Meeting Scott.

When I met him, it was by chance in December of 1940 in a quiet bar on Sunset in LA. I can still remember it as clear as if I were looking square into those energy filled blue eyes right now.

He was a bit too shiny for the place, even Hollywood had the everyman’s bar, but no one seemed to pay him much attention. It was as though he was part of the furniture. He belonged there.

I slid onto a stool as Eddie walked up to take my order. “What’ll you have? Bit early for you isn’t it?”

“Just a beer today, Eddie. I got a date later.”

Bushy brows above coal black eyes rose and tobacco stained teeth showed between thick lips. “Bring her by here. I’ll set you up nice.”

I smiled thanks, but didn’t commit to anything. Figaro’s Bar was fine for a few with the boys on a stag Friday night, but a dame didn’t belong here.

I picked up the mug of amber liquid and took a sip. My smile was the show of appreciation Eddie had waited for. He was one of the best in the business. He remembered what people liked, and I liked my beer warm. You can’t taste an iceberg. If I wanted something cold, I’d have asked for milk. A smile of appreciation meant a return customer, worth more than a tip. Not that he’d ever admit that.

Leaning against the bar, I checked the mirror that ran above the length of bottles and glasses. I didn’t see any of the boys around to talk with. That’s when I saw him. Like I said, he was shiny, shiny on the outside of a worn out inside. He had pages of paper in front of him and the glass he had wasn’t for beer.

“Guy’s a writer,” Eddie said, following my eyes, “comes in here round this time every day. Says it helps him to, how does he put it . . . “escape the fortress of sterility and stagnation and discover life anew.” I asked if it was the wife, he said she wouldn’t be caught dead in here. I get the feeling he wishes she would be caught dead somewheres else.”

I didn’t like the chuckle Eddie gave. Maybe it was the amusement in his eyes. He thought he was being funny. Death wasn’t something I played around with, even in jest.

Writers were strange people. They could make you believe things by using words and nothing else. It was like Houdini without the tricks or Beatty without the whip and chair. Everything was laid out in front of you plain as day to see, but you still got fooled. And they somehow got us to buy words. Words we could get anywhere else.

No film or sound effects, just words, and you would swear you heard explosions, music, and you felt the girl in your arms and smelled the perfume as you kissed her. You got all warmed up while reading scenes you’d never see in a movie in a hundred years.

I saw this as a chance to find out how it all worked. Normally I wasn’t the interrupting kind of guy, but he looked like he was the type that might not mind. And if he said no, then I could move on.

He saw me coming. I guess it’s hard to miss me, being a big six footer with red hair. Hollywood wasn’t overrun with my type at that time, but I wasn’t ever mistaken for Leslie Howard or Spencer Tracey. One I would have socked you for comparing me to, and the other I’d pay you for the compliment.

He laid his pencil down about the time I reached his booth. “Is there something I may help you with?”

Up close, I could see the shiny wasn’t the polish of culture, but a paleness he had. He was paler than any man I’d ever met outside a funeral parlor.

He did have class, and some rubbing elbows with culture was obvious. The man was educated for sure. Better, even more than the people I met though my work, and I met a lot of people up and down the money line.

“Eddie said you were a writer,” I said, looking down at the pages in front of him, “and I wanted to ask you something.”

He smiled and leaned back stretching his shoulders. “Of course, have a seat and ask away. I believe my fingers need a rest, and I might even find within this,” he tapped his temple with his index finger, “quickly dimming mind of mine an answer, if I have one left. A writer knows very little about writing. He’s either always too busy in the middle of it to think about it, or to busy criticizing someone else’s work as beneath his own to actually know what writing is all about.”

I slipped into the booth. “So, how do you do the magic that you do with words? How do you take something so simple and turn it into something people, thousands of people, will breathe heavy over rushing to turn the page?”

“By being a whore.”

That wasn’t what I was expecting. “A what?”

He emptied his glass and signaled to Eddie before answering. He laughed. “My apologies, an old joke between an even older friend of mine and I. Firstly, there is no simple thing in this world to write about.” The blue eyes stared down at his hands, laced before him on the table.

He squinted his eyes a moment before picking up his pencil and slowly began to turn it between the fingers of both hands. “How many ways may one describe a blade of grass? What about being in love? No author, no author worth being called as such, would ever allow himself to say so simply his character is in love, unless he has spent the first 300 pages of his 400 page manuscript giving his audience the truth of it in his actions and begin. The admission of being in love is for the benefit of the all too knowing flower he’s been chasing after.”

