I apologize if I’ve shied away from social media lately. I have been working on a few editing projects lately—ones I am quite proud of. The first I’ve mentioned here. It’s an anthology that’s been over a year in the making—Freedom Forge Press’s Forging Freedom Anthology. You can read all about it here.
In short, it’s an anthology featuring thirty-five stories from around the globe—fiction and nonfiction featuring freedoms lost, sought, found, and won. I’m proud that the press even earned a review from Michelle Malkin, who urges readers to “share these stories.”
And she’s right. Freedom is what makes humans, human.
It got me thinking. You may have noticed that most writers have a “thing.” A theme or a type of character, something common running through all or most of their work. Once you “crack” their style, you sort of know what to expect from their future works. I’ve been thinking about branding myself as an author—as of now I’ve dabbled in middle-grade corgi fiction, adult horror, light sci-fi and time travel, young adult, and more. I enjoy writing all of it, and I haven’t been too serious about finding an agent yet. But the more I write, the more I realize something. The stories I’m most passionate about contain my “thing.” It’s the “thing” I’ve been trying to capture since I first started writing (my stories were horrible, but the themes were there). My “thing”—the element of my stories that makes my characters tick—is the struggle to regain freedom that is lost or dwindling.
In For Whom My Heart Beats Eternal, my time-travel collection, humans are contradicting the rules of time to find true freedom to be with someone a generation away. In Faulkner’s Apprentice, protagonist Lorelei is fighting a situation that has locked her to a predetermined fate—and her undying spirit to fight that is what drives her through the story. Many of my short stories feature protagonists up against oppressive bad guys or oppressive societies. Even in Corgi Capers, Adam Hollinger refuses to accept the things adults tell him without investigating them on his own—often proving the adults wrong. My upcoming young adult novel features a protagonist who refuses to give in to social pressures despite an impossible situation, staying true to what makes her unique and valiant.
So as I continue to consider branding myself as an author and begin seeking an agent, I’ll continue contemplating that theme—freedom, my “thing”—and consider the proper genre and age range to communicate my ideas to the world.
In the meantime, I’m working on another editing project, a novel by new author David Bagwell, which is soon-to-be-released by Freedom Forge Press. More on that in a future post.
Until then, stay free!