Blog Tour Stop: George Elder

George Elder, a fellow writer, wrote a book that looks to be a fascinating read. My Kindle has no shortage of material to keep me reading well into the next month, but what’s a little more? :)

George stopped by Improvisations on Reality to sound off about the personal influence that goes into his writing. We all have it: that teacher who encouraged us, that significant other who always inspires us to do something, that one life-changing event – or simply, as in George’s case, a series of events and strength of spirit.

I am delighted to host him on his blog tour.

Read on below the fold, please.

I have a very eclectic work and personal history—from college teacher, custodian, upper-
level scholar, drug addict, weight lifting coach, bouncer, and much more. My lifestyle included
hedonistic excesses and reckless physicality, the costs of which have come home to roost.
My eating, drinking, and drug use were the stuff of local legend, and as a result I suffer from
heart trouble, diabetes, high blood pressure, and arteriosclerosis. Heavy weight lifting and
other extreme activities led to several collapsed discs, lots of torn up joints, broken bones,
and advanced arthritis.

On top of all that, I developed Multisystem Atrophy (MSA), a primary degenerative
neurological order that has no known treatment or cure. However, I doubt MSA will kill me.
Indeed, I was VERY lucky to have survived my last heart attack and am acutely aware that
every day is precious. Hey, it’s all borrowed time from here on end. That’s why I’m writing like
crazy, having completed six books in less than a year. There is no time like the present when
one doesn’t have much of a future! Ho, ho, ho! Ah, life is a hoot! Indeed, I’ve never felt more
alive than now, and my only regret is all the time I wasted getting high.

I was a successful writer and scholar before embarking on a retail sales venture that
devoured eight years of my life in mind-numbing tedium–and very long work hours. I had
published numerous articles, some in magazines with over a million readers. My previous
writing addressed nonfiction health-related issues for the most part, and I wanted to embark
on something more meaningful. Granted, it’s late in the game to take on a new career, but the
challenge doesn’t worry me. I’m free of most concerns, and am highly motivated to do what I
can while I can. How long I can be active is an open question!

Sci-Fi offers me the possibility to explore subjects I could never undertake before. Indeed,
the adventures within Child of Destiny allowed me to subtly explore philosophical issues that
I find compelling. For example, we all develop ideas about who and what we are, as in what
defines us as an Italian or Scott, Christian or Jew, scholar or warrior, and so it goes. But what
happens when nearly ALL our notions of who and what we are evaporates? What happens
when we are reduced to a realization that nearly everything we once held as being true is
shown to be a lie? How does one climb out of the valley that ensues? That is Kara’s essential
conflict, for at its nadir her despair become nihilistic — as are the forces she is supposed to be
fighting against.

Currently, I am completing a spirituality oriented text that reads like a Sci-Fi novel in many
places. This is only natural because the book is about dreams, a few of which have found
places in the Genesis series and the prequel Deep Thought. However, the dreams actually
happened, and the messages they left me with should be shared while I can still write. The
subject matter ranges from violence and greed to searching for God—and it places the
experiences will certainly grab the reader’s interest. The writing is very difficult because it is
1st-person active voice, a present tense flow that brings the reader into the text as an active
participant. I will turn it over to the text editor in eight days or so, and then start on the next
work.

I have managed to do a lot of writing in a short time because my personal situation demands
it. We are only at life’s table for a short while, and I have spent all too much of my time
engaged in self indulgent behaviors. Hell, I still eat too damn much. But the point is, time
is best spent when it is shared with others. These books give a disabled man a means of
sharing time, to go out-and-about as it were. I’ve picked up some insights along the way

that may help a person or two find some meaning. Perhaps others will be entertained, and
it is time for me to be generous of spirit. Spirit is nearly all I have left to give, but I’m more at
peace now than ever. There is no fear, no worry, just the vexation of finding the right words
and the joy of sharing dreams and stories with new friends. What could be better than that?

Dr. George Elder.

Purchase Child of Destiny on Amazon, here: http://www.amazon.com/Child-Destiny-Genesis-Continuum-ebook/dp/B006LS2G48/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpt_1

About Kat G

Sci-fi author. Jazz aficionado, an all-around enjoyer of peace, quiet, beauty, and contemplation.
This entry was posted in book, fellow authors, self-publishing and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Blog Tour Stop: George Elder

  1. Marie Borthwick, Novel Publicity says:

    Katherine, Thank you so much for participating in this tour you did a fantastic introduction that pulled me right in! I know George is going to love this!

