Wednesday, October 8, 2008

"PS: We Wanna Know"-- October 8th, 2008

"PS: We Wanna Know" is my dedication to responding to as many readers and fans as possible. I believe as a writer I owe it to the fans to make myself available, whenever they want to learn more about how I came to write the stories they love. And from an independent/self-publishing standpoint, I owe it to the countless other writers out there trying to "make it" to offer insight into my success as a self-published author, whether that be in guidance, inspiration, approach or simple tips & tricks to help them succeed.

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Renee V. of Euless, Texas asked the following questions:

Q:) What inspired you to write this story?
A.) The true inspiration for this story came from the quiet of the cabin--Justin's cabin and the need to share the pattern of life in which most of us--many of us--go from a place where we give up hope and travel long and hard to return to a place in time where we believe again.

My visit to Seymour and Lake Kemp in 2003 is what triggered the emotions the audience feels so heavily in the opening chapters. The solitude of the night--off the lake, on the porch swing--are the images that forced my hand to begin writing this story. My weekend in Seymour at that cabin with my friend Ralph Ponce and his family was just what I needed to bring a balance back to my soul in relation to my writing. When I returned home with my family that Sunday night I began drafting the opening pages that once upon a time were entitled "The Cabin" and later became "Proud Souls."

Being I write all my stories free-hand first, I still own the original composition book where I wrote the entire draft for this novel. It's tattered and worn out now but soon I am going to scan some pages and post them online for my audience to view. It's amazing looking back today some five(+) years later when reading my initial thoughts on this story; the opening paragraphs are almost identical to the words in the finished (opening) chapter. I think it's cool to stare at the worn out pages--the place where a character and a story began...back in the summer of 2003...


Q:) Who or what was the inspiration for your characters?
A.) That's a very good question and I honestly don't have a direct answer. Most of my characters are symbolic of the emotions we all share as individual beings. Each of them know love, hate, lust, anger, rage, happiness, joy, loss and the feeling of accomplishment--the same as each of us reading these words on my blog--and more importantly, the same as the author. But that does not mean my characters are autobiographical in any way. In relation to Proud Souls, Justin Bower is nothing like Bobby Ozuna, although; Bobby Ozuna loves a dark corner of a bar and solitary moments with a good stout drink just the same. But I am not the only person who has moments where they feel that way. I focus a tremendous amount of energy on studying people--how they move, react to verbal and physical communication and especially the power of the unspoken word. What people do when they don't speak is more powerful than any actions they take when they do. I find the human struggle fascinating and I believe we are here to suffer...living souls entrapped within decaying bodies...and that concept contradicts the very nature of our spirits. Our spirit is what gives us the youthfulness to live, by the full meaning of the word.

In relation to my heroine, Tessa Jameson, I naturally couldn't be any part of her being she is female. But that doesn't mean as a living being I haven't felt the urge to love someone greater than myself and wish for the touch of a special someone who buckles under my fingertips. Tessa James symbolizes the ideals of unrequited love--loving someone who doesn't love us in return. She holds no prejudices to the notion she may not want the person after she obtains their heart or mind. For her, the idea of someone holding her at night is enough to wipe away the years of loss and agony and loneliness. What we see on the physical realm however is her sexual prowess. And unfortunately for her, like many of us, our earnest desire to love someone is often translated in physical form--i.e. sexually--and in small places (small business, small offices, small towns) it is interpreted as being promiscuous and ultimately misunderstood. And worse, we're often judged.

The final two characters--Reverend Hillard Ray Polk and Ralph Winslow Parison--each represent the two mental mindsets by which much of the world makes its decisions--and the author (me). Reverend Polk represents man's desire to believe in something greater--a higher spiritual power--in whichever form you choose. Ralph Winslow Parison represents the secular approach, being the physical laborer. Each one may represent an aspect of me as the author, but like most of my characters I create, they ultimately represent us all. They are not me and I am not them...but then again, I am fond of saying...I confess my sins with my characters...


Q:) How hard was it to get in touch with your feminine side in order to create such detailed descriptions for Tessa?
A.) Haha, I wasn't aware [that] I had a feminine side. But I hope I am safe in assuming I did a magnificent job with her character or you (as a female reader) wouldn't have asked about her???

Oh boy, I have to be careful with this response, because this is where, if I am not careful, my name could become synonymous with the word [Romance] as opposed to simple [literary] fiction. But here's goes nothing ladies...

My official answer: It was easy to create Tessa Jameson and hard to put her on paper. If I missed the mark in relation to creating either of my male figures within the story--Justin, Polk, Parison--it would have been perfectly acceptable. If I said something that was rude or derogatory towards any of the male characters, I would have been excused by a greater percentage of readers because the assumption would have been, it's okay, he's a man...he can say those things. But as a male author, should I misinterpret the emotional and physical embodiment of the wonderful female species, it would have been like committing literary suicide. It's the type of mistake [that] if made, could be career ending for someone like me just breaking into this business.

