Taboo Sex

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This outline below would be in reference to “Book17” on the writing page. I try to work alongside the list of projects on the writing page (whether it’s listed on or offline — I like having that list where I can “check things off,” once I’ve completed them ^^).

bdsm

I’m not sure what “taboo sex” actually consists of (since what’s “kinky” to one person might be natural/standard fare to another)…but to “keep with the theme” of this collection…I hope I’ll be able to do something “interesting” with the psychological component (which is part of S/M play anyway).

Personally, I think ‘BDSM’ is more than a riding crop and a blindfold. There’s a big difference between sex in the porn sense, and sex in the erotic sense. The latter is not just a sexual thing — it’s a spiritual thing whereby the erotic is the deepest life force.

Summary: I will TRY to do something interesting/authentic with this s.story collection…but I’ll shelve it, if I don’t think it’s up to standard ^^. I have another couple of books that will be banned everywhere due to some aspects of the content (can see writing page for a bit more info), but I think I can manage those two…and I’ll get to some other non-erotic projects too in Jan 2011, since I’ve done the outlines.

P.S. Am also waiting for the print proof copy of Business Plan.02, on building a positive mindset + attitude.

jessINK publishing

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* UPDATE (2013): A quick post on why “erotica” isn’t “porn” (and how you can help)!

My original post from early 2011 is left below (unedited).

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ORIGINAL POST (January 2011)

jessINK

Update (31 Jan 2011) — Test screenshot for jessINK (above image)!

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website sketch

Some rough planning/sketches for jessINK, a “main store”/website I’d like to work on in Jan 2011, since Amazon has banned some of my books.

* Jan 2011: Affected parties include Jess C Scott, Selena Kitt, Esmeralda Greene, and Olympia Press. The issue is being tracked on Facebook (Amazon Censors). Amazon has since progressed to banning books with “rape” in the title, while still maintaining their commitment to getting as many books into the Kindle store as possible (LA Times article).

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I’m a little (just a bit — worse things have happened in life, LOL) bummed that I’ll have to “re-adjust” some of my plans, since my deviant material was quite well ranked and well set-up in the Amazon store. I was (and still am) planning an incest short story collection, but will sell it on jessINK because that way, at least it’ll still be available from me, straight (since webhosting companies allow for graphic porn vids/pictures, I am assuming they’ll not “ban/lock” my website for “questionable content”…though I’d better probably just check beforehand, and get something in black-and-white via email!).

I like to work fast and efficiently, so being slowed down a little is always something that will irritate/annoy me. But no use looking at things you can’t change — better to focus on the solutions than the problems (to quote “The Donald”/Donald J. Trump).

I’ll probably write an article over on jessINK (once it’s up) on the content in SOME of my work featuring underage sex and incest, etc (not sure about bestiality, etc — haven’t done those yet, but I might, if I feel like it some time). I grew up in Singapore, so while I am aware of differing international laws, I am  familiar/comfortable with (Singapore’s law) of  the “age of consent” being 16 years old (and that’s an interesting story all on its own — can blog/write an article on that later too).

Part of the reason I don’t want to blog my thoughts (in depth, with excerpts from my work) on those topics yet is out of caution (points to the “Report as spam” / “Report as mature” button on the WordPress navigation bar). I don’t know if such an article on WordPress.com would be considered evil/illegal/immoral/unethical/obscene based on a random person’s “opinion,” so I think I’ll just save myself the trouble and have everything on jessINK next year.

I do not condone pedophilia (12 years old and lower, to set an age), because that is an exploitative nature of pedophilia (taking advantage of a minor that is unable to truly give consent, due to the innocence factor of children). Did I still enjoy Lolita? Of course! Did it make me squirm in disdain at times? Of course! That’s part of its appeal for me — navigating through Humbert Humbert’s “twisted mind.”

I have a half-done short story with an incubus and a sixteen-year-old. Is he just exploiting her due to her age? Partly (but the incubus is not wholly human, so technically, Hell’s laws would apply more to him than Earth’s/A certain society’s laws). Are they having mindless sex? Certainly not.