  2. George Elder says:

    This piece may be useful for those of you interested in using illustrations in your works:

    On Sci-Fi Art Work

    By Dr. George H. Elder

    Usually, Sci-Fi books are not illustrated, although one can easily claim that many graphic novels are indeed Sci-Fi in nature. Alas, I can’t help but be attracted by drawn images, and I decided early on that Genesis would be illustrated. I believe drawings work with prose to better share what an author envisions than either mode of communication can do alone. My doctoral work at Penn State examined this area, with numerous studies indicating that simultaneously enlisting semantic and visuospatial resources greatly enhances attention acquisition and memory formation.
    However, it should be understood that there are marked differences between the writing requirements of a graphic novel and novels of more conventional natures. The plot and character development of both require explication, but a graphic novel does not need quite as much by way of written descriptions. Yes, a picture can say thousands of words, so I decided to give illustrations a try in Genesis.
    The issue shifted to cost versus available talent, a practical dilemma. Moreover, all costs were out of pocket, and few of us are rich. I was blessed in having access to the Center for Cartoon Studies, which is located in White River Junction, Vermont. I saw CCS’s student artwork online and was impressed. Good artists can also be found online at Deviant Art, which is an excellent venue for anyone considering hiring an artist.
    I opted to employ a competition with CCS’s students and described the Genesis project along with contract terms on the school’s posting board. Five artists submitted artwork. My friends in the art world, after much debate, decided that Randal Drew should be awarded the contract. A price of $25 per ink was offered, with an award for up to125 drawings being made. The price was acceptable, although be advised very experienced graphic artists can be much more expensive.
    Since the number of drawings would be limited, I had to select key points wherein the drawings would dovetail with the descriptions, plotlines and action sequences in such a way as to maximize impact. This was far more difficult than I imagined, and I must leave it up to the reader to decide if the purpose was achieved. Clearly, the artwork had to address the characters, time/space capsule, pivotal action scenes, and important plotline shifts.
    Some of this was achieved, and seeing a character like Anita in a drawing allows the reader to better grasp her size and power, for she most assuredly does not have a typical female form. Seeing the capsule was also illuminating, as were some of the action scenes. My main regret soon became not having more drawings done for each Chapter, but my resources were limited and the artist was hard-pressed due to time-constraints. Book 1 alone consumed 58 drawings spread over fifteen chapters and many more could have been used.
    In many ways, this was an experiment, and if readers of the hard-copy text like them we will extend the drawings to Books 2, 3 and 4. There are still a number of technical problems to overcome. At 300-370 pages, each text is already the size of an average Sci-Fi novel, and adding sixty more pages for the drawings presents a financial barrier to publishers. However, my publisher felt the project was technically and financially feasible for hard copies. Kindle is still grappling with incorporating drawings and other graphics. I imagine time will resolve these issues.
    Ultimately, sales will dictate content, which is a harsh reality that any author must confront. Genesis was designed to be visual in nature, and parts of the story would benefit greatly from drawings and artwork—such as the gigantic battles in Book 2 and the surrealistic events that transpire in Book 3 (e.g., the crew’s experiences with the Seekers).
    On the other hand, some might find the art superfluous, and this is a point I must consider. We write for audiences and not just for ourselves. We are judged accordingly, but I do not believe it wise to allow our need to follow a given genre form to stifle creativity. Sci-Fi is all about reaching out in new directions, and thus we ought to consider the role of graphics in our novels
    There is always the bogyman of cost waiting around every corner, but I’ve no regrets about laying out what I could on a hope and a prayer. Experimentation is the very heart of Sci-Fi! Our shared passion is a conjunction of imagination, knowledge, and dreams that pushes the envelope of what could be to its limits. We are only here for a second or two, so we must do all we can while we can to try something new!

  3. George Elder says:

    Hi Katherine: I spent hours checking you website out, and I am very impressed. Thanks for take the time and effort to post the information about my books, and I would be pleased to answer any questions your readers might have. I meant to send that posting on drawings to you, but it ended up being placed here. Well, I’m a pre-computer kind of guy!

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