Monday, September 16, 2013

The End - John Hornor Jacobs - Biggest Aha Moments in Writing

This might be simplistic, but I think the biggest "ah-ha" moment I ever had writing was the first time I typed THE END on a novel. Writing is by nature a very solitary thing, and most of writers are consumed with traveling through interior landscapes often weathered with self-doubt. Even great novelists have to deal with swinging pendulum of emotions, back and forth between mania to what-the-fuck-am-I-doing-in-this-manuscript? moments. And without the sense of accomplishment of having already written a novel, writing that first one was somewhat like stumbling around in the dark looking for an exit. As they say, that first step is a doozy.

So, when I finally came to the end of Southern Gods, my first novel, and typed THE END - hammered out just like that with big-ass capital letters - there was not only the dueling senses of relief and exhaustion but an overwhelming thought: "I can do this! I can do this!"

Little did I know that every novel requires the author to relearn how to write a novel - particularly that novel. But the confidence that comes with already having one (or three or eight) under your belt, well, that confidence is invaluable.

John Hornor Jacobs' first novel, Southern Gods, was published by Night Shade Books and shortlisted for the Bram Stoker Award. His second novel, This Dark Earth, was published in July, 2012, by Gallery/Pocket Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster. His young adult series, The Incarcerado Trilogy comprised of The Twelve Fingered Boy, The Shibboleth, and The Conformity, will be published by Carolrhoda Labs, an imprint of Lerner Publishing.

His first fantasy series, The Incorruptibles will be published in Spring 2014 by Gollancz, an imprint of Hachette Livre, in the UK.

John is the co-founder of Needle: A Magazine of Noir and was the active creative director until fall 2012. He has a quartet of horror stories, Fierce As The Grave, available through

Visit him on the web at

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