Monday, January 18, 2016

Imagination


I’m not that innocent. Just ask my wife. Her first perception was when we met in a bar in Chicago. At the time she believed I was a naïve college boy who wouldn’t be able to pay for dinner when I asked her out to pizza. I was half drunk after an all day paintball excursion on a bus with a kegger and about fifty of my closest camouflaged friends. Looks can be deceiving. As it turned out, I was nearly thirty years old and out of college for years with a good paying job.

My innocence started in a small town named Mt. Prospect, Illinois. I remember having “wars” with the neighbor kids in our backyards. We had a fence between us and there were like twenty of them to our three. We had this pile of stones in our backyard that my dad called landscape. We used to toss the rocks at one another until someone went home crying. I think one of them actually had his eye injured and wore a patch for a week. One day I had this crazy plan to dig a hole along the side of their house where they ran. It took me an hour to dig a hole big enough for them to fall into. I wanted to put pointed sticks at the bottom, but I figured that would kill them, so I filled it up with water instead and covered it with sticks and leaves. Then I could pelt them with rocks and pointed sticks. Unfortunately my mom came home early that day and made me fill it in. About an hour later I heard my brother and sister screaming from the hole that they were stuck in quicksand. I leaped for joy. My plan had worked. I had caught two people in my hole of death.

I did all sorts of things that probably would have sent me to a juvenile detention if it happened in today’s world. I used to meet my friends in a small alley behind some houses and burn whatever we could get our hands on, until one of the neighbors chased us. This was also the place where I smoked a pack of cigarettes we kept buried—I blame this for my shortened height. I took my friends to the neighborhood pharmacy and had each one of them steal a can of Silly String. I stole a little toy truck as well because of the thrill, not because I wanted it. My mom was surprised when a Silly String party arrived at her home and asked how we bought it—I guess she knew I was a klepto. This was all at the age of eight. Later in my college days I crashed some frat parties. My friend was the biggest lineman on the football team and was drafted by the Broncos. I never had a problem getting into select parties. I was a rubber tree on Halloween. I wore green medical scrubs and taped some branches and a couple packages of condoms onto my body. By the end of the night all my condoms were gone, but it was one heck of a party.

There were some frightening moments early in my childhood. I remember peeking into a house that was rumored to be haunted and children disappeared. A car pulled up with an old man and a woman. They rolled down the window and asked me to come closer. I ran like hell. We never told any adults about this because they wouldn’t believe us. A few years later my friend and I were the last ones waiting for our parents to pick us up at Boy Scouts. My friend dared me to toss a snowball at the next oncoming car, and so I did. I hit it smack in the middle of the windshield. The car came to a screeching halt and the driver came running after us wearing a leather biker jacket and slicked back hair holding a bat in his hands. We hid under the pews of a nearby church praying to be saved. My friend cursed me for throwing the snowball and kept saying, “Why did you have to pick that one?” A dare is a dare and I wasn’t going to back down.

Everyone has an imagination, but few are prepared to share it with the world. I thought about this while forcing myself to read another boring book being force fed to the masses. There are some very talented writers who can describe a room in vivid detail. I force myself to read another long page describing how Tristan sips his coffee with his left hand as if that is diabolical. I can nearly smell the vanilla flavored coffee while warming up to the fire in the hearth. If I knew a guy named Tristan when I was a kid, he would have a black eye or broken nose. How I wish the villain had put a special concoction of dragon’s blood mixed with nightshade into poor Tristan’s drink. That would be exciting!

I want a story filled with excitement. All that detail about the weather is terrific, but give me some juicy accounts on the edge of a cliff with little demons waiting to eat the hero. Let me believe for a moment that our world may extinguish because Johnnie didn’t eat a certain type of cereal. I want a page turning novel filled with excitement that keeps me on the edge of my seat or maybe under the covers of my bed. I don’t care if it’s real, that’s why they call it fiction instead of the boring True Life Story of Bill the Banker.

I know it’s out there. You know the type of book. The kind you can’t wait to finish, but sorry when it’s over. The kind of book you read over and over again wanting to memorize every phrase. The one that makes me laugh and maybe even cry. I want that book and I know it’s out there because I see it every night moving in my head. Just give me a chance and let me show you my imaginary world.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Living the writers life

This is my vision of the writer's life. Call it odd, but I call it wonderful.

I can see myself writing at my desk early in the morning before the sun even rises. I'm sipping flavored tea with two spoonfuls of honey. The writing flows from my brain to the fingers tapping away. I become so consumed with my writing that I jump when my wife calls because my main character just witnessed a gruesome murder. She gives me a hug and we laugh, but I don't think she will ever understand where I am off to in my own little world. She leaves me with a piece of chocolate and promises a glass of wine for later. She's my best friend ever.

The manuscript is sent off to my editor. He laughs at all my jokes. We talk about our favorite authors and why he doesn't like the Cubs; I don't hold that against him. He tells me there are mistakes in my manuscript. I complain and tell him it's really a good thing, but he disagrees with one of my scenes. We argue about the pacing or maybe he doesn't like the way I present the danger. By the end of the conversation we are best friends and agree in ways to unify the world. I send him his favorite bar of Swiss chocolate.

