The First Chapter of Written in Silence

Happy 4th of July!

On this wonderful holiday where we celebrate freedom and the birth of the United States of America, I have some exciting news!  For the first time, I’ve put up a sample chapter from my YA novel Written in Silence, which I’m currently seeking representation for.

The novel has a very patriotic theme to it (though that isn’t apparent in the first chapter), so I’m happy to be sharing it with you today.  You can read the sample here:  Written in Silence – Chapter 1

You can read more about Written in Silence here: www.andrewronzino.com/books

I have done some test marketing for the novel in the age demographic it’s written for, and have gotten very positive feedback from everyone who has read the samples, including the inability to put it down.  So, please let me know what you think of it.

– Andrew

NaNoWriMo Journal 2014

NaNoWriMo Jounrnal 2014

For the past four years I’ve participated in NaNoWriMo, this year will be no different!  Starting November 1st, I’ll be keeping a journal of my experiences as I participate in the challenge.  The journal will not be here, but on my personal blog The Paradigm!  To read and follow along, please go to this link: greaterthanknowledge.wordpress.com

I hope to see you there!

– Andrew Ronzino

During the Down Time

In the world of writing, there seems to be a bit of down time.  You end up in waiting periods; waiting for feedback, waiting for agents to contact you, waiting for the next big project to come your way.  What do you do during the down time?

Write.

It’s always good to keep writing.  Even if it’s nothing serious and you’re just writing for fun.  While you’re waiting, don’t just sit there twiddling your thumbs, keep going, keep the skills alive.  Always be writing something!  A short story, a poem, a blog, a letter, a bill for legislation, just write something.

I don’t always follow this advice, but I should, so I’m speaking more to myself than anyone else here.

I end up having a bit of down time (with writing projects, I mean, I’m actually quite busy usually), but I also have a lot of other projects I could be working on in the meantime.  I could draft some new stories, or write up character profiles for said stories.  I believe a writer should always have some kind of project, even if it’s something just for fun.

We grow as writers by playing around, trying new things, experimenting, learning.  Heck, you don’t even have to write, you can learn more about writing.  You could do some studying, read books on writing, read some writing blogs, even listen to podcasts and seminars.  In other words, even in the down time, be moving forward.

– Andrew

Vacation!

I’m currently posting from Long Island, New York.

The Writer’s Digest Annual Conference has passed, and I was unable to attend, but I will do my very best to be there next year.

So far, my biggest writing decision while I’m on vacation has been whether or not to participate in NaNoWriMo this November or not.  After considering the matter, I believe I will take part in the challenge again.  This will be my fifth year involved in NaNo.  I’m excited for it.  I’ve already begun laying down the groundwork for the novel.

That’s all I have for this week.  I’ll leave you with some pictures from my vacation so far.

Tonight I’ll be enjoying a Yankees game.  Go Pinstripes!

I used to climb this rock all the time when I lived in New York.  Long Island Sound for the win.

I used to climb this rock all the time when I lived in New York. Long Island Sound for the win.

Rocky beach.

Rocky beach.

So relaxing!

So relaxing!

– Andrew

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WD Conference – Canceled!

Hello everyone!

At the beginning of the month, I mentioned that I would be attending the Writer’s Digest Annual Conference in New York City in the first week of August.  From there, I was going to visit family on Long Island for a much needed vacation.  However, due to a family emergency, I’ve had to cancel my registration for the conference.  I’ll still be going to New York, but all of my time will be spent on Long Island with my family.

Though it’s a bit upsetting that I won’t be able to make it to the conference, the good news is that this will give me more time to polish up my novel, Written in Silence, a little more.  I’m in the midst of getting it critiqued and editing it accordingly.  More on that another time.

I did want to attend this conference very much, however, my family is more important.  To me, missing it isn’t that big of a deal.  I’ll just go next year.  By then my novel will be fully critiqued, which will be a great thing.

I just wanted to make sure all of you were aware that I wasn’t attending the conference this year, this way, when I didn’t give you updates from my experiences there, you’d know why.  But, you’ll still get a post from me next week!

Have a wonderful day.

– Andrew

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Insanity Stories

I’ve been writing consistently since I was fourteen. I am now twenty eight, and through my years of writing short stories and novels, I have learned a few things. I don’t consider myself an expert in any way, but you don’t do something for fourteen years without learning something. One of these wonderful bits of insight is that writers are insane.

How so?

