The inspiration for novels is all around us

Timothy Pike, editor-in-chief
A Letter from the Editor

If you’re a writer, you already know the idea for a story could strike at any moment.

It could be sparked by something you saw on your way to work, a conversation with a colleague, or simply a lingering dissatisfaction with the status quo.

But no matter where it came from, the important thing is what you do with this flash of inspiration.

In that spirit, I’m thrilled to announce that our second-ever 365-Day Indie Author Challenge is now underway—a small group of writers who are embarking on a year-long journey to become published authors.

During the first month, we’ll learn how to take our rough ideas and organize them into a compelling first chapter that will send readers on a heart-pounding ride through the rest of the novel.

There is still time to register before the Challenge shuts its doors, so if you’re an aspiring novelist who has always wanted to write and publish a book—and sell it on your very own Amazon author page—then this is the year it happens.

For non-writers, I’ve got you covered. This month’s issue is a doozy! Let’s get right into it and talk about what you’ll discover in these virtual pages.

On the cover this month is Melissa Yi, emergency physician and award-winning author, who joins us for a fascinating interview where I ask her how her career path unfolded. “I’ve written ever since I held a pencil,” she tells me. “Reading and writing are two of my favorite things in the world.” Her two other favorite things? People and science. Melissa was able to combine these areas of expertise to pen a nine-book series of medical crime thrillers for us to enjoy. Get to know Melissa as she reveals how much of herself she sees in her main character, how she balances two demanding careers, and how she got to thinking about crime and Prohibition to inspire White Lightning, the latest in the series.

Next, award-winning author Richard Paolinelli notices that somewhere along the way, the fiction works he loved had changed for the worse. “The powers that be,” he writes, “decreed that readers of sci-fi and fantasy needed to be browbeaten. Suddenly, stories became angry.” In response, Richard has taken a different approach to his own writing. “All of my books and short stories are written for the reader to have fun reading them,” he says. Hear all about how Richard is putting the fun back into his favorite genres.

Then, although mystery author Robert P. French got the idea for his homeless ex-cop character, Cal Rogan, after witnessing real-life scenes of poverty and destitution, he soon realized he was making plenty of flawed assumptions about drug users and alcoholics. “Everything I thought I knew was wrong,” he says. “Clearly, I needed to do some research.” Well, he did the research, and discovered what he believes is the simplest fix for the ongoing addiction crisis: legalize drugs. Find out why Robert insists this is the best solution, controversial as it may be.

Finally, not long ago, award-winning author Edward Willett found himself wondering why writers write, and set about to find the answer. As it turns out, there are about as many answers to this question as there are writers. “On a personal level,” he says, “I write mainly because it’s fun.” As he explores the question of why humans turn to the written word to express themselves, Edward interviews some of his contemporaries, digs up quotes from legendary authors like J.R.R. Tolkien and Terry Pratchett, and muses about the topic with his alter ego on the podcast he hosts. See if you agree with some of the conclusions he reaches.

This is the time of year where the weather seems to change every day, so bundle up in your favorite heavy sweater and snuggle up inside—or slip into a pair of shorts and bask in the sun—and enjoy this month’s issue of Books & Buzz Magazine.

Happy reading,

Timothy Pike
Editor-in-chief, Books & Buzz Magazine

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