I call my agent after avoiding her for a week. She knows where I live, so hiding is futile. She is my best friend in the world. She calls me at 3 in the morning to remind me of the deadline. She tells me great things about my stories and the wonderful reviews my last book is receiving. Then she gets into it about my latest novel; this being the reason I have avoided her in the first place. She complains about my trip to Indonesia and tells me that I need to be chained to my desk until my next work of fiction is complete. I send her flowers, but she isn't as easy as my editor, so I take her out to dinner. She orders a big chocolate soufflé, which she doesn't eat because she is worried about her figure. We hug one another and share her soufflé. I finish my novel and all are happy.

I was just at the Chicago Writers Conference over the weekend. It gave me some good feelings of where I am and where I would like to be as a writer. It was refreshing to be able to speak with a few of the agents that I have always admired on the internet, but never really met in person until now.

Another nice thing about writers conferences is that I get to converse with fellow writers. We talk about each other's books, adventures in submission, and inevitably the horrible feeling of rejection. Most of us are happy because we create other places. We all have things in common like the love of chocolate! Writers generally are happy people. Some of us are frustrated because we look at the end game, but we just need to believe its coming. Someday that dream will come and I'll get that call at 3 in the morning from my agent or argue with my editor. Until that time, I just dream of that special day when millions of people can read my books.

Monday, October 6, 2014

New website!

I've been tweaking my website to give it a fresh look. Check it out! Click one of the links above or just type in http://www.gmmoser.com

Any suggestions are greatly appreciated. I'll continue to update additional items, but for the most part the new website is complete. I need to add in buttons for contact and more important, information about my books. For now I have been focusing on my completed story, WYOMING. All I need now is that wonderful literary agent to come into my life.

Thanks for following!

George

Friday, September 26, 2014

Genre and writing

Picking a genre can be an extremely difficult task. Especially when you are trying to submit to an agent for publishing. It is a crucial element that can make the difference between an agent requesting a partial or full request to simply rejecting it out right without even glancing at the manuscript.

So where does one go when choosing a genre? I looked at this for a very long time and struggled with some type of answer. I was at the Midwest Writers Conference not long ago and spoke with numerous authors who had several answers. The generic answer was always, choose one. However, when the discussion went further, I could see the frustration in most writers eyes. Each of us have more than one element in our stories.

I like to compare my stories to Stephen King. Is he a horror writer? Perhaps in the beginning he was, but some of his more recent and extremely successful novels such as 11/22/63 are more of a thriller. I looked up his genre and found him listed as a horror, suspense, science fiction, and fantasy writer. This is exactly where I would place my novels, but there is a problem. I am no Stephen King.

Pick one genre.

So I need to make a choice. I write some pretty creepy books, but would I compare them to an Anne Rice or Stephanie Meyer? The answer is an absolute no. And both of those writers are so different. Anne Rice writes some pretty spooky stuff, while Stephanie Meyer writes more of a fantasy love triangle thing. My books are not the slasher type of novel that most seem to associate with a horror novel.

I contemplate taking out horror as a genre.

Then there was adventure or a thriller. I am inclined to believe that this is more where my books are leading, but there is still that creep element that I cannot avoid. I would love to compare my writing style to Michael Crichton who has definitely influenced some of my work. Perhaps Jurassic Park was something similar to my writing, but he is very technical and I am not. There is a difference in our writing. He is not a horror writer.

Damn, I wish I was Stephen King! Then again, I am happy with my own style of writing.

There are elements of science fiction and fantasy in my latest novel, Wyoming. The story has aliens and flying saucers, but I wouldn't go so far as to compare the book to any sci-fi writers I know. Well, there is Ray Bradbury, who is a huge influence on what I write. In fact, I was hoping to write a post specifically about him because he has influenced my style in so many ways. He is humorous and very deep with his own life's lessons that I can totally relate. Still, I cannot say my writing would be science fiction.

My writing has taken some turns in the fantasy world. I have written about completely new worlds and dream of better places. Another influence has been JRR Tolkien, but my writing is definitely not his. I did write about caves and I do have a fascination with the world and things we cannot understand. I could compare one of my journeys inside the caves to Bilbo Baggins inside the Misty Mountains.

And then there is Elvis.

Where would I place a novel that has a quirky Elvis Presley fan? I guess that is only a character, but there is so much more involved. This genre choice is so difficult. It leads me to one choice, of which I hope an agent seeking my books will at least give me a chance. I believe there is quite a few agents out there who will agree once they have read my book, Wyoming.

I have researched many literary agents requests and found that some of them would like to see a writer who blends several categories into one. Is this a trick question? I tell myself, be careful! Stay with one genre, but if you ask me in secret what my genre is? I would tell you, mine is a mixture of horror, suspense, adventure, science fiction, and fantasy.

I am no Stephen King.

I am George M Moser.

