For anyone that sees this, life has been very busy for me and has changed significantly, but the gears are always turning. New stories are on their way, it just depends what form they take. I promise that it will happen. More soon.
Okay, so I know I have been pretty terrible at keeping this website active with new updates but I wanted to give some hope.
Despite the long intervals between uploads of The Last Traveler, that doesn't mean it isn't being worked on. Quite the opposite, in fact. I am thigh-deep in the waters of story creation.
After the release of Chapter 5, I turned the gears a little bit so the teeth ran in another direction. It became apparent to me after writing Chapter 6 that I needed to finish the thing off. And so, I have written a large chunk of the remainder of the book. There are holes and places where Alex and Daern need to fill out, but overall it has formed up. I am in the process of going back through previous chapters and updating it.
A lot of the work I am doing right now is making sure the characters are consistent and that their motivations are clear. It is very important for everything to make sense. As one can imagine, this all takes quite a bit of work getting everything together (and in the middle of regular life occurring at lightning speed and having a full-time job as an engineer). Everything is time-consuming.
But with that all said, The Last Traveler is coming along and I love it. It is totally my baby. For now, it would be my Star Wars, or my Lord of the Rings. So don't be worried, IT IS still coming. I am not exactly sure on any production because I fully intend to query this book and go for publication with it. It is just way too much work to create this world and not give it the best shot to be released by a publisher. If, and that is a big IF, that were to happen it would surely be some time. I am thinking in the terms of years.
As for those of you who are following along with Alex on his journey, do not despair. It has not been lost and it is coming.
And as always, thank you for reading this and being there for me. I can't wait to show the world what is going on in this story.
Happy Sunday Everyone,
The fifth chapter of The Last Traveler is available for free now on the website. I hope you all enjoy it, although it may seem simple, a ton of work went into this one. The main characters are in a bit of a predicament and I can't wait to see what you all think.
See The Last Traveler - Chapter Five: The Road East.
Good Morning Everyone,
Wow, what a cool past couple of weeks (outside of the awful Coronavirus Pandemic). But I'd opened Horizon 616 for audio auditions and have been completely overwhelmed by the number of auditions and the actor/narrator's quality. But with any luck, we'll have a great production of Horizon 616 for you shortly, in case you haven't got a chance to read it. I really can't wait for you to experience that cool, little short.
The entire audiobook experience so far just makes me want to write more stuff to produce into these kind of things. So that might be a direction I go in, in the near future.
I'm also currently writing Chapter 5 of The Last Traveler and that is also coming soon! And while the story idea has changed over the last year, the direction I am going in is clear and the more I write it, the happier I am with it. Hopefully, you are too. There are many levels to the story and with keeping everything in mind, I just want you to have as much fun with it as I am writing it.
Stay Safe and Hope All is Well,
Just wanted to provide an update on my latest releases, Chapter 3 and Chapter 4, for The Last Traveler. I feel like the story is just starting to get going. You should start to see the world begin to form, hints from shadows of what the book will ultimately be about. I really hope you're all liking it and can't wait to discuss it with you.
It is difficult as a writer sometimes, especially how I am going about it. I really have no metrics as to how many people are reading the story and don't know how many of you are even looking at it. All I can go on is my gut and that gut is telling me the story of Alex is going to be a good one... it NEEDS to happen. There is something there, behind it all, waiting to be said. And it is my job to bring that out, to find the truth in the sandbox.
So with that said, if you read this, which is published out there in the great void of the internet, send me a message at tssmith.author@gmail,com. Let me know you're there. Let me know what you think. And then, right after that, dig into The Last Traveler. ;-)
See You All Soon,
The second chapter of The Last Traveler has been rewritten. Check it out under the Works section. For followers of the series, take a look, I think you'll enjoy it. It is a better lead in to the core of the story. Chapter Four coming soon!
It feels good. In fact, it feels great.