“To be a success as a author? Write with your heart, put your life into your characters and lay yourself bare upon the page without fear or shame. That is art. That is being an author. If you want to eat and survive as a writer, add sex and crime, the violence and lies the public wants to read about. Add the downfall of the proud and successful man in favor others. Pride goeth before the fall, and after the fall rises the bank account. Follow those rules, and you will grow ever larger in the land of film and camera. You will never be able to call yourself an author. You will be a writer, just as the person assigned the obituary page is a writer for the Times.”

I remained silent. In under two minutes, the illusion I had of a writer, or was it an author, had evaporated like a left open bottle of gin. I don’t think I’d ever heard anyone sound so bitter and passionate about something all at the same time. “Then why do it at all if you hate it so much, if it puts you through this?” I pointed to the glass as Eddie set another one filled to the rim with ice and something too clear for midafternoon drinking alone.

“I could no more hate writing than hate my wife. My distaste is for the need of the graven green images upon paper. Image is everything in this land.” He held out his arms to encompass what I thought must’ve been all of Hollywood, but might have been the whole country. “Money ruins creativity, art. Its purpose is to create demons and evil. It creates enemies of friends, jesters of genius.”

“Then write what you want and to hell with them all,” I said, staring at his drink, not able to look into his eyes. They were full of life and anger. Maybe it wasn’t anger, but it was something. I feared the electricity would leap across and electrocute me on the spot. That’s when I noticed the bubbles in his drink.

A smile spread across the handsome face and the worn and frayed interior of the man inside disappeared. “I have too many responsibilities to completely alienate those who sign checks. I knew what I was doing when I became a writer instead of an author. Being an author . . . you become famous after you die, and people realize the genius of your prose and storylines and plots. To make a living until you die, you write for the magazines or for studios who then bastardize your work to beyond recognition. You copy yourself and repeat the process, repeatedly. What works once will work again. I continue to write for myself, for after my death’s success.” He laid his hand flat on the pages in front of him.

I shook my head. I couldn’t understand why stay in such a business. “Looks to me like this job would wear you down, but instead, with that fire you’re showing, you look like you’re still enjoying it. Why not try something else?”

The man stared at the glass on the table, an index finger circling the rim. “You need to find the energy to keep going in any business . . . the purpose. Where do you discover the inexhaustible fount of will power to keep going for anything? Some think my fountain is found in this.” He picked up the glass and took a sip.

“A glass of soda?”

He set the glass back down and looked at me. The smile breaking the mood again. “Very observant of you. For years, until perhaps a year ago, this would have been filled with gin, no ice. I imagine it wasted more of my years of authorship than any other contributing factor. Looking back, I escaped being a success early on. Have you ever ridden on top of a taxi in New York City?”

My beer stopped half way to me mouth. “You’re kidding, right?”

“With enough gin inside of you, or other inebriates available, you’ll do anything and be famous by morning. Now, I find the ability to be an author while in peace. Peace is a selfish desire in a city of constant motion and a world of responsibility.”

I thought about that one a second. It was beyond me then, but as time passed, I grew to understand it.

He pointed his pencil at me. “To the subject of energy when faced by time after time of breaking your personal contract, your oath with yourself, never to be a writer again to make a living, I have one thought that comes to mind. Vitality shows in not only the ability to persist but the ability to start over. I am the king of starting over.” He stared into my eyes and this time I couldn’t let go.

“Hey, Scott, telephone.” Eddie’s voice echoed in the quite bar. I almost jumped.

“Pardon me for a moment,” Scott said sliding out from the booth.

As he went to the phone, I glanced over at the pages he’d been working on. Across the top of one, sticking out from the stack was scribbled The Love of the Last Tycoon. Maybe it was going to be a movie or something. I could see Clark Gable in something with a title like that.

Scott hurried back to the table. “My apologies, but I must rush out.” He gathered the pages into a stack, and shoved them into a leather satchel. “It completely escaped my mind about a movie premiere I am to attend tonight.”

“Oh, which one?”

“It’s a Columbia picture with Rosalind Russell and Melvyn Douglas. I believe the title is This Thing Called Love or some such. My companion is to write about it in her column.”

He reached out one hand and I stood taking it. “Nice to have met you,” Scott said.

“You to, hope you keep that vitality going. Oh, and have a Merry Christmas.”

“You as well.” He smiled, turned, and headed for the front door. Vitality was in his steps if not in the color of his skin. How a man could have lived in Hollywood and have been so sickly white was beyond me.  

I guess that vitality thing goes for people like me too. I take a hit but I keep coming back to be hit again or maybe dodge the punch next time. Too bad you can’t know where the punch is being thrown from every time.