People who rant about me ranting about “underage sex” tell me that I should “change the story and change the characters’ ages” (then accuse me of not taking their advice, all in the same breath, before I’ve even had a chance to read their reply, LOL), and while that’s an option, I’d already have done that if I felt it’d be to the characters’ benefits (to be 18 or above).

Humans are sexual beings. A person doesn’t just turn 18 and magically earn the right to be a sexual being. I remember my teenage years being quite sex-crazed (to summarize — and there is such a thing as “fantasy” vs. “what one does in real life” — I’ve always had an interest in sexual subjects…).

Some of the things I write are in a very non-mainstream, non-conformist way (thought I strive for the elements of honesty and relatability, as much as possible). This is where indie publishing comes in for me, because I am free to write whatever I want, however I want. And maybe, someone, somewhere, will find something (in one of my projects) that resonates with them.

You will see on many erotica publisher’s websites that “incest” is one of the big no-no’s on their guidelines. But rape is okay. I am not going to bother dissecting the logic behind consensual incestuous adult sex being not okay, and rape being okay, because I don’t think logic is what’s behind it.

Some people are very quick to assume that all erotica/erotic fiction is pornographic (with no value, other than to “arouse sexually”). Which is why they’ll always keep missing out on one of the most (if not the most) powerful forces in human life, which is human sexuality. Sexual repression can, will, and does channel into other areas, such as violence, aggression, oppression, homophobia, etc. Oppressing/repressing/suppressing something doesn’t make it go away, though I understand suppression can be done out of either fear, or displeasure at really facing an issue head-on to “deal with it.”

Sex/uality is an area I intend to continue exploring, wandering around in, and pondering about, via writing. It’s how I deal with it.

And sexual repression/suppression, to me, is dysfunctional.

Which actually kind of explains…a lot.

P.S. I will mention here (just for clarification) that I don’t mean to offend all Christian/religious/conservative people with my “sexual open-mindedness” — I was born Catholic, so I have a good idea of the Church’s teachings (maybe not right down to the exact Bible passages, but in general). Not everyone likes to read about sex or graphic material and there’s nothing wrong with that. But oppressing deviant/controversial material deemed to be “immoral” (because “[the person] says so”) is something I’ll fight. If you read the “born Catholic” link, it also explains where I’d like to try to go with my brand of (NON-explicit!) Christian Fiction. I’ve had blog visitors who’ve typed in “Christian fiction erotica” — who knows. Despite my intentions, perhaps what I come up with will still not be “clean” enough (even if I try…one way to find out).

P.P.S. These are the links that explain the creation and development of jessINK. First link was a thread started by yours truly.

Original Post on Amazon: Deletion of Books / Violation of Guidelines

Amazon Censorship of erotic titles (article at TeleRead)

Amazon in the Book Banning Business

Can free speech survive Amazon’s monopoly? #amazoncensors

The Register UK: Amazon’s Erratic Policy on Specialist Smut

Amazon’s Systematic Moral Attack (by Valerie Gray)

America’s Prudish Literary Morality (Salon.com Article)

Asian Fetish, Erotic Story, Small Town America

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Description:

Take-Out (Part 1), the first of Jess C Scott’s “Asian Fetish” stories.

* Note (Feb 2011): Check out Take-Out on jessINK [Jess’s indie publishing division ;)].

SUMMARY: Jake Blake “the Rake” from a small New England town meets his cosmopolitan Asian counterpart-cum-fetish.

NOTE: This story is written in sets of 3 chapters [trying out something new ;)]. The 3 chapters can be read on their own, or combined together (in sequence) to form a longer story. Part 1 features some smut, “social issues,” and the background of the characters, not hardcore sex (though that is highly likely to appear in the later installments).

