My Name is Russ, and I Write Strange Things

I said strange things! Not Stranger Things! (Though, I totally could have time-travel channeled that 80’s genre mash-up goodness in my 2014 release, Crimson Son. Check out Charlotte’s character for confirmation…)

Before I get to my confessional, I want to thank everyone who has downloaded Empty Quiver during the Self-Publishing Round Table’s super Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and Horror Free eBook Giveaway. Last I checked, Empty Quiver is sitting at number 11 overall for single author collections due to this latest burst of activity. Much appreciated!

This means I’m about to have hundreds of confused readers with a finger hovering over the “1 star” rating and the other hovering above “5”.

Look, vote your conscience. We aren’t deciding the fate of the free world here. We aren’t handing a satchel full of nukes to a circus ringmaster with the complexion and substance of a Cheeto (shameless stole this comparison from Facebook). Drop whatever rating and get on with it.

Fact is, I write strange things.

The opening story to Empty Quiver is especially tough. A story about a speedster superhero (ala the Flash or Quicksilver) told from a shifting, quasi-omniscient point of view that finally reveals itself in the last section only to admit just how DAMN HARD it has been to follow said speedster…

The rest of the stories are more approachable and, arguably, I should’ve put them at the front. But I didn’t. Why?

Because I write strange things. If you’re going to stick around, I need you to get used to it.

Take Pilgrim of the Storm. Here we have a tale about a bug dude monk raised by humans in an isolated monastery. He breaks most of the “rules” of any given protagonist check list. Super alien and hard to relate to. Fairly passive and takes a while to get motivated. Utterly naive and unable to see at first WHY he should be motivated. People don’t READ that.

It’s too strange.

But I wrote it anyway.

I even wrote a short story recently with super-tropey characters. (A glum, downer dude and a manic pixie dream girl meet on a space station populated by mindless hordes of tourists and super-efficient, compelling AI staff.)

Why? Why would you do that? Why ignore all the advice in the sea of “How To Write” books spawned by a cottage industry of under-paid writers?

Well, turns out, I WRITE STRANGE THINGS. And rules? Those were meant to be broken.

If what I write doesn’t make sense to you, doesn’t entertain you, move on. It’s safe to say that in today’s market, there is a never-ending supply of writers to choose from. Nobody has time for books they don’t like.

But before you go, let me assure you, those reasons are there. What I really, really need are adventurous readers willing to explore those ideas with me.

The tropey characters on the space station? They’re taking part in a Taoist milieu which explores the dual nature of THINGS. The bug dude? He’s just weird. But likeable…for now…

Here’s to hoping you’re here to stay despite the strangeness.

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