Good Morning, Internet!
My name is Tom, and for reasons that elude me slightly, I have been given the entire day of Sunday here on The Art of Writing, every week, to do with whate’er I will.
Obviously having a whole day of the week to look after by myself is a huge responsibility, which I shall endeavour not to neglect. My first concern is that I might lose it. I would hate for our patron, the beneficent Mr. Mastgrave, to have to explain to everyone that their weekend was a day shorter because one of his new feature writers had lost Sunday somewhere down the back of a cushion. It hardly bears thinking about. Especially when Mr. Mastgrave has been gracious enough to go out on a limb and give me a regular spot based entirely on the strength of a recommendation from Selayna, another regular writer here with whom I’m sure you’re all familiar.
Selayna told Mr. Mastgrave about my modest talent as a writer whilst neglecting to inform him about how much of a scatter-brained loafer I am, and thus here I find myself. I am charged with entertaining you all each Sunday with short stories, excerpts from my longer projects, verbose and periphrastic musings about the noble craft of the storyteller, and perhaps the occasional review of what I’ve been reading. It is indeed an honour to have been asked. (Not an honor. Being British, I’m afraid that funny spellings and silent Us were a non-negotiable part of my esoteric contract with Mr. Mastgrave. Along with being paid entirely in Danish pastries for my services. As you can see, I drive a hard bargain.)
Selayna knows me from various online writing communities, where we’ve been writing together for years, but I was already a keen wordsmith years before we were acquainted, and a budding imagineer of fantastic worlds for years before that. What began as a passion for writing Star Trek fan fiction (and devouring Star Trek tie-in novels) developed into a general desire to write my own science fiction and fantasy stories, and – my sixteen-year-old self naturally assumed- get very rich doing it.
I have since tempered my expectations of the income of most professional authors, but I hope I haven’t tempered my determination to become one. Inspired by a strange bouillabaisse of authors including Neil Gaiman, Patrick O’Brien, Ernst Hemingway, and the late, great Sir Terry Pratchett, I am doing my humble best to write the first book in an epic fantasy series. I still get distracted every now and then by the lure of writing Star Trek fan fiction, or by other ideas which pop into my head and demand my attention, but I am making slow and steady progress on my book. I’ve written 18,000 words of my first draft, I’m going strong, and I’ll let you people know how it progresses! If pressed for a description about the overall concept, I sometimes say ‘Sharpe with elves’. If that sounds interesting, then I encourage you stay tuned.
We’ll really get cracking next Sunday. You can look forward to a small treatise on the depiction of violence in the fantasy genre, or a short story about an emperor who’s having trouble differentiating myth from reality. We’ll see which one I’ve managed to finish first!
Until then, my thanks again to Mr. Mastgrave for being kind enough to offer me this opportunity. And to all of the writers in the audience, I will sign off in the same way that I always do in conversations with my writer friends: WRITE WELL!