2018 is going to see a couple of things change for me and one of those things is that there will be less television. Much less. There will be no television consumption for me Monday thru Friday. This is not a problem because it leaves time for what I really want to do which is read. I had done this before for a month a few years ago and I was mad productive that month. I’ve just decided to make this a permanent part of my life since things have changed personally.
Reading should be the neverending act of the writer. I’m not just speaking of nonfiction educational material. I’m speaking of other kinds of fiction, especially in whatever genre you write. James Patterson says in his trailer for his Masterclass, “Be careful of, ‘Oh, I got it figured out. I don’t want to read anymore.’ That is death.” How true.
The goal for me is to read two books a month. Most of what I will consume will be fantasy, urban fantasy, and superhero material because that is what I write. I have a lot of superhero novels. A lot. I am what you call a superhero novel aficionado. You’d be hard-pressed to find someone that has as many superhero prose novels as me. I’ve mentioned this before. I’m not joking nor am I bragging. They were formerly very hard to find in my area and I live in a city of about 300,000 people. They just have always been rare gems and Amazon has been a boon for me in this respect.
What I’m talking about are the novels from the comic book characters we grew up with and love. The icons. The ones who are tearing up the silver screen at the moment. Batman. Superman. Flash. X-Men. Fantastic Four. Daredevil. Captain America. Like the over 2400 comics I have (Okay. Now I’m bragging), I collect superhero prose novels.
At present, the number is at 116. I’m sure it’s a shock to many that there is that many superhero novels out there. I don’t even have them all. With the resurgence of the popularity of superheroes, new prose novels are being written. This is a good thing. That means more reading and more stories of the heroes I know and love. It inspires me and helps me with my writing. If the story is good and written well, it spurs me on to learn from that kind of writing and produce the same kind of quality material or better. If the story and writing are bad, it compels me to write something better to edify up the genre with better material.
That is one of the biggest complaints I’ve heard over the years about superhero prose novels. That the writing, story or both are bad. This is normally based on experience with just one or two novels in the genre. That’s hardly a good sample to make an informed decision. Folks, I have 116 prose novels, some going as far back as 1981. There are older ones dating back all the way to the 1960s. They’re out there but you have to dig for treasure and sometimes that takes a little work. The gems take some effort to find. Thank the Lord for the internet, Amazon, and eBay.
My creative writing has elements you would find in a comic book. I pick that genre on purpose though I am a crime fiction junkie when it comes to television. Love me some CSI: Miami, Law and Order: Criminal Intent, NCIS, and Criminal Minds (dark show. Have to do this is small spurts). Elements of that find their way into my fiction. However, the crux of the genre I write is fantasy, urban fantasy, and superhero with a supernatural bent. I do that on purpose because it’s what I love to read and write.
All that being said, I’ve just finished a book that I’ve been plugging away at for a while and that review of Generation X will be forthcoming in my next post.
Until next time my friends, see you in the Tapestry!