Cover ‘Pretty Asian Girl’ Photo by: Chris Willis

* First copy sold (on Smashwords) in 2 hours since uploading (zero media mentions) — Dec 6, 2010

Praise and Reviews:

“[Please] keep up the good work . . . the world can certainly use some more authentic, original work like yours, rather than the same old re-packaged mass-market pulp.” — TGirl Revelations / Bibrary.com, October 2010

“You pack huge volumes of experience and information into your [work]. You’re impressive, I’ll say that, and edgy and interesting. And mildly scary.”
— T. D. / via e-mail, 2010

“Dear Jess, I just wanted to say how much I’ve enjoyed your writing: your writing reflects something genuine, something real, about our generation that few writers have had the talent or the courage to uncover. Thank you.”
— e-mail from a reader, 2010

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» More info on Take-Out @ jessINK (2011).

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Matt Mullenweg Interview (WordPress founder!)

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Interview #21, with WordPress founder, Matt Mullenweg!

Note from Jess: I’ve used WordPress.Org in the past — I’ve never forgotten the tagline at the bottom of the page: “Code is Poetry.” So I decided to send a quick Q&A to 26-year-old Mr. Mullenweg, on the subjects of coding, reading, and life/WordPress!

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Hi Matt! Describe yourself in 5 words:

Co-founder of WordPress and Automattic.

Give an example of code which you consider as poetry (and explain how/why, for the less technowizically-inclined):

The best type of code poetry comes from reduction, where you’re able to take something that used to be long or complex and reduce it to a few lines of intuitive code. (Or sometimes, none at all.)

How have your experiences influenced your vision for WordPress?:

There is no five-year plan for WordPress, but what we work on next is usually very apparent in the feedback I get from users all over the world at WordCamps and other places where I meet WordPress users, like airplanes.

How does coding inspire you?:

For me coding is incredibly satisfying because it’s very concrete. You can start in the morning, finish at night and look back at the day and point to something you made with your two hands. That’s not possible to the same extent with strategic or managerial work.

Were you already thinking about/working on WordPress (beta versions, etc) during high school?

Nope, it was after I had started college.

Would you/do you write poetry and/or fiction, under a pseudonym?:

In my life, I’ve found that truth is stranger than fiction.

What aspect of traveling around the world do you enjoy the most?:

My favorite thing about travel is seeing how cultures and cities adapt to their surroundings, and take on the characteristics of what surrounds them.

Please share your #1 tip for fellow netizens:

Encrypt your wifi traffic. :)

Your websites/blogs/etc:

http://ma.tt/
http://wordpress.org/
http://automattic.com/

Much thanks to the gracious and very cool Matt Mullenweg (aka Mr. WORDPRESS himself) for sharing his thoughts! Check out the other great interviews @ Matt’s Blog (Press Coverage).

Greek Mythology and Oscar Wilde’s De Profundis

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Short essay for my “ENG 359 – Mythology” course, in Fall 2010. Yippee!

(Topic = Write about how classical mythology has enriched your understanding of a piece of modern literature)

P.S. De Profundis is one of my favourites. Have read it four or five times — it always gets better with each new round.

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Essay: Greek Mythology and Oscar Wilde’s De Profundis

I first read Oscar Wilde’s De Profundis a few years ago (an eighty-page love letter he wrote while imprisoned, to Lord Alfred “Bosie” Douglas). My knowledge of mythology has enriched my understanding of this piece of literature in several ways, albeit in a subtler and more intimate kind of way than the parallel Wilde continually suggests between Salome and the moon, in his play, “Salome” (which draws on traditions of Greek and Roman mythology that figures the moon as a goddess). De Profundis also reflects Oscar Wilde’s lifelong admiration and passion for Greek literature, culture, and mythology.

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Oscar Wilde and Lord Alfred "Bosie" Douglas

Dante’s Inferno is one of the texts to which Wilde frequently alludes in De Profundis. Dante’s Inferno is heavily influenced by classical mythology (for example, it features the Greek mythological figure Charon, and the great Roman poet, Virgil). More than half of De Profundis is taken up by Oscar Wilde’s confession, not only of his own sins, but of Bosie’s. He evokes a striking image for Bosie — he uses his favorite passage from Agamemnon, about bringing up a lion’s whelp inside one’s house only to have it run amok, to compare it to Bosie. He also writes the following line to Bosie, “If Hate blinded you, then Vanity sewed your eyelids together with iron threads.” This is a visual image from Dante’s Inferno, where the envious have their eyes eternally stitched shut with “iron threads.”

