In a nut shell, I’m a former teacher, communications director, best-selling author, llama farmer, soap maker, goat breeder and American Kennel Club Champion Australian Terrier owner. I’ve been with the love of my life for the past 27 years, and adore all things creepy with a dash of humor.
You can check out more about me and my writing at www.howardodentz.comHoward Odentz
People often ask me why I write. I think that’s a little like asking a fish why it swims or a bird why it flies. Writing is part of me. It’s in my blood. I’ve been writing ever since I could hold a crayon. As a matter of fact, I used that crayon to pen a little fable on the kitchen wall about the tiny creatures that lived behind the toilet paper roll in the pink hallway bathroom.
I was punished for so long I forgot what the sun looked like.
Red bottoms aside, sometimes I write to sort out my emotions. Other times I write because I can’t find anything good to watch on the zillions of channels currently offered on television.
Currently I’m deep into writing young adult horror. I don’t think I’m writing in the young adult space because I’ve jumped on the genre bandwagon with everybody else. It’s more that my voice in writing is perpetually that of a sixteen-year-old, slightly wise-cracking, teenaged boy which seems suited to the subject matter.
The good thing about the scary stuff that I write is that it is often funny, too. I have a slightly wry sense of humor, so I sometimes find inappropriate things amusing. I’m definitely not one who will laugh at a funeral, but you can bet I’ll be writing about the person who does.
In addition, I’m scared of everything so I feel qualified to know what scares you. The woods frighten me. The ocean is terrifying. Basements freak me out and dark barns are the absolute creepiest thing I can imagine. Even mundane things can be scary. Oranges are just fruit until you peel back the skin and see something staring back at you. Pencils are just writing implements until one of your characters murders another with one.
And don’t get me started on children.
All that aside, I write for the passion of writing and the positive reviews from people I don’t know who encourage me to keep producing more. I write for the possibility that I can make a difference to someone out there because of my writing.
I write because I have to.
You should, too.
With that being said, here is my advice to new fledgling authors out there:
Be true to yourself in your writing. Never write for others—write for yourself. Never compromise what you think is a good piece of work because others say it’s not saleable. Never, ever, ever give up. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither is a portfolio of writing. Be in it for the long haul even if, at the end of the day, your mother is the only person who ever reads your stuff.
When you are old and gray, you want a shelf in your house filled with your writing so you can say, “I did that. I was here and I created all of that.”
You won’t have that if you quit.