I was absent for the past couple of months, absent from most everything, writing especially. And through this period I have confirmed my suspicions, I love writing. I love doing something that entertains people. I love hearing the whispers of people every once in awhile that said they read something that I wrote and enjoyed it. It's more than an ego thing, it's really about the relationship between author and reader. There is something truly special about this friendship and I am happy that I've even been able to experience that. And I want to write some more.
I could list out the reasons as to why writing took a back seat in my life (of which, there are many), but I'm not sure you really want to hear about that. I've been transferred at my job so that I have an insane commute and I've been planning some pretty important events along with moving. All of this combined into a "writing takes a back seat" portion of my life. But there is that ever-present nagging voice in the back of my head that just edges me on, that tells me this is what I am meant to do. And I listen to it.
Even if my writing career never amounts to making it in B&N, which I will put my full heart and mind into achieving, I feel grateful for the experiences that I've already shared with some of you. So thank you. My only desire is to write something and be heard, to be read, and to create worlds that you love to be in.
A quick update: I've rewritten the second chapter of The Last Traveler and retitled it Daern. I think the flow is better and directs the story closer to a place where I want it to go. It is similar to what was written before, but much different. And I hope you enjoy!
To 2020 and beyond, thank you for sticking with me. As long as even a single person will read something I've done, I'll keep writing for them. Always.
I have something pretty cool to announce today. My article is up on BlusterHouse.net. It's a short one but I feel like it communicates a lot of the trials I am going through at the moment, at least those challenges in the way of my journey as an author. You can find the article here:
BlusterHouse Write Club
or copied below. Enjoy!
Write Club: The Only Rule is That You Talk About Write Club
by T.S. Smith - July 18th, 2019
So, here we are, you and me, standing still in place and wondering what we’re doing with our lives. I look at you and tell you the dead truth: I don’t really know.
Right now, I’m in the subway under downtown Los Angeles on my way home, hoping to catch the early train so I can cut a little bit more out of my night than I usually do. I live in a small place, by anyone’s standard, and go about my life with a determined, one-foot-after-the-other, militaristic, kind of approach. I have a day job, as I’m sure most of us writers do, to pay the growing number of bills that read my name on their front breast. And at the end of it all, I have a dream of being an author.
Or maybe, I am one already?
Just what in the hell does that mean?
Well, it most likely means different things to different writers. To me, being an author is not about money, or followers, or taking “nonchalant” pictures to post on Instagram so that people will recognize me at Disneyland. No. To me, being an author means one thing and one thing only: story. I want to create great stories that people can enjoy.
We all crave magnificent and original content but Hollywood has become barren in this regard. How many times have we seen the same crap roll in and out of our local movie theater? Saw 17? Give me a break. The traditional gatekeepers of story pump this stuff into our brains because they know it will sell (and rightfully so, they need to put bacon on the table too). Seemingly by chance, some of the stories are better than others but most of the time we still end up feeling empty except on those truly special occasions. You see, true story has the power to entertain, to give us emotional freedom, to unleash our minds onto the most wicked adventures and slay the biggest and darkest of demons that reside in our fears. Story has the power to shape and transform our lives in a meaningful way. Think of your favorite story now (movie, novel, play… whatever floats your big boat), what about it makes your heart and mind tick together and beat as one? I bet there is a small answer brewing in those thoughts of yours. Is it the first kiss between ill-fated lovers? The emotionally-damaged main character finally gaining enough courage to fight off that which has plagued them since childhood? Is it the constant action and well-paced plot of a spy novel? Or maybe, it’s the political intrigue and the heroine’s quest to build a better world? Whatever it is, though, there is some reason why you call a story your favorite. And there should be. The characters shine a light on our own lives and put us in situations that we might never live through. We laugh and cry along with them, we hurt when they hurt, and we treat them as if they were an extension of us.
This is the power of story.
A master of the craft can wield that power over us all, plunging us into life-changing experiences where we can gain insight into the world around us and grow within ourselves. True story is magic. True story can’t be read or watched, it can only be experienced.