Setting my empty mug on the bar, I fished into my pocket. “Scott took care of you,” Eddie said.

“You’re kidding?”

“No, he’s a good guy, especially when he’s not around those society types. He likes being a normal guy. I don’t treat him like nothing special except keeping people out of his business when it gets crowded in here. Not that many people bug him anymore. Stars fade after a while.”

“Was he in the movies?”

“Nah, he was a hot shot author. He was big time. The biggest.” Eddie stepped away to the cash register and came back. “Here, you can borrow this. And I mean I want it back.” He pointed at my chest like he was aiming a pistol. “He signed it for me and everything. Got it?”

I did. I looked at the cover.

The Great Gatsby

~~~~*~~~~

“Vitality shows in not only the ability to persist but the ability to start over.” F. Scott Fitzgerald (September 24, 1896 – December 21, 1940)

 

Fitzgerald was living in Hollywood with gossip columnist Sheilah Graham, when he died the morning after attending a movie premiere with her. His wife, Zelda, was living in various asylums in the Carolinas at the time due to schizophrenia. She had even attempted to jerk the steering wheel out of Scott’s control, which might have killed them both. Their granddaughter says despite what some say about her grandmother being misdiagnosed, her mother, Scottie, the only child of Scott and Zelda, said Zelda was indeed insane.


 

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Amber Wake: Gabriel Falling by Ronovan Hester on Amazon.com

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@RonovanWrites

 © Copyright-All rights reserved by ronovan hester 2016

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The Tour! Which one have you missed?

15 Stops with 15 Friends, Bloggers, and Authors. Click and discover more about me and my book Amber Wake: Gabriel Falling now on Amazon.

Would you like to join the list of hosts? There is a form at the bottom or an email address. Take your pick. I love to write and share, and not just to get my book before people that may not know me. Sharing my experiences writing, my life, my advice from the view point of a teacher, reviewer, interviewer, historian, blogger, poet, writer, and more. Throw in my favorite view point, that of a the father of the most talented, the smartest, and the unfortunately a lot like me in the personality department … 11 year old son who I call ‘B’ online. People ask me does B stand for Billy, Bob, Bradley. No, it stands for … wait for it … Boy. I am so original I hurt my funny bone I left back in the hospital in 2013.

Once again, visit the sites below and support their blogs as a thank you for helping me, and if you want to help as a host, check out the bottom. Um, bottom of the page that is.

Much Respect

Ronovan

Stop #1

12/19/2015 with UK Author Stevie Turner: 20 Questions!

Stop #2

2/10/2016 with American Blogger and aspiring Author Colleen Chesebro: Silver’s Coming Attractions Review Included

Stop #3

2/10/2016 with UK Author Sue Vincent: How to Create a Character … and a brand new book!

Stop #4

2/12/2016 with UK Author Ali Isaac: The Friday Fiction: Featuring Ronovan Hester and PS Bartlett TWO Excerpts Included

Stop #5

2/13/2016 with UK Blogger Hugh Roberts: How to be a Great Guest Blogger

Stop #6

2/14/2016 with UK Book Cover Designer and Author Supporter Chris Graham: Guest Author Spotlight

Stop #7

2/15/2016 with Author H. Schussman: Interview

Stop #8

2/15/2016 with Author UK (Sort of) Author Sally G. Cronin: New Book Fanfare: Amber Wake: Garbriel Falling

Stop #9

2/15/2016 with American Photographer and Blogger Michelle Lunato: Fellow Blogger Publishes Book-An Interview

Stop #10

2/17/2016 with Vanessa Rodriguez: How to Create a Man for Romance Short Excerpt Included

Stop #11
2/19/2016 with Spanish and UK Author Olga Núñez Miret: New Book Amber Wake- Collaborations and More Short Excerpt Included

Stop #12

2/19/2016 with American Author Jeanne Bannon: Meet Ronovan Hester Author  Short Excerpt Included

Stop #13

2/20/2016 with South African Author Jo Robinson: Ronovan Hester Shares Advice on Writing Collaboration-Preliminary Agreements  Short Excerpt Included

Stop #14

2/21/2016 with American Author Vashti Quiroz-Vega: 10 Questions with Ronovan Hester

Stop #15

2/26/2016 with Author Debra Mauldin: Amber Wake: Gabriel Falling Excerpt Included

If you are interested in hosting a guest blog for Amber Wake: Gabriel Falling, please email to ronovanwrites (at) gmail (dot) com. If you have a certain topic you are interested in, please include in your email. Also, where do you think your audience is mostly from?

OR

FILL OUT THE FORM BELOW.

10 Questions for Ronovan Hester

An enjoyable time with Author Vashti Quiroz-Vega. Please click through and support her blog.

Vashti Quiroz-Vega

The Writer Next Door

Hello everyone! I have a treat for you today. I’m an avid reader and self proclaimed bookworm and to me as well as others like me it is always fun when a new, intriguing book is released. Do you enjoy fascinating stories about pirates? Well then you’ll love The Razor’s Adventures Pirate Tales by P.S. Bartlett. I have featured P.S. Bartlett and her books on this blog and you can check out that post here.