Oscar Wilde mentions the sea in De Profundis, comparing it to the mention Euripides makes of the sea in “one of his plays about Iphigeneia, [which] washes away the stains and wounds of the world.” Oscar Wilde then expresses his view that he “[discerns] great sanity in the Greek attitude,” linking this back to the visual imagery of the sea, and the contemporary people of Oscar Wilde’s time having “forgotten that water can cleanse, and fire purify, and that the Earth [was] mother to [them] all.” As a consequence, Oscar Wilde stated that the art of his time was “of the moon and [played] with shadows, while Greek art [was] of the sun and [dealt] directly with things.” These lines evoke the sense of purification in elemental forces, which Oscar Wilde writes that he wants to return to, and “live in their presence.”

The concept of decadence is also frequently mentioned in De Profundis, which is linked to Dionysus in Greek mythology — the god of wine, vegetation, debauchery, decadence, depravity and self indulgence. Oscar Wilde’s self-reflection includes a mention on how he experienced “pleasure for the beautiful body, [which was] pain for the beautiful soul.” He also compares filling his life to the very brim with pleasure, “as one might fill a cup to the very brim with wine.” He allowed pleasure to dominate him, which ended in “horrible disgrace” — leaving him only one thing in the end: “absolute humility.” Oscar Wilde also compares the appeal of Jesus Christ to people “who had been deaf to every voice but that of [the voice of love] heard for the first time,” and finding it to be “as musical as Apollo’s lute.”

Oscar Wilde continues his self-reflection by bringing in the statement of the Greek oracle: “know yourself,” which Oscar Wilde states is “the first achievement of knowledge.” He also writes a wonderfully succinct and comprehensive passage, which refers to several Greek myths all at once. He introduces this paragraph by writing that “the Greek gods, in spite of the white and red of their fair fleet limbs, were not really what they appeared to be.” He then compares the curved brow of Apollo to the sun’s disc crescent over a hill at dawn, and “while [Apollo’s] feet were as the wings of the morning, he himself had been cruel to Marsyas and had made Niobe childless.” He writes that “in the steel shields of Athena’s eyes there had been no pity for Arachne; the pomp and peacocks of Hera were all that was really noble about her; and the Father of the Gods himself had been too fond of the daughters of men.”

Oscar Wilde goes on to say that “the two most deeply suggestive figures of Greek Mythology were, for religion, Demeter, an Earth Goddess, not one of the Olympians, and for art, Dionysus, the son of a mortal woman to whom the moment of his birth had proved also the moment of her death.” Knowing the background of these Greek myths greatly enhanced my appreciation of this particular passage in De Profundis, which drives to a person’s core the message of sorrow. In the preceding paragraph in De Profundis, Oscar Wilde writes that Christ made of himself “the image of the Man of Sorrows, [which] fascinated and dominated art as no Greek god ever succeeded in doing,” thus using this aspect of the Greek gods and goddesses to enhance the Sorrow he went through while imprisoned (and the realizations that came about, as a direct result of this humiliating experience).

Thus, having some knowledge of classical mythology greatly enhanced my understanding and appreciation of Oscar Wilde’s De Profundis, which makes references to Greek mythology (as well as religion). De Profundis bares the innermost depths of Oscar Wilde’s soul via a long handwritten letter to his “hyacinth,” Bosie (in a letter to a friend, Oscar Wilde wrote of Bosie: “He is quite like a narcissus — so white and gold…he lies like a hyacinth on the sofa and I worship him,” which again brings to mind Greek mythology—in particular, that of Apollo and Hyacinth, as well as Narcissus).

References:

Wilde, Oscar. De Profundis. Courier Dover Publications, 1997.

Christian Fiction, Background (Part I)

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* This post is part of a short series:

7 Nov 2010: Christian Fiction, Background (Part I)
25 Nov 2011: Christian Fiction, Motivation (Part II)
21 Dec 2011: Christian Fiction, Moral Compass (Part III)

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Christian Fiction, Background (PART I)

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–> Pic originally from Microsoft Word Templates. Also, the inspiration for the “cracked black acrylic poster” at the back of the church in the opening of my cyberpunk elves novel.

