From the desk of Joe...
God I wish I could remember his name, as I wave at my neighbor two houses down.
“Hi Joe!” he shouts as he waves and smiles. A nice kid, his father once accused me of hating him and his entire family, and it took a couple of beers and an hours conversation to convince him that I don’t hate anyone, I don’t dislike him, or his family, quite the opposite actually. But how do you tell someone, a family man who is proud of the world that he has created, that, I don’t notice him at all. Would he take that as arrogance? I mean how dare I ignore what he cherishes most in the world, especially when he had caught me watching his family at parades and other events around the town. He is a welder at one of the manufacturing plants up on the hill, so I watched how he and his family react with each other, just like I do with every person I meet. Damn, I really do wish I could remember their names.
Do I not remember due to early onset Alzheimer’s, not so early anymore I guess…but no, I do not have anything like that. What I recognize after a long time of thinking about it is, as a writer, you have the name of your protagonist and villain as your most important names, and hopefully they are cool names that capture your interest right from the start. Then the names of those surrounding those two have significance, say five or six for the protagonist and 2, possibly three for the antagonist, and every other name is pretty much irrelevant. Even as an author, you don’t spend much time developing their names. So, am I saying that you are irrelevant and insignificant? No, I am saying that your name is. Shit, no wonder people think I’m an asshole, but truthfully, would I be a different person if I had been given the name of Richard? I think so, simply because everybody would have called me Dick, right from the get go. Okay, another rabbit hole I won’t go down, Shout out to Rich Restucchi!
So do I study people due to some lack of something within my own world, or is there more to it? I guess first, you would need to know what I am looking for. Truth is, I don’t know. Sometimes it is the raising of an eyebrow in mirth or anger, and what triggered that action, or the raising of the corner of their mouth as someone does something surprising, or how they walk when enraged and what brought them to that point, and why is it different for everyone? This is how I study people and develop characters, it’s that simple. I am obsessed with writing and honing my craft to the point where I am always on duty, and I constantly study people and their most minute reactions.
I was asked to write something that would explain to you why I write, or at least I think that I was asked this, I was probably asked something completely different and I only heard what I wanted to, I can never really tell these days. Well, this is a part of why I write, the obsessive need to watch how the world interacts with itself on the most minute level as well as on the grand scale. It is on the most minute scale is where you find sincerity, honesty, concern and love. Things done on grandiose levels tend to be filled with bravado and reasons or manipulations of all sorts and is stripped of its humanity. I won’t go into that much, you want to know my views on humanity, go an buy a copy of Sonny, or listen to it on audible, there you will see that I believe we are all people. Me, you, dogs, chimps and all of the rest of the animals are all just people, struggling through the world in the best way that was presented to them. Let’s move on before you think that I am some kind of tree hugger.
I love to write, before that, I loved to draw, and through it all, I was obsessed with reading, fiction, especially fiction, exclusively fiction. I don’t draw any more, I write because I love it. Publishing…not so much.
I gave up TV about fifteen years ago, I still pay for it, but I don’t watch it. I wrote for almost thirty years for fun before I decided to publish, I kind of wish I never made that decision, it has taken some of the joy of writing away from me. I also believe that it has hurt my ability to write. Writing to a specific genre, being forced out of your comfort zones, reviews, promotion, all of these things have distracted me to the point where I haven’t improved as a writer since my first book.
So that is all I am doing now, and I have chosen a genre that is so far from my norm as to make me uncomfortable, but it’s helping.
There is as much of my story as I am willing to share. Bottom line; I love to write, I will be writing for the rest of my life, I don’t know if I will publish again. I do this for me, not a fan base or anything else, no offense, you guys are great people, but who really gives a fuck any way, thank you Larry Phelps and Allen Gamboa. for always backing me up.
Sincerely: Joseph Hansen.