Today’s focus will be on the wonderful and talented Ronovan Hester since P.S. Bartlett’s recent installment in The Razor’s Adventure series, Amber Wake: Gabriel Falling is co-authored by him. This is not your typical pirate story since Ronovan puts his love of History and his 20+ years of writing experience to use in his debut Historical Adventure set in 1705 England, American Colonies, and Caribbean.

Amber Wake-Ronovan Hester-pirates

Ronovan’s Bio:

Ronovan Hester is a writer living near Athens…

View original post 1,783 more words

Patience, more than a virtue.

“What I like in a good author is not what he says, but what he whispers.” Logan Pearsall Smith

What I interpret my quote author as talking about is patience. Patience within the book begins with patience with the writer.

Writing fiction is an interesting career. We take our imaginations, add a touch of our lives, and pray readers like the results. For me, breathing my personal self into a character gives me purpose for writing. If I care about a character enough to care about what happens to him, I’ll take the time to add layer after layer to give that character depth and bring it to life.

I rarely bash over the reader over the head with something in my writing, be it a flash fiction piece, or my debut novel, so when I do give a big action scene or emotionally charged scene, it has impact. The rest of the time, I like to build upon each previous quality or scene to give the depth I mentioned before. My goal is to create a character in which readers can feel connected.

It can take time to build up to where you want to go, but don’t rush in or else you miss great opportunities to give your readers a rich experience. In a weekly fiction prompt I host, I encourage the participants to take their time. I believe some feel the prompt is a race to the finish. For some, it is an escape and a way to have fun. For others, they want to learn and hone their skills as writers.

Patience, not giving in to time and the pressure it can make one feel, is a major secret to success. I am a fast writer. On one hand, that is a great advantage, and on the other, it is a huge obstacle. Writing so fast means I think I am ready to move to the next draft of a book.

How I keep myself sane and patient is by having another project waiting, and always another one at some point in the process ready to continue. I write articles and blog about writing and being patient and give tips on the stages of a book process.

The article writing is an important tool for me. I must walk myself through the process in order to share with my readers. Every writer needs reminding sometimes.

This has been a little reminder to all of you today to be patient and you will finish that dream book of yours someday, and it will end up just the way you want . . . on the market with your name on the cover.

Logan Pearsall Smith Quote

 © Copyright-All rights reserved by ronovan hester 2016

Michelle Lunato interviews Ronovan Hester of Amber Wake: Gabriel Falling and @RonovanWrites.

How did you start blogging?

Just over two years ago, I had an accident in my home. I was walking down the hall one moment, and the next thing I remember I’m in the hospital. I don’t remember the walking down the hall part, but that’s where they found me. Migraines have always been a problem of mine and I had a bad one that morning. I fainted or passed out, got dizzy, something happened; hit my head on about three surfaces before hitting the floor. I was somehow able to hit the speed dial on my cell phone that I always carried in my hand and help was on the way.

From that accident, I was no longer able to work, and in my need for an intellectual outlet I ended up blogging. Sometimes it hasn’t been so intelligent, but it’s been fun for the most part.

I see that some authors have blogs and others don’t? As a blogger and author, what advantage does blogging give you?

Any writer these days needs to do his or her own promotion. That is, unless they are already established authors. Even signed to a publishing deal must do promoting to some degree. The biggest promotion one has in selling their book is word of mouth. One friend tells another about your book. That friend enjoys the book and tells another.

Although I never started out blogging to promote anything, I had nothing to promote at the time, I have a small picture of my book cover at the bottom of each of my posts/articles. I haven’t been over the top about promoting the book. I’m excited but I don’t want to use my friendships and trusts I’ve developed like that. Yes, I want my friends to buy the book and maybe make it a bestseller wherever possible, but my main goal is to make my 11-year-old boy proud and he can say his daddy is a bestselling author. If not, then he can say his daddy is a published author.

Click HERE for what else she asked.

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Michelle Lunato

H. Schussman Interviews Ronovan Hester

 

I was honored to be interviewed and reviewed by

H. Schussman

Author of El Tiburon

Author H. Schussman