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Short Version: I’d like to try (sometime next year) my hand at a project which centers around sex/uality, without going the graphic/explicit/erotica route. It might venture into Christian Fiction territory (if I wanted to specifically label the genre).

Longer Version: I usually like to plan things out beforehand (down to the details — I usually do profiles for my main characters too). The other day, I was thinking of some erotic projects I’d like to continue next year.

I’ve had some Christian/religious folks read/express interest in me/my work. I thought that was quite interesting, considering some of my erotic material navigates the lines of gender and desire (which run contrary to orthodox, fundamental Christian beliefs). I think the basic principle of every religion though is to “be kind to others,” and that probably does influence most of my work in some way or other (and my whole life, in general).

I was baptized born and raised Catholic (in Singapore). I attended Mass every week until I was about age eighteen. I decided to go an autonomous route (which eventually led to a more spiritual, than religious, outlook, which I currently still adhere to in a very general/personal sense), because I just felt largely disconnected from a lot of the doctrines that were repeatedly stated every week by the priest during the sermon. I felt like I was dragging myself to receive a “mass scolding” every week, and that anything pleasurable was going to be written off as “bad” according to the laws of the Church.

I think the turning point was a church camp when I was fifteen. The camp’s theme was on sex — and I distinctly remember never feeling that my inner soul/spirit had been heard, acknowledged, or listened to. I expressed whatever I could to the camp facilitator, and I think one of the priests too (during confession)…but they couldn’t really tell me anything that made me feel better. And I remember a form we had to fill out. It asked us to list a range of “sins” from the least to most severe. I think I placed “contraception” right at the top (least severe), and I think several of my peers did too. I remember one of the facilitators checking out our answers…he said something like, “Many of you [have not got your priorities] right, especially the girls.”

Now looking back, I know that the intent was not to “stratify the girls” (I think…), but at the time, I was incensed! So I eventually started to attend church out of routine repetition…until I got tired of that, and decided to go find some meaning in life for myself, outside the context of religion. After all, what about people who had always been freethinkers? Or people in ancient times who had their own religions? Were they evil just because they were of a different religion?

I felt a lot freer to think/be/do whatever I want, once I decided not to identify with a religious association. And I was very angry for quite a long while (particularly with the church’s teachings on sex and sexuality). I felt like I had been brainwashed for years.

I kind of simmered down after completing my first two books (EyeLeash and 4:Play — both on sex). I got “a lot of things out of my system” that way. And I didn’t do it by venting about Christianity, and saying all sorts of nasty things about Christian folks. I may have ranted a few times in private journal entries, but I think bashing of that nature does not really achieve anything in the long run.

So I was just wondering that it’d probably be interesting for me, to tie in some of the elements I enjoy working with (sex, desire, lust, etc.), with Christian aspects that can run contrary to a person’s natural drives and desires. I have always had a high sex drive, which I enjoy channeling into writing erotica. I try not to write “plain porn” — there’s got to be some kind of story behind all the sex, to sustain my own interest (if nothing else).

And I remember/know how this dichotomy can be a source of real frustration and endless tension for a person that follows the Church’s teachings closely. There were times in my life when religion played quite a big part in my life (as it does with my mother, and most of her side of the family).

But I don’t want to get all preachy about things, or patronizing, OR boring. I think it is possible to navigate spiritual warfare/sexual tension territory, without getting prosaic or “sensationalist” about it. I think I have already done a little bit of that with certain erotic short stories — though I think Christian folks would enjoy reading something less graphic than what would be considered “erotic fiction / erotica.”

I might get a few new erotic pieces “out of my system” early next year, before fiddling around with plots and outlines for this non-erotic-but-centered-around-sex project. I am quite interested to see if I’ll be able to come up with something workable and palatable, that the target audience would be able to identify with and appreciate.

P.S. I do not mean that I am going to steer clear of erotica for the rest of time — I just like doing new things / doing things differently (full list of ever-growing number of projects available @ https://jesscscott.wordpress.com/writing/ — the range of genres is ever-increasing too, lol).

