It sounds strange to admit, but film and television got me into writing more than anything else and starting on October 31st, 2010, when AMC took a chance and aired "The Walking Dead," I started writing. I was in grade 10 at the time, heavily inspired by Robert Kirtman's "The Walking Dead" and George A Romero's "Dawn of the Dead." I enjoyed both stories so much I thought I could write my own.
I mapped out my story and started writing it in a notebook whenever I got the chance. I had no idea what challenges I would face or how long it would take to write what would eventually become my first novel, "North of the Dead." For those first few years, I was writing on and off, imagining how to make my story different from other zombie stories. I read "Different Seasons" by Steven King when I wasn't writing to help me get some guidance. I was starting from zero after all. The clean world-building and relatable characters in all four stories helped me out a lot. I would say I enjoy writing more than reading. It just comes more naturally.
Thinking about it now, if I could give 15 year old me a word of advice: If you're writing a zombie book, you should be reading zombie books. However, I was not getting to the bookstore much in those days, so I skipped that step. Instead, I would ask myself, What haven't I seen before? I started by having my story take place in Toronto. Then I wanted it to happen during a cold winter. I imagine you do not see much zombie fiction taking place during the winter because now the writer needs to keep his characters from freezing to death, on top of not being eaten by zombies.
I wanted to look at the idea of being trapped in a frozen city with zombies walking around. I also do not refer to the CN Tower, the Rogers Center, or the Toronto Maple Leafs mainly because I wanted to tell a story that was more than just generic, widely known Toronto symbols. Most Torontonians I know visit the CN Tower once and aren't Maple Leaf fans. Then I wanted to tell a story from the perspectives of many characters. I thought it would be exciting, and it was. However, it made connecting to the accounts without creating a plot hole a little more complicated. Above all else, I wanted to write a story that was action-packed and entertaining above all else.
(Why am I starting a blog?)
As a self-published author, slowly learning the marketing side of the trade brings me to blogging. Through my research, one of the most common pieces of advice I have come across for self-published writers is a blog on your website. At first, I thought that was not for me because "What would I blog about?" But, I took my time and researched the idea, and the answer came to me: "Anything I can turn into a story, I can blog about." This piece is my first blog post, and I must say blogging has been an interesting and sometimes challenging experience for me mainly because I am primarily used to writing novel-length stories.
(A little about myself and the day I officially became a writer.)
I'm an author writing under the pen name Vince Salvatore. My first novel North of the Dead released on October 22nd, 2020, just past midnight. It is a story about a zombie apocalypse that takes place in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, during a harsh winter. As I was writing, I imagined for years that the release of my first novel would be a momentous occasion. I wanted to have a little party at a restaurant or a local bookstore carrying my book. However, the reality was far from what I imagined. In short, I remember it being a long and stressful day.
I had to email and call back and forth, coordinating with my publishing consultant as I struggled to stay awake. I did not know it was not as simple as pressing a button for a novel to go live. Then, of course, due to COVID, there was no party. Not at all, what I had imagined. Thinking about it now, many other independent writers probably have a similar story.
I will be dividing the blog into four parts. First, my experiences as a writer. Second stories. Specifically, short stories and ongoing stories. Third sports. I find there is always something interesting happening in the world of sports. The fourth and last category will be about culture and literature. I hope to entertain through my writing.