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Background on The Life and Times of Edward Morgan

Every once in awhile an article pops up on social media about tips for newer writers. When I was first starting to write, I read every single one of them even if I never heard of the writer before, I just wanted to soak as much information as I could from lots of different sources. I knew that I wasn’t necessarily going to use all of the tips offered, but I just wanted to know how other writers did it while I was still trying to figure out what worked best for me.



Lots of these articles had similar advice. One of the popular ones is “write every day” while I kind of agree with that, I’d say that writing doesn’t always mean sitting down at the computer and typing words. Sometimes writing can mean thinking about a character or a plot point or just brainstorming ideas. Writing is more than just typing words. That’s a side note however and not the point of this post. Maybe one day I’ll get back to it and talk about my definition of “writing” in more detail.

Another popular piece of advice that I really took to heart back then and still think a lot about today is that the writer should write the book or story that they want to read. I always think about what I would want to read as I’m coming up with new ideas but the best example I have of “writing what you want to read” is my novella that came out a little less than a year ago The Life and Times of Edward Morgan.



I wrote Edward Morgan over the course of about 3 weeks in the summer of 2021. I had just finished my last edits on the first Mr. Nightmare book and after a few weeks off from writing any new words, I wanted to write something fun and fast paced and something different from what I’d been working on with Mr. Nightmare. I’d always thought a pirate horror book would be awesome to read and decided to give it a shot.



Unlike most everything I write, I didn’t have a full story in my head when I started writing. I don’t have an outline but to do usually have a few major plot points I figure out when I start something new. With this book I had none of that. Instead I just started writing what I thought was a cool way to start a book, having the main character murder someone in the very first sentence. From there I just let the story—and the characters, who I did know a little bit about before writing—take over.  The result was so much fun to write. I was looking forward to adding words every day and when I sat down to write, the time flew by and there were days where I had to physically stop myself from continuing on because I had family stuff to take care of. It’s a short book but I wrote and edited it in a really quick amount of time for me.



By about halfway through the book—probably around 5 or 6 days of writing—I had those plot points in my head and knew the direction the book was going to take. I also had the ending—that has been mentioned in reviews a lot as one no one saw coming—clear in my head. Once I had that direction the writing went even faster and by the end of the second week I was done with the first draft. Never once when I was writing the first draft did I think about publishing. I loved the story and was only writing it for me because I liked the characters and wanted to see where the story would end up and how it would all look when it was done. I've those few weeks I also read a few different books about pirate history and listened to one as well, which kept me in the right headspace and let some of those little details become more accurate.



From there it was on to the editing which took about a week. Usually when I edit there are certain parts of the story that I change or that changed from where I thought they might go and I have to go back and rewrite parts to make certain the end of the book fits with what is talked about at the beginning. I didn’t have to do that with Edward Morgan. Once the first and second round of edits were done I knew I had a book that I’d love to read and would buy just from reading the description or even just the first sentence.



Sometimes when I finish writing something, I think it is the greatest thing I’ve ever written. Then, after I let it sit for a while I go back and realize it’s not nearly as good as I thought when I was in the thick of it every day.  So after a few months of letting Edward Morgan sit and working on something else, I came back to it, read it over again a few times, made some more minor changes and the decided it was as good (and as fun) as I thought it was. It was only then that I started to think about submitting it to publishers.

I was pretty pumped when Dawn at D&T Publishing dug it and wanted to publish it. I knew—no matter what was on the cover—that it was going to be badass. Who doesn’t like horror books with pirates or pirate ships on the cover? The title is almost always the last thing I come up with. In this case, there is a line from the Jay-Z song Hard Knock Life where he says "You know it's hell when I come through, the life and times of Shawn Carter, volume 2." I always thought that would be a great title for a book and this seemed like the perfect opportunity to use it.



I was excited again when reviewers were saying how much they loved it and it even ended up on a few “best of 2023” lists.

The point of this post is that sometimes, just writing something you want to read is enough. A lot of people think about writing a book and really want to do it, but they don’t always know where to start or what kind of book they should write. I great idea is awesome and those books with great ideas or important messages need to be written. But sometimes it’s just as fun, just as entertaining and just as successful to sit down at the computer, think about the book you wish you were reading right now, and write it.



Coincidentally, I have another book coming out later this year that follows basically the same timeline as Edward Morgan. It’s another novella coming at you from D&T Publishing. The title is And Then I Killed all the Ghosts and this time I was think about why there weren’t more superhero/horror books. And then I wrote one.



If you haven’t read Edward Morgan yet, pick it up I really think you’ll like it. And get read for And Then I Killed All the Ghosts it’s going to be another fun wild ride.



Thanks for reading all the way through this. The Life and Times of Edward Morgan (and all my other books) are available signed in my shop. Or you can always pick up them up in paperback or ebook on Amazon.



Until next time…



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