Yesterday I ran down the roller coaster that was 2015 and gave some insight into writing inspirations and motivations that I drew from the year that was.
Join me here for Part Two of this look back.
07 – Fellow Kindle Worlds Authors
Along with my own novel work, I’ve been participating in Kindle Worlds since its inception. Amazon’s Kindle Worlds is a licensing agreement with certain license holders that allow authors (almost) free reign to write stories in those licensor’s world. As a lifelong fan of G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, I eagerly participated in that corner of Hasbro’s universe, and managed to meet some great fellow authors while doing it. Being able to host a panel at the annual G.I. Joe Convention, participate in a contest, and just interact with several other Kindle Worlds authors drove me to hone my craft and try to be the best writer I could be. Big props to Jim, Bill, and Troy especially for the motivation that they helped provide to me throughout the year.
06 – The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
Eventually I had to talk about a book on this list, right? I’ll be honest, while I have read a lot this year, I tried to focus this list on media that was actually released this year, and Girl on the Train was one of the few novels I read that was actually published in 2015. The use of unreliable narration was fascinating, and I ended up very drawn into the complex (and greatly flawed) characters and mystery driving the novel forward. Paula Hawkins crafted a fantastic story, and even though its core is quite different from my own work, I felt quite a bit of writing inspirations from the words she wrote.
05 – Sol Invictus (Faith No More)
One of my favorite bands, who had gone radio silent for many years resurfaced in 2015 with a new album, and I’m happy to say it was a fantastic album to boot. The first single “Motherfucker” set the tone, and the entirety of the album was pretty much what I expected from my favorite band. Like with the novel I mentioned above, while there was plenty of music I drew writing inspirations from, this album was really the only one actually released in 2015 that provided me the emotional resonance I needed to keep writing.
04 – The Martian by Andy Weir
Okay, I’m kind of cheating with this one. I would say Andrew Weir’s original novel The Martian was really one of the most inspiring self publishing stories I’ve heard, and I finally read it this year, though the novel itself I believe was actually published in 2011. My cop out to this, however, is that the film was released in 2015, and it’s a fantastic film to boot, so I suppose I can point to that as my true motivational source.
The story of Andy Weir’s rise to best selling author is the kind of thing that many of us dream of, and he’s a smart, great and modest guy to boot. I can’t think of many folks who deserve more success, and the fact that he leveraged a strong knowledge in science into a multi-million dollar publishing and film venture is really motivating to me. It helps that the characters and story kick a whole lot of ass, too.
Check out Part 1 of this Year in Review