You may have heard me speak a time or two about the universe needing balance. As a citizen of the USA I have to look no further for an example of this than next week’s holiday.
Most out there know the classic classroom story of Pilgrims and American Indians, but what many don’t know is that for centuries after that supposed (yet probable) first feast, the concept was culturally dormant, but for the pagans celebrating the harvest. It wasn’t until President Lincoln turned 21st century Mr. Popular media darling set forth the Thanksgiving Proclamation that it became a celebrated holiday.
A day to be thankful for the bounty our country has enjoyed. A day of Thanksgiving! What a wonderfully positive idea!
So to balance out this grotesque example of humility my generation decided to equalize the scales and follow it up the very next day with Black Friday. A day where a retail mob of crusaders for Mammonism sweep across American towns treating each other like human filth in the pursuit of cheap electronics!
Isn’t that Balance for you! My goodness you’d think a writer would have come along by know and created a modernized narrative that dug deeply into the human psyche and this need for balance. This need for kindness and 24 hours later greed…..Oh wait, I have.
Be you pious Thanks Giver or crusading Mammonite - Enjoy your holiday!
Click on the link or visit the tab at the top of the page to see the running fan-picked cast list for the Balance movies Fan Film Casting.
I received this letter from a reader and I wanted to share it with everyone.
Dear Mr. Shamhart,
I just finished reading Raven and I liked it. I like what you’ve done with the series so far, but the reason I am writing to you is the beginning of chapter 18 where Raven talks about soldiers going through hell.
I served in the Gulf War with the 3rd Armored Division. I did my time, served my country, got my education and got out. I still read a lot of military fiction though, but most of it is just people being shot and tanks blowing things up. That’s war; sure, I’ve been there and done that. None of it seems to get into what it’s like to be a soldier like you did, or maybe it’s just the books I have read haven’t. Those few pages in Raven did more to describe what it is like to have fought in war better than any of the other war novels I’ve read. Just a few pages! Thank you for that. You are absolutely right, soldiers will see hell and it will never leave them. I still hate it in the summer when my lawn mower overheats because it makes me gag smelling that stupid burning oil smell. It’s been over twenty years but it still reminds me of the oil fields burning.
I don’t know if you ever served, but anyone who has in the military or police, anybody who sees the shittier side of people, should be able to identify with Raven’s words. Thank you.
Why did I share this with you all? Because this is why I write. This is what separates and defines the differences between artists. I don’t care one lick for awards, rankings and bestseller type nonsense. Those are just marketing labels and handles used to sell people a product. I do not want to sell the world a product. Everyone is trying to sell you something nowadays. I just want to tell stories that readers can identify with, and if Brandon enjoyed just a few pages so much that he took the time to write me a letter, then I have done my craft an honor. Thank you, Brandon, and thank you all.
**I contacted the writer of this letter and he was flattered that I wanted to share it with the world, but he asked that I remove his last name and military rank for his privacy.**
Balance series fans, I’m glad to note that Zeus The Balance: Book Three is currently in the editing/test reading phase. I don’t believe in that whole line it up in a good week when other new books in the genre aren’t coming out. The books are done when they are done, I’m not playing games. So, I hope to have Zeus in stores by the end of summer.
Now, there will still be eight Balance books, but I needed to work on something else between books three and four. Something lighthearted. Believe it or not, I’m working up an outline for a romantic comedy. Don’t worry that is not a capitulation to the market masses. I do have a fully entertaining story, told in my style and not just some attempt to pull in a different demographic. But, I know many of the readers have sent me emails saying, “I told my friends they have to read the Balance books, but I get, ‘Oh I don’t read that type of book’.”
I know the world now judges a book not only by its cover but by its genre as well, sad but true. Alas, readers, now when you hear that response you’ll be able to rebut that Nick Shamhart also has a romantic comedy available, too. Hopefully that will be in stores by the holiday season ’12.
The Balance: Book Two
Is currently out of my hands and in the possession of the editors and test audience. I am stabbing in the dark here, but I will say the release date looks to be March of 2012. I am working on the outline for Zeus: Book Three at the moment and may take a break over the holidays – but then again you all like to read and I like to write, so why stop a good thing? Even for the holidays…pumpkin pie, eggnog, and other seasonal delights….mmmm, well maybe there is time for both!
I have heard that other writers receive feedback and rejections after their book is available. I did not personally experience that until this morning.
Now, I really did hesitate in sharing this, because if I were you I would find it insulting. But, I figured as long as I do not say the agents name or his agency I am not being slanderous. Plus I only wanted to share the condescending contempt most of the businesses that deal in the arts hold the public and not some ham-handed reverse psychology ploy.
This morning I heard back from an agent who was reviewing the entire manuscript of Grey. He said – and I quote - “I would represent this, but I could not sell it. The average reader is not intelligent enough to understand the story. Sorry, it is good and I hope you find representation elsewhere.”
I hope you are all Above-average readers!