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  • Writer's pictureIan

Back in the Saddle

Happy Holidays, New Year, Valentines Day, St. Patrick’s Day….

OK so I will admit, it has been awhile since I have taken the time to sit down and hammer out a blog. A combination of things life threw my way and just feeling like I had anything worthwhile to say has stymied my blogging efforts as of late. I feel enough time has passed and I have enough to comment on, so it is time to get back in the saddle.

First things first…Project Status

I have about half a short story written that just hasn’t gone anywhere yet for me. I have a few of these. Like the old ghost towns of the wild west, these stories sit vacant in my files. This is totally normal from what I hear, so I don’t fret too much about them. Someday I will find their purpose, but just not yet. I also have another short story in my head that I have been waiting to get on paper. Just a matter of time before I get to it, or forget it completely.

The Hero we don’t deserve, but he is here anyway…

After reading a few graphic novels (most recently, Batman: Hush, Batman: Court of Owls Saga, and Hellboy: Seed of Destruction) and watching a few movies (most recently Aquaman and Captain Marvel) I got back into the groove of wanting to write more. What can I say, I am a sucker for watching bad guys get their asses handed to them, and sometimes the heroes too!

When I do write, The Snowman Saga is what I have been concentrating all my attention on. Right now, I have about 7.25 chapters (or issues, either way) completed. I am thinking the total number will be a nice solid nine. I am SOOO close I can feel it. Once that first draft is completed, it is time to look through it again and again with my illustrator and see what works and what doesn’t.

Now this is a story all about how, my life got flipped, turned upside down…

Speaking of segues, Automata: A History is going through its first round of edits. Here is the cool thing, I’m not the one doing it! I mean, I am in a way, but I have help.

There is this internet hub that is called Reddit. If you don’t know what it is, look it up, I hear it is a big deal. At any rate, I just so happened to meet a super awesome person on a subreddit that has nothing to do with writing. And it just so happens that this awesome person just so happens to have her own editing business. As they say, one thing led to another and now she is my editor!

This is a big deal for me. I finally having someone who not only has the professional acumen to help my work get to the next level, but she is not bound by law (unlike my spouse) to like my writing.

So, ladies and gentlemen, I have the honor of introducing to the team….

Kierstin Scharnitzke, Editor in Chief of Silent Oak, LLC

Let’s get to know her a little bit…

Kierstin Scharnitzke was born in Missouri but has spent most of her life in Oregon and currently resides in the city of Eugene. A graduate of Pepperdine University, she studied Creative Writing, was an editor for Expressionist, and spent a semester studying abroad in Heidelberg, Germany. She has a career in editing and is the CEO and Editor-in-Chief of her business, Silent Oak, LLC. In her free time, she enjoys building scale model trains driven specifically by extinct species of mammalian herbivores as well as making the perfect charcuterie platter. Oh she writes too!

OK fine I may have made some things up for comedic purposes…

To get to know her even better, how about a little Q & A:

I: How long have you been editing?

K: Professionally since about 2010, but as a child I used to keep track of errors in books because it would bother me that they got through.

I: What do you like most about editing?

K: I love seeing potential come to fruition. Seeing a book that starts as okay become something wonderful because of a good thesaurus and some elbow grease is really satisfying.

I: What is your favorite book?

K: I don't think I could ever answer this question. I have favorite books for certain moods or genres. Some make me really nostalgic and others always brighten my mood. One I do love rereading is The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge. So wholesome and beautifully written.

I: Who is your favorite Author?

K: Another almost impossible question. I'd have to say that the author I'm most closely following right now is Brandon Sanderson, and the one who defined my childhood is Tamora Pierce.

I: What is your favorite color?

K: Purple! Though I prefer either darker plum shades or lighter pastel ones over flat purple.

I: Who is your favorite superhero?

K: I don't know that I have one. I never followed superheroes much growing up. However, I have always looked up to Sailor Moon.

I: Deserts, Oceans, Plains, or Mountains?

K: Do forests count? Because I choose forests, especially evergreen ones :D

I: Chunky or Smooth peanut butter?

K: Depends on what I'm eating it with! But probably smooth.

I: You find yourself in the middle of a hardware store during a zombie outbreak, what do you grab first?

K: If there are shotguns, definitely that first, otherwise maybe a nail gun, tire iron, or crowbar.

Well folks, I am incredibly excited to be working with her and see what she brings to the table. Keep checking back with the blog to stay up-to-date with my latest projects, or join the mailing list for updates!

(Photo provided with permission from Kierstin Scharnitzke)

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