Thursday, August 13, 2015

What Are You Working On ... Terry Persun?

Today I'm happy to share the first guest post in my new What Are You Working On ... ? blog series, a collection of thoughts from authors on their latest works-in-progress. First up is Terry Persun.
Terry Persun is an award winning, bestselling writer. He writes fiction in many genres, and has won numerous awards including two ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year Finalist Awards, two POW Book of the Year Awards, a Star of Washington Award, and an Independent Publishers' Silver IPPY Award. He has worked as an engineer, an electronics technician, and an airborne navigation specialist. Using his extensive technical knowledge, Terry writes and publishes articles about the latest technologies. Site: 

Always Creating 
by Terry Persun 
I’m always working on something, whether that means new fences for our horses, an addition to the chicken coop, or another poem, novel, short story, essay, tech article… I think you get it. I write a lot, so I’ve always got a few things going at once. I used to tell people that when I’m working on a novel, that’s it! But I lied, not because I wanted to. I basically lied out of ignorance. I get so focused on new novels that I can hardly remember anything else that I’m doing.

Here’s the truth: if I’m not working on several things at once, then something’s wrong. At the moment, I’ve got tech articles to finish writing or editing, a few poems I’ve written that need an overhaul, short stories that, while they’re going out are also being touched up every time I reread them. And then there is the novel I’m editing through, the poetry collection I’m trying to pull together (slowly, I might add), maybe a chapter of a nonfiction book (they tend to come to me a little at a time for some reason), and, of course, my latest novel (or novella or novelette, who knows until it’s done).

Since I write cross-genres, it’s not easy for an outsider to even guess what I’m working on. At the moment, I’m writing and researching for my second novella in my T.E.N. series. That’s what I call it. T.E.N. is actually the main character’s name—Tempest Eugene Nesbit—but everyone calls him Ten. The first in the series “The Killing Machine” was a techno-thriller. This one is too, but a bit different.

Enough about that. The issue is that I work on several projects, but the novel/novella always takes precedence over anything else. That’s what I get up to write in the morning, every morning, until it’s completed. I do skip a day every here and there, but seldom. And when I do skip a day it’s to do additional research for the book.

I like changing things up for myself. I write literary (or more serious) novels, but also like to have a little fun, go out on a limb, try new things. The T.E.N. novels are pulp novels, where I am light on character development, but big on concept. It’s fun to get out of my own box and write something that isn’t so character-heavy. I like that. I also enjoy writing experimental pieces where the main character isn’t really the main character, where situations are framed in a unique way.

It hardly matters to me what I’m writing, the best part of my day is during that writing time. That’s when I’m in the flow, as they say, when I’m doing what I feel I’m meant to do with my life. What I think God wants me to do—whatever your concept of God might be. So, the question, What Are You Working On, takes on a variety of meanings for me, some specific, some broad, but always fun.


Jan said...

I like to balance the after affects of writing a "serious" novel with something silly. I can't imagine staying in the same genre all the time. I'm glad I'm not the only one!

arleen said...

Thanks for sharing, Jan. I find it interesting how very different we all are in our approaches. I'm just the opposite. I'm a one project writer. With the exception of blog posts, I'm always working on only one manuscript at any given moment.
And BTW, if you'd like to share a post that shares more about your process or your works-in-progress, send me an email and I'll work you into the schedule!

mary rowen said...

It is really interesting how different writers work. for a while, I thought I'd write different genres--and I tried--but every time I get serious about a project, it turns out to be women's fiction. Thanks for sharing, Arleen and Terry. I look forward to reading future installments in this series.