After a challenge, success is all the sweeter

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

And they’re off! Just this morning, writers in the 365-Day Indie Author Challenge have embarked on the journey of a lifetime as they write, finish, and publish their novels. I’ll be with them every step of the way, and I’m excited to see the stories that emerge from this year-long adventure.

If you would like to join us, the doors will be open for just another few days. The more voices and creative inspiration we have in our group, the better.

Even if you’re not a writer, you’ll find plenty to read when you join ChapterBuzz. Read published books, join the Fan Clubs of our authors, and give feedback to writers as they post new chapters. It’s a lot of fun, and it helps our authors!

This issue, meanwhile, is packed with literary talent—and, as it happens, on-air talent as well—and you are going to love what you find in our virtual pages:

Featured on our cover this month is Alan R. Warren, radio host and bestselling author. Born at a time when autism wasn’t very well understood, Alan faced challenges his peers didn’t as he came up in his career. “People always told me I would never be on radio because I wasn’t a good communicator,” he says, “and that I would never be able to write professionally.” Well, he proved them wrong on both counts, and in our interview, Alan talks to me about what first sparked his desire for a career in radio, the double standard he calls out in his new true crime book series, and the one feeling he needs to experience before he can sit down and write a story.

Then, horror author Kelly Florence wonders if society puts too much pressure on young people to succeed by an early age. “It shouldn’t matter,” Kelly writes, “how long it takes for us to accomplish our goals, as long as we get there. It shouldn’t matter at what age we get married, or start our dream career, as long as they are things we want.” Kelly’s piece also explores the meaning of happiness in different cultures, and how we can avoid stress and anxiety by not comparing ourselves to others—and take back our lives by not paying heed to the “social clock.”

Next, Meg Hafdahl, Bram Stoker Award–nominated author, puts in a good word for an art form that’s not as popular as it used to be: the short story. “The humble short story can often be overlooked,” Meg says, “especially as readers’ habits and tastes have changed over the decades.” In fact, novels were considered a lesser art form—even dismissed as a “feminine pursuit”—back in the pre-Victorian era, while the short story was the more versatile, more widely read format. Meg, whose career began, fittingly, with a short story, has written quite a few of them and assures us that she plans to write many more.

Finally, award-winning fantasy author Richard H. Stephens gives us a glimpse into his writing process, and it’s a lot simpler than you might think: he doesn’t outline. Nor does he world-build, create characters, or fret over magic systems. “In some circles, I am called a ‘pantser,'” he says. “It means I fly by the seat of my pants. Truth be told, I like to think I fly by the seat of my character’s pants.” The way Richard describes it, he’s merely tagging along and telling the story of what his characters are experiencing. Although he admits this approach doesn’t work for everybody, it saves him time and stress—and also prevents writer’s block.

When you get a few moments amidst the chaos of outdoor festivities, fix yourself an ice cream cone, kick back, and enjoy this month’s issue of Books & Buzz Magazine.

Happy reading,

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

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