I read somewhere that a writer needs to write and discard a million words before they have even a minimal grasp of the craft. Having written and discarded my million words and now well into my second million (or third), I’ve discovered that fewer words get deleted and the right words do come more readily ... which is a relief since it takes a long time to bear fruit that is luscious and tasteful and something you want to share with others, especially when writing novels.
My writing experience includes articles for local publications, from business to entertainment, corporate newsletters and a couple years as editor/publisher of a local entertainment weekly. I’m also a closet musician, graphic designer and I never went to college or university (lucky me).
Writing novels is not a new experience, but one that has taken up much of my spare time over the years. There’s something special about having a new character you hadn’t planned on suddenly impose his/her way into your story just when you need them. It’s a magical moment of creation that is difficult to beat as a life experience.
I firmly believe that, along with writing your first million words, being an avid reader is the best training for any aspiring writer. Thus I thank all the authors who’ve inspired me to write over the years, especially my idol, William Goldman (Marathon Man, Princess Bride, Boys and Girls Together, Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid, etc.—yes, THAT guy) who still unconsciously influences my writing style, though I’ll never admit it, so please don’t tell anyone, okay.
Where to find Glenn Cutforth online
Love, marriage and rock 'n' roll. A former rock star, Eric, who married a groupie, Sarah; a rich father-in-law who's going bankrupt; a suicidal business partner; an Italian greaser who thinks he's engaged to Sarah; a beautiful, exotic jazz pianist; a former best friend who's hiding a dark secret, and two friendly felines. A fact of life: perception isn't always an accurate picture of reality.
Fiddling Under Vesuvius
Casey Thomas, freelance journalist and blues musician, is in a bit of a pickle. Bruno Pulchinski, a hulking body builder extraordinaire, is out for Casey's hide, his ex-fiancée Dana Cranston is trying to ruin his life for breaking off their engagement and, worst of all, the evidence seems to point directly at Casey as the killer of world famous writer/playwright Warren Kramer.
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Glenn Cutforth's favorite authors on Smashwords
Smashwords book reviews by Glenn Cutforth
- Kronos Duet
on May 27, 2013
Kronos Duet by A.H. Richards is a time travel novel that offers a unique look at how the universe operates. Most time travel stories utilize an external machine of some sort, but Kronos uses the greatest machine ever created - the mind - aided by a conscious jungle plant called Anis. His main characters, Gareth and Adrianna, a father and daughter duo, are so well drawn, it's impossible not to care about them as their adventure through time-space delivers an intense combination of suspense, heartache and joy as well as many surprises along the way.
The heart of any good science fiction is not the technology, space ships, aliens or robots, but the characters and story. Kronos Duet has enough science fiction elements to satisfy that requirement, though it reads much like a literary suspense thriller. But the major premise focuses on how the main characters deal with some alarming situations that I found quite amazing. The author paints pictures with words so well that no matter where the story was in time, whether 17th century Wales or 20th century Russia, I felt as if I was right there beside them. I was in their heads, feeling their pain or joy. I understood their motivations and I cared about how everything would turn out.
The villains, Cabot and Dr. Buckleigh are pure evil, especially Cabot who is, on the surface, just an ordinary guy, but who takes male ego to the extreme and causes Adrianna to take uncharacteristic action that will have every reader cheering. There is also a marvellous section on the death of notorious historical figure, Rasputin, that is especially rewarding in how it captures those moments in time with clarity and suspense.
I've read a few authors in the past whose writing was so good, even though I wasn't all that interested in the story, I couldn't help reading right through to the end. A. H. Richards has accomplished both beautiful, literary writing along with a story that challenged me to contemplate his ideas about the potentials of the mind, God, and the universe.
I rarely read any novel a second time, however, Kronos Duet is a novel that deserves a second or even a third reading just to revisit and absorb the beautiful use of language and the ideas about life and what a person can accomplish if they just put their "mind" to it. I'm looking forward to more works by A.H. Richards.
- Short Stories
on Feb. 12, 2014
Imaginative, often brilliant, certainly under-priced at just 2 bucks, Short Stories, by A.H. Richards, is a collection of eleven stories covering a broad range of genres -- science fiction, fantasy, slice of life, romance, mystery -- and more.
I should note that short stories aren't my favorite fiction format as I tend to prefer gritty murder mysteries or long, sprawling historical fiction.
However, since I enjoyed Richards' novel, Kronos Duet, so much, I didn't hesitate to pick up this collection. There were no surprises here in that the high quality of his writing skills and imagination are showcased once again. As with his novel, he skilfully paints pictures with words, so that the reader can quickly identify with each character's dilemma, get a sense of their environment and feel their emotions.
Richards is capable of digging deep into the human mind and spirit in a way that reminds me of my favorite Science Fiction author, Orson Scott Card. He deftly brings out thoughts and emotions that feel very real, which enhances the story's plot, especially in Grave Diggers, a story that deals with dark, dark evil set in Victorian England.
Other highlights include Jim's Fate, set in Japan, about two characters on different paths in life who come together in a shattering, twist of fate climax. Where the Buffalo Roam is a preview of the author's upcoming novel about a futuristic world in which drones and robots oversee the human race -- a situation not so far off according to current news reports. Looking forward to the completed novel if this portion is any indication of what is to come.
Other standouts for me include Average Monsters, A Thousand Herons Overhead, Extinction and Oh, Pioneer! a far in the future story about lung people, who, despite their limitations, long for freedom just like any normal human being.
Richards writing style is very literary, but his plots lift the stories way above the boring literary novels I've attempted in the past. This author should be on everyone's "must read" list, and for just two bucks you can get a taste of what good writing and plotting is all about. I'm giving this collection four out of five stars only because, as I mentioned, short stories aren't my thing, and too many of these stories were so good, they left me wanting more.