My name is Mark O’Bannon and I am an author of the fantasy novel,
THE DREAM CRYSTAL.
THE DREAM CRYSTAL is about a faerie changeling who decides to rescue the human child she was exchanged for.
But her “sister” isn’t among the faeries any longer. She’s been taken by the Shadow People, to serve as a slave in The Land of Shadows.
In their war against the faeries, the Shadow People are fighting over the power of dreams.
Since Aisling (the hero) doesn’t believe in dreams, and will do anything to rescue her sister, all of the world’s dreams are about to die.
Ever since I could remember, I’ve always wanted to become a writer. I can remember spending hours and hours searching through bookstores for a new science fiction or fantasy novel. I’ve always had a stack of books to read at home.
Well, about 15 years ago, I decided to learn how to tell a story. So I went out and read every book on the subject of writing and I took every course I could find. I’ve read Syd Field, Robert McKee, Christopher Voger, Joseph Campbell, Michael Haugue, and (almost) every book published by Writers Digest Books. I’ve read nearly 200 books!
There was one book that really broke things open for me: How to Write Science Fiction that Sells, by Ben Bova (an awesome author btw). This book gave me the idea that your characters should have a flaw or weakness that creates a war inside them. My writing improved tremendously, with this simple technique. Take a character value and put it in conflict with another value, all fueled by emotions. For instance: Greed vs. Friendship. Love vs. Pride. Honor vs. Revenge.
Then, several years later, after writing over 2 or 3 million words worth of stories (just for fun), I was in the bookstore to replace one of my books on writing (I keep giving them away).
I saw a book, sitting on the shelf among all the other writing books. . . .
I said to myself, “No, Mark. You have nearly 200 books on writing already. You don’t need another one!”
But the book seemed to call out to me. It was nice and thick, and I wondered if it might have something new to say. So, out of pure curiosity, I picked it up and looked inside.
THE ANATOMY OF STORY is the best book on writing ever written. John Truby is the Einstein of writers. There are techniques in this book that took me over 10 years to figure out (actually, I never did figure them out until I saw this book).
Now, I can take my entire library of writing books and throw them away (well, not really). The Anatomy of Story replaces them all!
If you ever want to be a writer, you need to get a copy of it.
Anyway, my brother, Charles Holloway, is friends with several famous authors, and I’ve made my way up to L.A. too and have become friends with many of them too.
My brother, Charles Holloway and I published the book, SEVEN FOR SPACE, by William F. Nolan.
SEVEN FOR SPACE – A series of stories about the character, Sam Space, a private eye working on Mars. The book includes 5 short stories, and 2 short novels.
Comic Con Panels
We did two panels at the San Diego Comic Con in 2008, with George Clayton Johnson, William F. Nolan, Marc Scott Zicree, David Gerrold, John Truby and Water Koenig.
The panels were called, “Humor In Science Fiction” and “How To Tell A Story.” It was a little hectic because there was a car accident on the I5 freeway, blocking traffic coming down from L.A. But everything worked out okay. Seven For Space is humorous Science Fiction (what, did you think that Douglas Adams was the only one writing funny Sci Fi?).
During the panel, John Truby said that “These are some of the best writers of the 20th century.” He obviously wasn’t talking about me (yet!), but it was nice to be sitting there.
I plan to do more panels at the Comic Con in the future.
This year (2011), I’m doing “How To Tell A Story” and “How To Write Humor.” I’ll post a news update on this blog after I set it up.
George Clayton Johnson is quite interesting to know. Everytime I’m around him, I can feel ideas slipping into my brain. He’s full of “old school” techniques on writing and nobody knows how to develop a story better than George. I suppose this is normal for the guy that wrote eight of the original Twilight Zone episodes!
Since William F. Nolan and George Clayton Johnson are good friends with Ray Bradbury, I got to meet him!
Ray Bradbury, Mark O’Bannon, Charles Holloway,
& William F. Nolan. (George is taking the picture).
Anyway, I hope you enjoy my blog. Be sure to subscribe to my Better Storytelling Tips newsletter and also check out my website!
Slán go fóill.
Bye for now.
– Mark O’Bannon
P.S. As you can probably tell, I’m learning how to speak Irish!