Now for the beginning of her interview of me.

.

I’ve been looking forward to this interview, Ronovan. Your constant help to new aspiring authors has earned you a place among the leaders in the literary world. It’s a pleasure to interview such a great guy, but I have to say… You are so normal and approachable. All of us are forever in your debt and are looking forward to getting to know you a little better.

Ronovan background-image-new

So, let’s get started:

Heidi:
What genre do you write?
Ronovan:
Historical Fiction seems to be my natural leaning. Although, I have been working on a Southern Contemporary Romance for a while now. For the most part history finds its way into my thoughts. I have several manuscripts that deal with something to do with the past.

Heidi:
When did you start writing?
Ronovan:
I guess it’s been at least 20 years now, but the real sit down and do it part has been the last few years. That’s when I began to pay more attention the craft of writing itself, in how to tell a story the right way.

Heidi:
What are you working on now?
Ronovan:
I’m working on the Southern Romance I mentioned. I also have a YA Historical Adventure I go to when my brain needs a rest from the Romance. The YA book is one I wrote in the present but it’s gone back and forth between past and present in the idea stages. The manuscript is complete in the present version but I want to change it.

Heidi:Amber Wake: Gabriel Falling
Who is your favorite character in your stories?
Ronovan:
In the book I just released, Amber Wake: Gabriel Falling, Captain Gabriel Wallace is my favorite for various reasons. I also like a character named Gimby, he’s the helmsman for Wallace’s ship and has a matter of fact way about him people can’t help but like.

Click HERE for the rest of the interview PLUS Author H. Schussman’s 4.5 Review of Amber Wake: Gabriel Falling

Ronovan Hester on how to create a character…and a brand new book! for @SCVincent site.

http://scvincent.com/2016/02/10/ronovan-hester-on-how-to-create-a-character-and-a-brand-new-book/

Ronovan Hester is a familiar face around here… many know him through his Lit World Interviews site, as well as for the weekly writing prompts he hosts on his own blog, Ronovan Writes, including the Haiku Challenge. He is an indefatigable supporter of Indie writers and reviewers.

Lately Ronovan has embarked upon a new adventure and, with P.S. Bartlett, author of the Razor’s Adventures Pirate Tales, has just launched a new book: Amber Wake: Gabriel Falling… and to celebrate the launch, there is a chance to win a Kindle Fire too…

Amber Wake

First, I wish to give a big thank you to Sue Vincent for time on her site for my first ever book blog tour. Second, how to come up with something to write about for author Sue Vincent’s blog in regards to my own book? That’s like asking Sylvester Stallone to teach an art class for the constituents of Rembrandt. I can slap some words on paper that can look decent, but are nowhere near as glorious as a true master’s work.

Here we go anyway. Get the Donuts, Doritos, or Jammie Dodgers out. Pour the milk, coffee, or tea and let’s see how this turns out. (Yes, I know the ‘ugh’ is missing in donuts. That led to a very long fiction series I exchanged with another writer.)

How to Create a Character

The main character of my novel is Captain Gabriel Wallace of the Royal Navy in the year 1705.

First, a little background to Amber Wake: Gabriel Falling, the Historical Adventure novel I co-wrote with PS Bartlett. This is the prequel to all the other books in PS Bartlett’s series of The Razor’s Adventures Pirate Tales. The Tales encompass the adventures of her main character Ivory Shepard, a young lady from Charles Towne in the Colonies who we see through her current trilogy learning to be and becoming a pirate captain. There were lady pirates during the Golden Age of Pirates. Ivory’s first appearance is in The Blue Diamond: The Razor’s Edge, when she is a captain of her own small fleet of sorts. The book is currently the chronological last book in the series, but not the last one planned by a long shot.

After reading The Blue Diamond, becoming friends with Bartlett and many discussions about everything in the world, and brain storming so many things, I found myself creating these characters and histories that feed into those books. Of course, Bartlett took the original draft and added her scenes and touches to fit where she needed things to lead. Thus, what you see is not exactly that original manuscript. It’s about 95% original storyline, I would say.

From Discussions to Creating

How did I create a man who would become a pivotal character in the development of future world of The Razor’s Adventures?

There is a key word in that question above … pivotal. This man had to be someone of certain character and knowledge in order to fulfill his future purposes. The first name of a pirate, the hair color, and the eye color were the things I had to work with. From there, Bartlett allowed me to create a very important book in her Ivory Shepard world while she began working on her Ivory Shepard prequel trilogy of ….Click for the Rest of the Article on SCVincent.com.