You’re really asking me how so? If you’re a writer, you should already know how insane we are, but I’ll humor you and fill you in on this little secret.

Most writers are naturally creative people, and many writers have different ways of working out their ideas. Some people outline obsessively. I’m talking about every single detail of their story is outlined in some way. Other people talk out the ideas that they have in their heads to work everything into a coherent thought. This is often done out loud and with a lot of pacing involved (I’m in this group of writers). Some writers stare at the blank page for hours waiting for something to happen, this either leads to brilliant stories…or a headache and a glass of pinot noir. Some just write until something good flows out, then they sift through the muck, looking for the diamond they know is there. There are about a million other ticks that writers have, but you get the picture, so I’ll leave it at that.

Does any of that sound sane to you? Over and over again doing the same thing? Keep on writing, and talking, and brainstorming until you finally have something to put down on paper? No! It’s insane. However, what comes out of all the insanity, obsessing, and quirks is a story, and a story is about as normal as normal can be. People have been telling stories since the dawn of time.  Well, okay, maybe not the first people.  There wasn’t much to tell…

First man: “So yesterday I realized I existed.”

Second man: “…And?”

First man: “That’s it.”

Second man: “Lame story, bro!”

First man: “Lame what now?”

Stories have always been around in some form or fashion. One of the most important bits of advice I can offer people who tell me they want to write a book is this: Tell a story. It doesn’t have to be an epic tome of grandeur, but make sure there’s a story to follow. Reach into the insanity that is the creative mind and pluck out a beginning, a middle, and an end, then craft them into a good plot. Look for some interesting characters or creatures. Create a world to set it in, whether it’s downtown New York, an alien planet, London in 1743, or a Middle Earth knockoff. Next, let your plot, characters, and world drive the story. Let go, and let the insanity take over. Write!

If you have a bunch of creative characters in a fascinating world, but no story, then your writing is going to be dull and boring. No one will want to read it because nothing is happening. The most interesting man in the world is still a boring person unless he’s doing something, or something is happening to him. Something needs to happen and the characters need to engage in the world that they live to experience the story they’re apart of.

A story is more than words on a page or screen. A story is an experience. Readers need to walk with you as you show the events that take place. They need to see it, feel it, smell it, taste it, and touch it. They need to bond with it, and feel like they’re going to walk away with something when they reach the last page.

To you, the writer, it’s insanity, especially the creating and writing part, but to the reader, it needs to be a story. Through the insanity, the story comes out. And let’s face it, the love of stories is why we enjoy writing in the first place.

– Andrew

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Reading Recommendation – Redshirts

I’m a huge fan of Star Trek, and before you ask, my favorites are The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine.  Not all of Star Trek is great though, there’s a lot of bad episodes (just watch some of SF Debris’ reviews and you can see for yourself), but there’s also a lot of great episodes that have made it on my “best episodes that ever aired on TV…ever” list.  Because of my love for Star Trek, there is an awesome book I would like to recommend to anyone who loves sci-fi, Trek, or comedy novels.

Redshirts

Redshirts by John Scalzi.

Summery (taken from Amazon.com):

Ensign Andrew Dahl has just been assigned to the Universal Union Capital Ship Intrepid, flagship of the Universal Union since the year 2456. It’s a prestige posting, with the chance to serve on “Away Missions” alongside the starship’s famous senior officers.

Life couldn’t be better…until Andrew begins to realize that 1) every Away Mission involves a lethal confrontation with alien forces, 2) the ship’s senior officers always survive these confrontations, and 3) sadly, at least one low-ranking crew member is invariably killed. Unsurprisingly, the savvier crew members belowdecks avoid Away Missions at all costs.

Then Andrew stumbles on information that transforms his and his colleagues’ understanding of what the starship Intrepid really is…and offers them a crazy, high-risk chance to save their own lives.

The Positives:

This novel is so much fun, the entire book is a joy to read.  It’s a brilliant story that shows the adventures of living on a Star Trek-like space ship but from the point of view of the redshirts, the extra, disposable crew members no one ever thinks about.  It’s great.  It’s very well written, and despite it being a comedy book, it has genuine moments that make you stop and think (especially if you’re a writer.  If you’ve read the book, you’ll know what I’m talking about).

The characters are memorable and fun to follow.  As you read the story, you begin to connect with them and really understand their plight.

