I am very excited to be participating in the tour for the great anthology Hero's Best Friend and have an interesting Guest Post for you today by the editor Scott M. Sandridge. Read on and enjoy!
Writers are Born, and then Made
By Scott M. Sandridge
When I was a kid (around 8 or 9), I saw the movie, The Neverending Story, and decided I was going to write a story that would never end. After about a hundred-fifty pages I learned two important things: every story needs a beginning, middle, and end; and my writing skills sucked. So instead of writing, I read. I read everything I could get my hands on. Novels, short stories, plays; there weren’t a whole lot of kids my age who had read A Midsummer Night’s Dream by Age 9, White Fang by age 10, and the Hardy Boys and Tom Swift series by age 12. I didn’t get into comic books until around 12-13 (what can I say? I do everything backwards).
So before long, at around 13-14, after I discovered the Lord of the Rings trilogy in the school library, I tried to write yet another novel. My writing skills, while still needing a lot of work, didn’t suck anywhere near as bad that time, mostly due to my age (and English classes) but also because of all the reading I had done. Alas I had failed to finish that novel, too. However, in English class I discovered Edgar Allen Poe and fell instantly in love with the short story form. Yet I still kept trying to finish that novel (actually, I wanted to write a whole trilogy at that time, silly me)…which to this day remains unfinished.
And so I continued reading: Dragonlance novels, Dark Sun novels, Forgotten Realms novels, Star Wars novels, comic books, RPG rule books, Fantasy (especially anything Tolkien), Science Fiction (loved Ender’s Game), and of course Horror (especially Stephen King). And at around the age of 25 I started submitting short stories to market…and learned my next lesson: getting that first publishing credit is hard, really really really hard. I even managed to finish a 90k word horror novel in just two weeks (and no, that one will likely never get published). At around the year 2000, I realized I still needed a lot to learn.
So I took a writer’s workshop. I learned a lot. A whole lot.
And ceased writing for almost five years. I just couldn’t write, couldn’t think of anything to write. That’s when I learned what real writer’s block was.
But I kept reading, even moreso than before.
I started up writing again in 2005. I took all my previously written short stories that I couldn’t publish before and did page one rewrite all of them, all twenty-three of them. And then I started writing new material. And submitting, and even getting stories published! To date I have almost thirty short stories published.
And I’m working on completing a trilogy. So far I have two books finished and a third one to go. Will I ever see a novel published? Maybe, maybe not. But I’ll keep at it, dammit!
Because the three most valuable lessons I’ve learned out of it all is….
Practice, Persistence, and Patience.
About the editor: Scott M. Sandridge is a writer, editor, freedom fighter, and all-around trouble-maker. His latest works as an editor include the Seventh Star Press anthologies Hero’s Best Friend: An Anthology of Animal Companions, and the two volumes of A Chimerical World, Tales of the Seelie Court and Tales of the Unseelie Court.
Book Synopsis for Hero’s Best Friend: How far would Gandalf have gotten without Shadowfax? Where would the Vault Dweller be without Dogmeat? And could the Beastmaster been the Beastmaster without his fuzzy allies? Animal companions are more than just sidekicks. Animals can be heroes, too!
Found within are twenty stories of heroic action that focuses on the furries and scalies who have long been the unsung heroes pulling their foolish human buddies out of the fire, and often at great sacrifice-from authors both established and new, including Frank Creed, S. H. Roddey, and Steven S. Long.
Whether you're a fan of Epic Fantasy, Sword & Sorcery, Science Fiction, or just animal stories in general, this is the anthology for you!
So sit back, kick your feet up, and find out what it truly means to be the Hero's Best Friend.
Featured in Hero's Best Friend: An Anthology of Animal Companions:
Joy Ward: "Toby and Steve Save the World"
Frank Creed: "Dusk"
Cassie Schau: "The Hunter's Boy"
Steven Donahue: "Grit"
Jason Cordova: "Hill 142"
Herika R. Raymer: "Dook"..
Essel Pratt: "Brothers".
Lisa Hawkridge: "Ezra's Girl".
S. H. Roddey: "Look What the Cat Dragged In."
Steven S. Long: "The Wolf Sentinel"
Laura Anne Ewald: "Memorandum"
Cindy Koepp: "The Hat".
Ian Hunter: "Scarheid in the Glisting".
Steven Grassie: "The Masterless".
David Wright: "Wind of Change"
Renee Carter Hall: "The Emerald Mage"..
Nick Bryan: "The Violet Curse"..
Lillian Csernica & Kevin Andrew Murphy:
"The Restless Armadillo".
Douglas J. Ogurek: "Stuck on the Squigglybounce"
Sheila Deeth: "Passage"