Saturday, May 6, 2017

Guest Post Author John R. Beyer

I am pleased to have author John R. Beyer as my guest today. John is the author of "Operation Scorpion". He is a writer of Thrillers and Suspense. 

Research and Imagination
A Writer’s two best friends

When Dracula was published in 1897 by Bram Stoker there was something amiss. The writer had never even visited Transylvania let alone the castle depicted so hauntingly in his famous work. A best seller, to say the least, the novel went on to sell tens of millions of copies and has never been out of print since the day it found its way into bookstores. But how could a person write such a novel without every visiting the place so well described between of the covers of his book?
It is the imagination of the writer to concoct situations which seem real not only to themselves but to their readers. Growing up in Ireland, Bram was well familiar with dark forests and nasty weather so there isn’t much of a leap to incorporate that prior knowledge into his work of fiction. Just as for the castle attributed to Dracula – there are hundreds of ruined and not-so-ruined castles on the Emerald Isle. So, he had the forests, the castle and of course the myths that make Ireland famous which in turn he used for the myth of the vampires flapping around the countryside.
Now he needed the Count himself. Ah, Vlad Dracul III came to the mind of the scribe. That infamous Wallachian prince of the fifteenth century who terrified friend and foe alike with barbarous antics like impalements, skinning alive, and supposedly drinking the blood of his enemies. True or not, it created the foundation for Stoker’s world-renowned Count Dracula.
All the ingredients were there for a novel – he penned it; it was published and the rest is literary history even though he never really reaped the rewards. He died almost penniless on April 20th, 1912 in London.
So, a writer needs to research and then come up with ideas which will inspire people to read their works.
Research is so much more readily available today than it was one hundred and twenty years ago in the United Kingdom. A punch of a key here or there brings immediate responses from Mr. Google and there you have it – answers to questions to the point it can make a writer seem like he or she is a genius.
The value of research cannot be overrated. Think of Stoker sitting day after day in darkened libraries jotting down notes in a ledger. I’m not sure if that’s exactly how he did the vast the majority of his research, but hard research, coupled with pub conversations, had to suffice before the advent of the internet.
The use of the imagination, solid research, compelling characters (who seem real according to Ernest Hemingway), interesting settings, and believable plots can go a long way in inducing a person to read a writer’s work. If those components aren’t there then the chance of seeing that writing before the public is not very likely.

As I’ve always believed – a writer writes to tell a story and that story must be written to make people want to read it.

Former street cop, training officer and member of SWAT John Beyer has been writing most of his life. He’s traveled to at least 23 countries (and was actually shot in the head in Spain in 2000 during a march between Neo Nazis and Communists two days after running with the bulls in Pamplona). He was caught in a hurricane off the coast of east Baja (Bahia de los Angeles) while kayaking and lived to tell about it. Essentially, it’s hard to tell where experience leaves off and fiction takes over. You’ll want to read his books.

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