P.P.S. Possibly influenced by Linkin Park’s “The Catalyst” too. I liked their first two albums VERY much (Hybrid Theory and Meteora), not so much Minutes to Midnight. And I don’t know if “The Catalyst” makes them something like a Christian rock band, but man, I just enjoy listening to a good/nice tune at the end of the day.

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“Christian Fiction” Posts:

7 Nov 2010: Christian Fiction, Background (Part I)
25 Nov 2011: Christian Fiction, Motivation (Part II)
21 Dec 2011: Christian Fiction, Moral Compass (Part III)

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Author Interview, Joseph Robert Lewis

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Author Interview #20, with science fiction author, Joseph Robert Lewis!

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Hi Joseph! Describe yourself in 5 words:

Obsessive, disciplined, inquisitive, busy, anosmic.

Share a blurb of your work (10-100 words):

Heirs of Mars — The dream that was Mars has become a nightmare for the children born there.

To save New Troy from falling birth rates, Asher Radescu secretly clones people in the back of his old truck. To save New Troy from despair, Claudia Cruz hosts the most popular racing show on two worlds. And to save the city from destruction, they’ll rally persecuted cloners, resurrected colonists, and racing celebrities to fight homicidal AIs. HEIRS OF MARS follows the lives of six men and women through the final days of the first war on Mars, a war between humans, machines, and the resurrected souls who aren’t truly one or the other. But even if they survive the war, there is no escape from the red planet.

Visit my site for two free short stories set before Heirs of Mars (19 years and 24 hours, respectively): http://josephrobertlewis.wordpress.com/books/heirs-of-mars/

Share a list of your favorite author’s novels that influenced your new book:

Accelerando, by Charles Stross

A Song of Ice and Fire (series), by George RR Martin

The Wreck of the River of Stars, by Michael Flynn

Comment on the writing versus publication process, in your experience:

Writing is work. (Fun, cool, exciting work, but work nonetheless.) Heirs of Mars took a total of 250 hours of research, writing, revising, editing, and polishing. I believe a book has to be perfect — every word, every idea. If you expect someone to pay for your work, then they deserve the best work possible. Never settle for “good enough”! But with practice and experience, I’ve found a process and a rhythm for completing an entire novel in 3-4 months and while it is still work, it is work I really enjoy.

In sharp contrast, publishing is easy. It took me less than an hour to properly format and upload the book itself. And then a handful of hours to update my website and blog and to post announcements on the various ebook forums and review sites, as well as my fellow indie authors’ blogs. The best part is that I can simply reuse the same text and images and links for most of those announcements. And at that point, it’s pretty much up to the world to either take an interest or pass. As for me, I’m off to write another book!

What is your definition of “good writing”?

There’s no such thing. Good writing is whatever an audience enjoys. (Seriously, we’re all people and we all have different tastes.) It can be over-written purple prose, like Tolkien, and it can be under-written dots and dashes, like Hemingway. Any abundance or lack of description, dialog, action, and exposition can be “good.” All you have to do is find your audience.

(But if you can’t find an audience, well, then you’re writing may not be good. Or you may have forgotten to get published. Check your royalties if you’re not sure which.)

Please share your #1 tip for writers:

Have a goal. I don’t mean as an author: “I want to be rich and famous.” But as a writer trying to write a book, have a goal. Don’t just try to tell a story. Try to accomplish something, whether it’s as simple as making your readers laugh or as ambitious as inspiring them to lead a revolution.

Do you want to be funny, or scary, or erotic? Do you want to fight social injustice by creating heroes for a certain type of reader? Do you want to expose people to exciting new ideas in science or fascinating facts from history? Once you have a goal, hold on to it. As you write your book, keep asking yourself whether you’re moving closer to reaching your goal. If the answer is no, then start reaching for your Backspace key.

Your websites/blogs/etc:

Web: www.josephrobertlewis.com
Blog: josephrobertlewis.wordpress.com

Heirs of Mars is available on —

Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0049H94G6/
Amazon.co.uk: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0049H94G6/

Much thanks to Mr. Lewis for the chat!