Sunday, April 13, 2014

What is "Of Murder and Monsters?"

Back in late 2011, I began working on a collection of short stories for a legal fiction drama.  The suggestions from my wife and family to start compiling my memoirs to record the numerous strange, weird, and sometimes humorous situations that regularly came up in my work was starting to finally take root.  Yet, even though I thought this was a good idea, there were tons of similar tales out there and I'm honest enough with myself that I can admit to being a pretty boring dude.  So in December of 2012, I asked myself this question: what happens when a criminal defense attorney, who has represented "monsters," finds himself representing a real one?  From there, the idea behind "Of Murder and Monsters" began to take shape.  

Over the past two years and four months, it's been a labor of love to tell the tale of Assistant Public Defender Sean Valdez and his strange, haunted client, Savannah Keller.  Like any labor, nothing came easy.  "Of Murder and Monsters" has gone through numerous re-writes, title changes, and moments where I just wanted to throw the laptop against the wall.  This explains all of the foam padding in my office, as well as why my wife forces me to purchase extended warranties.  All of these ups and downs, however, are integral parts to the creative process.  I'm my own worst enemy when it comes to writing and that's just the way it has to be: without the constant pokes, prods, slaps, smacks and sucker punches from my nemesis, I would have never pushed myself out of my comfort zone.  Writing should never be comfortable.  The end product is not just words on a page, it's a part of me.  It's my child: I gave birth to this fictional world that I created and to all of the people - or things - that live inside of it.  And it's all there, naked and exposed for the world to love, hate or happily ignore.  There's nothing comfortable about any of those three sentiments.  So then why do it? 

Because I love writing.  Because I love telling stories.  Because I love giving the reader exactly what they came looking for: enjoyment of the journey for its own sake.  Granted, just as every voyage has its destination, every story has its end.  My hope is that the trip along the way is just as satisfying as the last page.  

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