Trafford Publishing Author’s Corner would like to welcome Trafford author Alan J. Yates. Where does inspiration for writing stem from? Yates has led a decorated career which consisted of a great deal of writing, however, this career prevented him from finding the time to start writing fiction. As soon as he had retired he had the time, but like many of us, he suffered from the notorious writers’ block and the page remained blank… until a crucial piece of advice from a former writing mentor was recalled…
“My,” I once thought. “it is so easy to write! You just sit down at the keyboard (or, these days, you talk to your computer) and the words come pouring out. It’s a lot like conversation, but with oneself.” We are all “experts in the field,” as Moliere pointed out –– we’ve been speaking and writing “prose” all our lives!
I devoured the classics and then science fiction from the age of eleven. Then I spent decades writing for a living in the mass media and, it seemed, half my life writing academically. I first graduated in English and French Literature and then in Creative Writing.
Family and friends used to ask me “ Why don’t you write fiction, especially that science fiction stuff you’re always reading?” My excuse was that I never had time to write for myself. The next thing I knew, I was retired and was sitting, staring at a blank computer screen. Oh, I had tried to dabble in science fiction in University, with contrived endings and characters and development force-fitted to those denouements. It just didn’t work and I despaired. The page remained blank and then I remembered what one writing mentor had told me: “Write about what you know or have experienced!”
Now as one ages, short-term memory perhaps becomes a real problem but one is astonished at how fresh and detailed are the memories from one’s youth and childhood. One of my mentors and the subject of my doctoral dissertation, the late Canadian novelist, W.O. Mitchell, suggested we are all walking around with novels in our heads and only have to tap into this wealth of material. He called it “mining the sub-conscious notebook.” He warned, however, that it is not for the faint of heart.
Alan J. Yates’ Trafford Publishing Bibliography:
- Figs of the Imagination
- W.O. Mitchell’s Jake & The Kid: The Popular Radio Play as Art & Social Comment
- Turn Mill, Turn
- Mirror Images
- Butterfly Wings
To find out what eventuated from Alan J. Yates’ ‘mining,’ Trafford Publishing will return in a couple of days with part two of Yates’ two-part series. Don’t go too far! In the meantime, join us on Facebook. If you have a book you would like to publish, click here.