My trick for creating such a realistic female character (both emotionally and physically)? I used the same technique I apply with EVERY character I create...find common traits that apply to the vast "majority" and focus on them. I can't get into much more detail than that without giving away too much information or sound like a pervert...but let me say this one last thing about her Renee: I spent more time drawing her character than any other in the book--and she's not the hero of the story--but it didn't bother me. I loved every minute of it... (yes, I am smiling).


Q:) Is your next book going to be like the first? And will your next book have a romance story in it or will you go in a different direction?
A.) "Proud Souls" will be nothing like "The Other Side of Glory." I believe a writer shouldn't be limited to the [type] of work they produce. Take Stephen King for example. If you read his early works you might think he was evil and his later works might lead you to believe he is a spiritual man. I think he is neither and both. He is a writer, the same as me. "The Other Side of Glory" will follow two men, Joey Allario and Mikey Alaniz as they "come of age" within a Marine Corps setting, based in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. This will NOT be a war/military story in the sense it is about bullets and storming hills but rather about life and the concept of Good and Evil.


There will be two "love" stories within this next novel (I am a sucker for a good romance story anyhow) but those stories will be seem from two different perspectives. You will have a Good character who falls in love with the idea of having a nurturing woman around and opposite that story, you will have an Evil character who does more nurturing to a battered woman. This [romantic] theme is not the basis of the entire novel--just as it wasn't for "Proud Souls"--but I believe every good story should focus on the connections between man and woman and how they affect our lives, for good or for bad.

Q:) Was this meant to be a romance story?
A.) Haha...there you go again Renee. I wasn't aware "Proud Souls" was a romance story??? But if that is what you took away from the pages, then I am content to accept that because there is a subtle romanticism to my novel. It was important as an author for me to find a different way of bringing about the "lost hero." I could have used the challange of a fight from another male, the call to arms by hoards of men around him or any other cliche means to make Justin snap out of his loss and make a decision to live or die. I felt the most important physical and emotional power in this world--the type that can alter a man's way of life, for good or bad--would be the power of a woman. But in this case, not just any woman. The woman who was going to help Justin recover such a tragic loss and come to terms with his past would HAVE to be the right woman...and for me...luckily, it came in the form of the lovely woman dubbed "town whore"...Tessa Jameson.

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If you have questions you would like to present as part of this blog, send them to: bobby@bobbyozunaonline.com with the subject line of: PS: We Wanna Know.
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I want to thank Renne V. of Euless, Texas for her very thought provoking questions. In my next blog segment of "PS: We Wanna Know" I will answer the questions of another reader. So send them in!!! Don't be bashful ...

Stay tuned for more insight into how I have successfully published my own novel, "Proud Souls" along with marketing tips and tricks, and last but not least, my mental journal of writing my second novel: "The Other Side of Glory."

Oh! Don't forget to subscribe to this blog to stay current with all my content updates!!!

Thanks,

~Bobby Ozuna
"Drawing Stories...With Words"

www.BobbyOzunaOnline.com


6 comments:

Ashley said...

I must say that I'm dying to read your book!! Your latest blog was quite interesting! The feminine aspect had me rolling with laughter!!! From what I hear you must be an excellent author! I have to read your book! Then I'll have my own outlook and be able to ask questions of my own about your novel!!

Ashley said...

Bobby,


Also, the part where you said you confess you sins with your characters is absolutely correct!

I tend to do so myself as I write. So, I find that comment very funny, but honest!

As I read your book, Ill be sure to look for the sins you've committed!!!! No, not really, but as I go deeper into the writing of my own story, it's something I will be reminded of.

Thank you for your support, now that I'm done with school, all my time will go to writing, and all my gratitude will go to you!!!!

Thank you!!!!!

jessykamp said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jessykamp said...

As always I enjoy reading your blogs, this one was especially charming...and how is it you are NOT a pervert...put that on P.S. We wanna know...haha just kidding. Your answers to these questions were very enlightening and helps us all gain some perspective to our inner voice. Thanks,
Jessie O

Bobby Ozuna said...

Ashley:
I love it when people are dying to read my book!!!

I do appreciate the compliment about my writing. Remember, I was a reader LONG before I became an author and if I had to judge my own work--I don't think it's that great. There are some amazing authors out there...check out my list of recommended books on my blog and you will see a few!!!

I do appreciate the support and the comments. Thank you so much!

OH! And the confessing of my sins with my characters...well that's all me...

Bobby Ozuna said...

JessyKamp:
Oh there is so much more to tell...but if I gave it all away... what would the world do with me then? Toss me away to be forgotten forever???
NO!!!!

FUND a School Project today!!!

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