Let's make it simple. My genre is adult thriller.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Influences of my adventures

During the past few months I have been working on several projects. I finished up my latest novel, Wyoming, but as many writers probably know it's never finished until the final pen stroke. I started another novel that I am very excited about. I wrote some query letters and researched a few literary agents that I felt would be interested in my work and have some interest, but I'll have to rework Wyoming just a little.

During that time I discovered something unique about my work. While researching some of the literary agents, I tried to find what I would have in common with some of them. Its hard to tell just by reading a blog or a short paragraph about someone, but some of them list some genres of interest or past books they represent. Several agents had similar likes with famous books and authors, and that made me think.

One of my favorite books when I was young was Tom Sawyer, by Mark Twain. I must have read that book twenty times and I would probably still enjoy it today. I remember getting hooked on reading when a friend of mine suggested I read The Hobbit. It was about the same time he told me that I would probably like The Rolling Stones because I was a huge Beatles fan. I didn't take his suggestion about The Rolling Stones until a decade later, but I did read The Hobbit. I remember thinking to myself, I would love to write a book like this.

Wyoming has turned into a novel of adventure. I like to compare it to Tom Sawyer being chased through the caves by Injun Joe. The Big Horn Mountains in Wyoming are comparable to the treacherous Misty Mountains in Tolkien's, The Hobbit. It started out more like The Men In Black, but it turned out to be similar to The Davinchi Code by Dan Brown.

I have always compared my writing style to Stephen King, but after looking back to some of my favorites I realize the books that have influenced my writing the most are the ones that hooked me a long time ago.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Wyoming a completed novel

It's finished.

Those words feel wonderful to me. I have completed my latest novel, Wyoming. It has turned out better than I could have ever imagined.


I disappeared during the final days--or was it months--of writing the final chapters of my book. I found that I really needed to dedicate myself more to the book, than putting up a post on my blog. You won't be disappointed, this is a fabulous novel.

What do aliens, Elvis, and God have in common? Find out in Wyoming!


The journey began a long time ago. I had an image of writing something about aliens years ago. I'm a fan of old horror movies, and one in particular always gave me goosebumps. For the life of me, I can't remember the name--some of those older movies kind of all mashed together into one in my head, but I loved them all no matter how corny they were.


I love visiting Wyoming. During one of my many drives out west, going through the desert areas and mountain regions of Wyoming with the gas pumps pivoting up and down, I imagined my story taking place. I am very pleased with the story, and I hope when you get the chance that you will as well.


By the way, I never thought of horror novels as being tear jerkers, but mine have evolved into something mixed with horror, adventure, and a love story that has brought a tear to my eyes on several occasions. I think this is what sets my books apart from so many others and I can't wait until my readers can get a copy of my book.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Vacation in the Ozarks of Missouri

Vacation, vacation, vacation. What better place to be than the Ozarks of Missouri to have an inspiring moment of writing. I was visiting my son recently down in Missouri when I noticed this sign posted on a vacant house. No trespassing. Violators will be shot. Survivors will be shot again. I did a double take and started to laugh, HARD. It could have been a joke, most likely it was, but it made me think before entering his land. I had a boat and docked it on the end of a pier. After seeing the sign, I decided it wasn't a very good idea. I walked around his yard, making sure I never crossed the property line.

Stories like these can give me some really funny ideas for writing. The image stuck with me. I imagined a man hiding inside an old abandoned house with a shotgun in his hands, waiting for the first person to invade his territory. Property rights are one of the oldest and most valuable things to own. People can become very territorial when someone is caught trespassing on their land.

When I returned home and started writing again, I found the perfect place to add this sign to my story, Wyoming. I had been stuck writing it—writers block, probably. I knew exactly what I wanted to write but I didn't exactly know how to write what I wanted to—if that makes sense. The vacation was good for me but seeing that sign gave me ideas and invigorated me to write something funny in my story—and I must admit, a little creepy too.

The chapter deals with a very bad man named Red, driving through an empty part of Wyoming. He carelessly drives his Hummer utility vehicle into the side of a barn and crashes—yes, I agree that it would be very difficult to crash a Hummer but it happened. Red starts to inspect his situation when he discovers the sign and can't help but laugh to himself. Before he can catch his breath, he notices an addition to the sign in red handwriting that says, Any remains will be fed to my dog. Red can't help but laugh with joy. Finally, he had found someone with a similar sense of humor.

I'm guessing this is how most people begin writing a story. A simple sign or image appears and from there, everything just expands into a short story or maybe even an entire novel. That's how it works for me anyways. Sometimes these images are hard to keep up with and can be lost as easily as they were found. I try to keep a small journal of most of these images. Some of them have blossomed into entire novels. Some of them are just beginning to evolve, while others like this one have only become a small part of the story.

Wyoming continues on after a short hiatus. I have been spending most of my summer reading and writing some other wild and crazy adventures, but now it's time to continue on with my story about a young man who has lost faith in everything he's ever believed in. I have a really good feeling that he's about to discover that not everything is bad in this world we live in and somehow that wheel of fortune keeps spinning around for all of us.