GUEST POST and GIVEAWAY
A Season Without Rain
by Joe Schwartz
A Season Without Rain is currently on tour with GMTA Publishing. The tour stops here today for a guest post by the author and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.
Jacob Miller is angry with himself, the world, and God. Life seems so unfair, so cruel, that he can’t imagine why anyone even tries. After having a nervous breakdown, selling his business, filing for bankruptcy, having a baby, and finding out he owes over twenty grand in taxes, he is hardly happy to be alive.
In the span of a year, Jacob will discover three very important things about life. Things can always be worse. There really is a God. And if you wait long enough anything can change.
A Season Without Rain explores that gray area between poverty and middle class life, the struggling underclass for whom there are no advocates. A powerful story told in a modern, everyday voice that will entrench readers in Jacob Miller’s black world of anger, hate, resentment, lies, and violence.
Jacob isn't a hero or villain; he's just an average guy doing his best to navigate life's obstacle course. Like many of us, some of his problems arise from bad choices while other things are out of his control. This could be any man's story.
Through the hardships, Jacob questions his decisions and his faith. He contemplates suicide and wonders if there is a point to all his struggles. We see his anger, his sadness, his desperation, and his hope. All this is done with unflinching honesty.
At the heart of Jacob's story is the issue of his role as provider, which many men will identify with. The traditional male role in a relationship is to provide for his family. When that is taken away, Jacob is left floundering. He's stripped of his pride and his purpose. And, like many men, he does not or cannot share his feelings of helplessness with his wife.
This story, like life, is both simple and complicated. And, like life, the happy ending is often a matter of perspective.
Guest Post by the Author
Are You A Writer?
There are probably a million good reasons to write. Could be the next Gone With the Wind is burning inside you or simply a story that you want to preserve for your children i.e., The Shack. To write a novel, something so good that it lives on to become something of a symbol, is a long and winding road. Only time will tell if you did it. In the meantime you should do your best and let it rest. Not everybody will write something great, but rest assured that there is no deeper satisfaction than having written a novel, to have put your hand to the plow and done something equal in accomplishment to single-handedly building a home or assembling a race car. This is a task for those with both talent and skill. A book, start to finish, could take years to write, up to a lifetime. This is not a something you do casually on weekends in between going to the beach and watching TV sports. It is something that robs you of your sleep without mercy or remorse. But what is the acid test? How can you unequivocally know if you got "it" whatever it is? I offer you the following three points to ponder.
1. There is only one you.
This is self-evident yet it is the most under-rated quality that popular writers fully understand. The trick is to find your niche, that quality of writing that first entertains you as creator and then organically finds an audience. Mark Twain and Stephen King couldn’t be two more different writers. While Twain is a snake charmer with words and Uncle Stevie is doing his damndest to scare the bejesus out you, the thing they have in common is that they both have their own, unique writing voice. There are many imitators but there is only one original.
2. You can speak English.
I didn’t know I was writer until someone finally told me, explained it to me. My theory was anybody could write. You can speak English, so why can’t you write it? The thing is writing is like dancing, or acting, or singing – everybody thinks they can do it. That is why I subscribe to the theory that a writer without readers is worthless. You must open yourself up to the world that is criticism by the most important, valuable critics a writer can ever have, readers. The greatest novel ever written will perish with its author if he fails to publish it. With a few clicks of a mouse anyone’s work can be in print today. The question is, do you have the guts to do it?
3. A story can change the world.
Sounds so simple, that it is almost cliché, but it is the truth. Revolutions have begun and wars have ended because writers have dared to put down their thoughts, an explanation of the world as they see it without trying to condone or excuse the conditions. I think immediately of George Orwell, a writer with unmatched vision penning manifestos like Animal Farm and 1984, that still reach into our social consciousness as a guidepost warning of what is all too possible when, as Edmund Burke said, "Evil flourishes when good men do nothing."
When I was a boy my mother used to tell me the bedtime story of Georgie the Monkey, in hindsight a blatant rip-off of Margret and H.A. Rey’s beloved Curious George. Still, it was the best thing my five-year-old mind had ever heard. To this day she laughs that I remember it, but despite its obvious foolishness, she can recall it word for word. The thing is her story lit the fire in me that burns today, to tell a story that will never be forgotten. And isn’t that what every writer wants, not to be a celebrity, but to be remembered always for writing one hell of a story?
About the Author
A St. Louis native, Joe Schwartz write exclusively about the Gateway City. He prefer the style of fiction deemed transgressive fiction. That is, his stories' protagonists generally find a solution to their problems through either illicit or illegal means. He personally prefers stories told through a criminal's point-of-view. It is never the crime that fascinates him so much as the motivation to do it and the terrible, almost predictable, outcomes to such actions. Just as he has an expectation of writing to be read, he believes that it is as important, if not more so, that the reader should have the expectation of being entertained as they read. Anything less is such a disappointment.
A Season Without Rain is Joe Schwartz’s first novel. His previous short story collections, Joe’s Black T-Shirt, The Games Men Play, and The Veiled Prophet of St. Louis, have been acclaimed vulgar as Bukowski and visceral as Carver.
"Life is short. Stories are forever." ~ Joe
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