Why are humans so violent? Both to other nations, their own society, and each other inside closed doors? Surely, we don't miss the distant past when our species had to fight to survive.
But, I'm not going to carry on with that line of thought.
The creative drive appeals to me more. Art, dance, and writing. Novels in particular.
I haven't sold a novel for months. I write full time and the lack of sales causes me deep pain. Of course, this is nothing compared to the people suffering, dying and fleeing their homes all over the world. But in my unique section of the planet, it's disheartening, especially since I spend a large part of my day researching and writing this daily blog, and talking about my novels on social networks.
My novels are either set in the present with a bit of fantasy/paranormal involving struggles between good and evil in the Moonstone series. Or the dark teen Higher Ground series when humans revert to primitive days after the Great Flood. The people in all my stories are well defined and understandable, and though some start out flawed, most end up redeemed.
You might have noticed that as an author, I use news stories in my fiction. The way I do this is with the medium of visions. In the Moonstone series, Liliha wears and ancient Egyptian ring that grants her visions. A short excerpt from the fourth, unpublished novel in the Moonstone series, Ever Changing Sea will show you how this happens.
Light glinted from the asterism caused by a tiny fault inside the blue stone—a piece of stardust, caught at the beginning of the Earth's creation.
Over the years, the ring had given her glimpses into other people's lives in the manner of a crystal ball, but deeper and more direct in the form of visions. After a short trip between her location and theirs, she could see out of other people's eyes and read their thoughts as if they were her own. She never knew when she'd be called or where she'd arrive.
The two cuts in one side of the pure gold shaft hinted at the cruel past. A shiver of apprehension rippled over her. When experts at the British Museum in London had interviewed her, she'd learned of the ring's link to ancient Egypt. They'd given her a copy of the papyrus showing Lilihaffertiti, the last God's Wife of Amun who wore the ring. The picture now decorated the hall at her cottage.
Liliha slid the ring onto the fourth finger of her right hand and straightened.
Maybe she'd moved too fast. Her back didn't hurt, but she felt strange inside.
The discomfort changed to a queasy sensation, which alerted her to the familiar tug of an impending vision. Perhaps the act of sliding the ring over her finger had acted in the way of rubbing Aladdin's magic lantern. But this was real. No fairy story.
Black dots appeared before her eyelids. In the next breath, she inhaled the sweet perfume of lilies. A whirling tunnel spun her away. Flashes of color revolved in a blur of motion. Patterns shaped and reshaped in twists and swirls. A deep boom and roar resembling the hum of an industrial air conditioner rang in her ears. Spinning faster and faster, she tumbled inside the kaleidoscopic passageway toward another place.
* * * *
I'm flying again. My breath catches, although such a thing can't happen when my body's not here. Penetrating the blur, I scan a strange room. I can't make out the details, but after a few seconds, the veil lifts. The way I view the scene reminds me of peering into a telescope. Details come into focus at the center of my gaze, but the edges are blurred. Although the experience is not new, I take a moment to adjust. Taking care to maintain balance despite the familiar vertigo, I swing my gaze around the room and concentrate until objects solidify.
Why do some novels do well, while others never take off? It's not the quality of writing. Some writers of the best-sellers have poor quality skills. Maybe it's the plot. Violence, sex and fantasy appeal to mankind's basic instinct to fight, indulge in orgies and escape their mundane lives into imaginative scenarios.
I read recent advice to online business bloggers to ask their customer what they want. So that's what I'll do.
Do you care if the novel is well written?
Is the plot the most important thing?
Do you want to love the characters, warts and all?
What do you want to read about?