and writing rules (to which at this point, had no idea there were rules.) Again, to make a short story – I found out I broke most of the writing rules out there – and if one did that – they didn’t get published.

      So, I went back to square one, took all my stories – and decided to follow the rules. All of them. Black and white – no shades of grey.

      Can anyone say moron?

      By the time I was finished, I was in tears. I sat looking at beloved stories that not only had lost all warmth and meaning to me (as a reader) but were as boring as h3ll. My voice? It was dead. I was reading the works of a stranger – in that cookie-cutter factory voice I am sooooo dead against.

      (*FLAIL)

      I had become… a zombie author.

      Finally, after much bemoaning on message boards, I had a couple of editor/publishers pull me aside and give me a good talking to. I also had Steven King’s book ON WRITING shoved down my throat from so many angles – I can honestly say it was used as a medical intervention.

      Present date: I can now see the shades of grey of the rules of writing. As a wonderful publisher told me, “Because you have a strong, unique voice, learning this lesson was pivotal. As a writer, you must learn all the rules – so you know what ones to break and when, and where to beef up the other rules to over look what you have broken.”

      So now I am in the process of going back over all 20 stories and trying to straighten out what I had destroyed – as well as try to work with new ideas for new stories.

      My office and my mind is a mess – but this too, shall pass.

      I am due to have three stories out by the end of the year, but it looks like it may get pushed back. But that’s okay. In the mean time, I keep practicing.

      And every time I write – and come up on a writers rule I’m gonna bend – I hear the song from Judas Priest play in my head… “Breakin’ the law…, Breakin’ the law…”

      And my inner Billy Idol – rebel yells – “More.., More…, More…!

  7. Robert C. Nelson permalink
    August 18, 2010 6:26 pm

    Passion is what it’s all about. Great post! I agree with you 100%. Why should you not be your favorite author? I’m my own favorite living author. I don’t think it ‘s a vain thing to feel like that. If we feel we’re not good, we won’t be good. If no one else writes what you want to read, then it’s your duty to do it. I love the way you write. Get a novel out and I’ll buy it and read it, and I’m certain I’ll like it.

    • August 18, 2010 10:15 pm

      Yea Robert! And Thanks! I like knowing others feel the same way – it’s like being in a club or something…

      We could call ourselves the Passionate writers club of self love!

      And I just might hold you to buying that novel now… (*grin)

  8. Thom permalink
    August 18, 2010 10:15 pm

    Another fabulous post… I laughed, I cried, I schmoozed, I went home… oh, wait a minute.. that wasn’t me… that was Hades in Disney’s ‘Hercules.’ Well, anyway, another great job…. you ought to be a writer or something…. ;{D

    • August 19, 2010 12:53 pm

      Thank you – schmoozing is what I do best. That and play the village idiot.

      Oh? Didn’t know that was an act, huh? That’s why I moved to Bellevue. They needed a village idiot and I got the job. Too much compition in the Metro Detroit area.

      Oh = and I love Disney films. Especially the villains. Hade’s sidekicks, Pain and Panic, were a hoot.

      Yeah, you would think I would be a writer or something…, hmmm. Perhaps if I would stop procrastinating and actually do more in that arena?

  9. August 18, 2010 11:20 pm

    Hey, George! I see you got everybody all excited over here. Did you leave any for me?
    I’m kidding. Sorry for the late comment. I spent a lot of time editing and polishing my post this evening for Friday. You keep setting the bar so high, I had to get back in there and add another coat of paint…
    In all seriousness, thank you for bringing something new to the table. Keep it up and have a good night/week/weekend.
    –Jimmy

    • August 19, 2010 12:56 pm

      Thank you for the compliment. You have nothing to worry about. Your blog posts actually bless people.

      My posts make people thank God they’re not me!

      You’re doing great. I love reading your posts because I actually get something useful from them.

  10. August 19, 2010 2:48 pm

    We get something useful from every post, George. The writer shares a piece of him/herself and the reader understands a bit more…

    Back to your post – I read somewhere that we should always be our favorite writers, because if you don’t love your work, no one else will!

    J.D. – Of course I picked published and un-published for the site. I can spot ’em. Let’s be honest – did you guys really think I’d pick people with no talent?

    Anyone can write, but not everyone has talent. Add that with hard work, dedication to improving your craft, the ability to take rejection (did I mention hard work?), and you have the winning combination to go with “talent” to succeed in the industry.

    On that note, let me get back to my plan to monetize a new blog… the day just isn’t long enough!

  11. August 22, 2010 7:57 am

    George! What an inspirational post! You and all the commenters here are right – if we aren’t our own fans, how can we expect anyone else to be? This really picked me up when I needed it.

    I’m struggling to edit and polish up my current WIP and so far it’s been nothing but me trying not to cry as the crits roll in. CJ and JD have been a huge force in helping me make my WIP better and I agree with all their points. However, it doesn’t make me feel very writer-ish when I see all the red on my MS. This post reminded me that despite all the hard work – and red marks – my writing is still worth something! CJ and JD would not take the time to put all those marks on my MS if they didn’t think it was good enough. I forgot that.

    Thanks for being true to yourself George and inspiring all of us to do the same.

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