In some ways, to paraphrase Stephen King, reading and writing is a form of telepathy and time-travel. As you read this right now, you are reading my current thoughts in the future (relative to my time). I don’t know who you are but I do know that you are here, with me, locked away in this cell of writing separated only by time and distance. I wonder if you are a writer too? If you face the same choices in your life, as I do? Do you quest to become an author? Is that desire in yourself like it is in me? Perhaps, there is something innate that resides within us all, that helps the inner us communicate with the outer world. Story is a back and forth, a give and take.
Us writers have a constant battle, we work our asses off at day jobs and then try to squeeze writing a single page between burping babies and having the second beer with our friends, maybe a third if we’re lucky.
We write between life.
Writing takes sacrifice, sometimes it means spending more time with those characters than with our real friends. Sometimes it means developing that plot when you could be throwing the ball around at the beach or maybe writing an article on a Thursday night instead of diving into some video game and falling asleep early (like tonight … yawn). And for what? Why do we subject ourselves to this? Why? Is this really what you want to do with your life? Are you sure? A fourth cold one sounds nice, doesn’t it? I mean, the bottle opener is right there? Why not just kick back, relax, and forget this whole writing thing ever happened? But no, we keep on going, we keep grinding away at the word processor. And the answer to why, is because story means something. It connects us all together like nothing else can.
The bottom line is this: writing is difficult. It is filled with self-doubt and rejection, hope and desire. The odds of success are against us… but it doesn’t matter. We slave away at our day jobs and write in-between the cracks with the hope that we can change our lives… and that is something worth striving for: to live a life the way that we want to live it. We hope one day to create that piece of writing that will inspire a reader or entertain the hell out of them or make them cry into their bucket of slow-melting popcorn.
This is the power of story.
Or maybe, I’ll just watch Saw 18 again.
Free? Yes? Yes!
MKULTRA, that little 173-page book, is going to be free this weekend (July 13th and 14th) on Kindle. Check it out if you’d like, it’s a nice summer read that you can pass some time in. For those of you who haven’t taken a trip back to the 1970’s with Jim Havens, you’re in for a ride. Mr. Havens lives in a world of drugs, sex, and rock but his life is flipped upside down when approached by a mysterious stranger in the local strip club. He’s torn up inside, he’s pretty bitter about his past, but he’ll have to figure things out quick if he wants to set them right. The trip is free, yours and his, what’s to lose?
On a different subject, I’ve been working hard, grinding away at the word processor and drinking excessive amounts of caffeine in the middle of the night. Well, not really, but a writer’s life is something like that. Either way, Alex’s story in The Last Traveler is coming along nicely though he is beginning to realize he’s up against some pretty formidable odds. I’m not entirely sure how he’ll make his way out of it all, but I faith in the little guy. When the going gets tough, well, you know the rest. Good luck and sayonara, Senior! Hardy-har-har. As always, I appreciate all your endless support and reading eyes. Stop by and say hello sometime, I love to hear from the other side of the coin.
I know I've been slacking on this website BUT with that being said, there are things moving behind the scenes. First of all, my Twitter handle has been the most often updated form of communication that I use (so there is that). @Author_TSSmith and the same goes for Instagram.
Second, Chapter 4 is coming along nicely and I am very excited to get it out to you. I've been putting in some significant time with it and want it to feel just right. Hopefully, I hit the mark. It's much longer than Chapter 3, so expect a good chunk of words and story development. It is written but I'm always rewriting so I only can say: soon.
Third, I just finished writing an article about the power of story for BlusterHouse.net. I will occasionally be dropping in as a contributor there and I'll make sure to put whatever content I create up here too, just depends on format. Whether it is podcasts, videos, or articles, we'll see.
Anyways, let me know what you're up to! I love hearing from fellow authors and readers telling me what's going on in their lives. What are you reading? What are you writing?
Chapter Four will be out soon, I'm still slaving away.
T.S. Smith is a mechanical engineer and self-published author. He resides in Southern California where he lives with his family.