That brings me to the comedy.  I haven’t laughed so hard while reading a book since I read The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxywhen I was a teenager.  All the comedy hit the mark perfectly, and if you’re familiar to Trek at all, it’s even funnier.  The pseudoscience that “fixes” everything, the apparently random (and absurd) death of lowly crew members, the dramatic way people talk.  This book pokes fun at all the stuff we love about Star Trek and other shows like it.

Oh, and the audiobook is read by Wil Wheaton (Wesley!), which is awesome.

The Negatives:

This book isn’t exactly family friendly.  It’s no where near A Song of Ice and Fire, but if you’re turned off by language, this book wont be for you.

The only real gripe I have with this novel is that it’s too short.  Now, please don’t misunderstand me, the novel tells an entire story, and nothing is really left out.  It’s very satisfying, but I still would have liked it to be a little longer.  Because I love the story universe Scalzi created, I want to see a lot more of it.

The Conclusion:

I recommend this book because of how enjoyable it is.  It’s fast paced, the writing is fantastic, the comedy is golden, and the codas at the end of the story really add some food for thought.  Check it out if you like comedy, Star Trek, or even just sci-fi in general.

– Andrew

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My Publishing Choice

I decided a long time ago that, when I published my first book, I was going to go the traditional publishing route with a publishing house.  It’s always been my desire.  Over the years, as e-readers became more popular, and self-publishing became more prominent, traditional publishing wasn’t the only way to get a successful book onto shelves anymore.  However, my desire never changed.  Traditional publishing is the way I want to go.

Over the years, I’ve had several people ask me about looking into self-publishing, and my answer has always been the same: “Yes I have, but it’s not what I want to do.  I want to be published by a house.”

My reason is simple.  It’s just want I want to do.  It’s my desire.

And I’m happy with that.

-Andrew

The Writer’s Digest Conference

In August I’ll be attending the Writer’s Digest Conference in New York City.  I’m really looking forward to it.  I think it’ll be a great opportunity for me as an author.  It’ll open doors, allow me to make some great connections and contacts, meet new people, and learn more about the writing process and the ins and outs of the industry.  I’ve been to a writing conference before, but it has always been my dream, besides publishing a novel, to attend the Writer’s Digest Conference, it’s the big one.  So, this year I decided that I’m going.

I’m going to be pitching Written in Silence to the attending agents and editors while I’m there.  I’m really excited what good things come from this conference.

If you’re going to be there, look me up.

-Andrew

My Inspiration

Someone on my Facebook Page asked me what inspired me to become an author.

When I was a kid, I loved to read and write.  I was always had a book in my hands, or typing up some story.  From an early age I had fallen in love with the idea of publication; I wanted to build worlds for readers like me to explore and experience.

My inspiration for writing is storytelling.  I’ve always loved good storytelling, whether it be in books, movies, or heck, even video games.  I love the conflict, struggle, and resolution of a good book.  I love character development and growth.  I love seeing new story worlds and learning about how they work.

I write because I love to build worlds.

I write because I love to tell stories.

I write because I want others to fall in love with books like I did when I was a kid.

I’ve been inspired by many authors, but I don’t want to write because of them.  I want to write because I love stories, world building, and watching the look in people’s eyes when they reach a really awesome part of a great book.  I want to see that in my own work one day.

My inspiration is the magic of writing itself.  When you write, you can be anyone, go anywhere, and do anything.  There is no limit to the imagination, and so there is no limit to story itself.

For writers: What inspires you?

For readers: Why do you read?

– Andrew

The Public Launch

I’m happy to say that the public launch of this site went very well!  I would like to thank Ben Crawford of In a Flash Graphics for his help with making this site a reality.

I have also launched a Facebook Page, so go ahead and like me there: www.facebook.com/AndrewRonzinoAuthor

Within a few weeks, I’ll be adding buttons to this site so access to my social media will be easier.

Thank you for making this public launch a great success.

-Andrew

You’re New Here? So am I!

Hello!  Though I’m not new to the whole novel writing thing, I am new to trying to run a website for myself as an author.  So, first things first:

Welcome to the website!  *Wipes forehead*  Well, that was easier than I thought it would be.

I’m planning on posting news relevant to myself as an author, as well as helpful tips I may have gathered along the way.  Or I may recommend a good read or something I found interesting related to the world of writing or books.  If you’re interested, I have a personal blog called “The Paradigm” that I run.  I only post there when I have something to say, so updates are sporadic.  You have been warned.  Here’s the link: The Paradigm

Either way, thank you for checking my site out.

-Andrew