Author: Richard B Knight
Series: Stand Alone
Genre: YA Horror Comedy
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: Sept 24 2014
Edition/Format Available In: eBook & Print
Like any fifteen-year-old, Alan Chandler has to deal with the horrors of adolescence—social awkwardness, joblessness, and a father who drives him nuts. But there are some not-so-typical horrors too: His father’s job is to resurrect people as anti-terrorist soldiers. Even though his father keeps warning him that the day will come when he’ll need to take over the family business, Alan is more interested in starting an Undead Wrestling Federation—if only he could keep a corpse on its feet for more than a minute at a time.
Meanwhile, troubles are brewing in the Middle East. A mad dictator threatens to start World War III, and Alan knows that if his father leaves for war, he won’t be coming back. Not alive anyway. With the future at stake, Alan must choose between his adolescent dreams and becoming the leader his father needs him to be. He needs to find himself and understand how his powers work...before it’s too late.
How to Research Your Story before Writing Your BookFirst of all, I think it’s come to the attention of every writer in America that, yes, the NSA is watching you. Not only that, but they also saw you look up that recipe for Pineapple Upside-Down Cake and are currently on the way to your house. I hope you’re ready to deal with the consequences of your search history.
But seriously, in this day and age, every writer is now considering whether they even want to type in “ISIS” or “where does the President stay during an emergency?” when researching for their story. So this is what I do—I keep my researching to as little as possible. You might say, “Well, that means your story probably sucks then and I don’t even want to read it, so there,” but just hear me out. It’s not as bad as you think.
I actually love researching; maybe a bit too much. When I was researching for my now unfinished novel, The Yeti Messiah, I researched everything from underground cities, to the effects of radiation, to Cryptozoology. And when I say researched, I mean I researched, spending months upon months reading everything I could get my hands on, only to realize that the novel I initially wanted to write turned into something completely different; something I wasn’t even interested in anymore. And this wasn’t the first time this has happened. Another one of my unfinished novels, The Destitute Aristocrats, went through a lot of research until I said, you know what? I don’t even know what I’m writing anymore. What is this?
So I try not to do much research at all anymore. Instead, I go with the old standby of writing what you know. Some may say that this is playing it safe, and yeah, it is. But is that such a bad thing? Just think about Ernest Cline’s beloved novel, Ready Player One. If there was ever a writer who just wrote what they knew, it’s Ernest Cline. The whole book is loaded with stuff he loves, and it makes for both a fun and also deeply personal novel about 80’s movies and video games. If you haven’t read it yet, you should. You’ll like it. I promise.
But I digress.
The whole idea of writing what you know has left a major impression on me because it means that I only write books that I could write, which is deeply powerful, at least to me. My first novel, The Darkness of the Womb (http://thedarknessofthewomb.com/), started out like a lot of other books. But after awhile, it transformed into a story about a pregnant mother who journeys into her unborn child’s subconscious to prevent him from miscarrying himself. There was still some research to be done for sure, mostly about Carl Jung’s Archetypes. But by allowing myself to write stories that I wanted to write, I let my imagination do all the heavy lifting and I did as little research as possible. It totally kept me focused.
And with my last book, A Boy and His Corpse, my editor, the great Veronica Roxby Jorden of firstpagelastpage.com fame, actually did most of the research for me. When I sent my manuscript over to her, she made comments on it and sent it back to me. I did a fact check just to make sure she was accurate, which she was, of course, and then I made the changes. So it can be done. I’m proof!
So for me, writing what you know is the best route to take. And if you are going to research, save that for the editing process. We writers have enough distractions already. Unless the research is integral to the plot, hold it off until the end. The most important thing is to just finish that book, so get to it! Get to it!
Richard B. Knight (The "B" stands for "Brandon") teaches Language Arts during the day and writes fiction at night. He decided that he wanted to be a novelist back in the fourth grade. It was all quite spontaneous. Back then, his teacher asked all of the students what they wanted to be when they grew up, and while many students chose "doctor", or "lawyer", or "astronaut", Richard, wanting to be funny, chose "drag queen garbage man". It wasn't until his peers starting reading off their choices that Richard decided that it would probably behoove him to write down another profession. He has stuck with "novelist" ever since.
Richard has a love of movies, video games, and comic books, and all three influences come through in his writing. He currently lives in Clifton, New Jersey with his lovely wife, Rona.
Places to find Richard