“First Time” is NOW AVAILABLE on Nook!

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“First Time: The Legend of Garison Fitch – Book 1″ is now available on B&N’s Nook platform!! Got a friend who has a Nook? Be sure and recommend this book to them.

Over the next few days/weeks, all of my novels that are available through Kindle will be made available on the Nook, for the same price!!

“First Time” available on the Nook!!

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“First Time: The Legend of Garison Fitch – Book 1″ is going to be available on the Nook (Barnes & Noble’s ebook platform) in the next 24-72 hours!! If you’re a Nook person and have been wanting to read this novel, you’re in luck!

Note to all my Kindle readers: the Nook version will be identical to the Kindle version. Same price and everything. To those of you who have read my novels in paperback, the Nook & Kindle versions are the same text (with fewer misspelled words!).

New Bestseller!

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Thanks, readers, for making September 2010 the best-selling month I’ve ever had for my novel “First Time: The Legend of Garison Fitch”! Over all, my best total sales month (counting all my novels together) is still April of this year, but this month has been a great one for Garison Fitch.

If you’re one of my readers, thanks for buying! And thanks even more if you’re telling friends (or complete strangers) about my work!

Re-Writing

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I enjoy re-writing in that I enjoy getting back into a story. It’s irritating to find all the mistakes I left in there on the previous go-round, but there’s a certain pleasure in correcting those things.

What’s hard (I like it, but it’s a challenge) is when I come to a part that either needs to be re-written or needs some entirely new paragraphs added. It’s hard to write the new material in such a way that it goes with the old material.

Kind of like replacing bricks. If you’ve ever tried to replace a broken brick–or build on to something and try to match bricks–you know it’s almost impossible. Even if they came from the same manufacturer, a brick made today will not look exactly like the bricks made a year ago. Not only will the bricks that have been in the sun for a year have changed colors just slightly, the “recipe” for batches of bricks is never exactly the same.

When I go into an “old” passage and try to add something new, it’s really hard to get the new stuff to be in the same voice. I’m not thinking exactly the way I did when I first wrote it. Different words are popping up in my vocabulary.

I also know the rest of the story better. It’s hard during re-writes to go into, say, chapter two and not reveal something that shouldn’t be revealed until chapter five. My mind is thinking, “She’s a flute player. I should have her playing the flute here,” before I remember that she hasn’t bought the flute, yet.

All that being said, the re-write of the latest Bat Garrett novel is going great! The first draft of the new Garison Fitch novel? Um … the re-write of the latest Bat Garrett novel is going great!

New “Tuttle’s” book on Sale!

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Many of you may not realize it, but I am also the author/cartoonist for the comic strip “Tuttle’s” which appears daily in a few papers across the country.

So, just wanted to let you know: There’s a new volume of “Tuttle’s” comic strips available!

For just 14.99 (plus $2 postage and handling), you can get a volume with all the strips from 2006-2007 reprinted in archival format! That’s over 500 great strips for one low price.

I’ve still got a few copies of Vol 1 (2003-2005) available and I’ll make you a good price on a package deal.

Order now for Christmas! Just contact me at garisonfitch@gmail.com To see a large sampling of the strips, go to www.tuttles.net and look around!

Writin’ Process, part 2

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This past summer, I wrote the newest novel about Bat Garrett (which, for now, is nameless because I keep rejecting all of my own suggestions). Writing it was just about as close to total joy as I think I can expect this side of heaven.

I enjoy writing (it’s why I’m thankful that I’m called on to write a newpaper column every week), but what I enjoyed most was visiting with Bat Garrett again. I wrote my first Bat Garrett novel (the genesis of story that became “The Nice Guy”) more than twenty years ago–almost thirty now. The original versions of the other Bat novels were written close to twenty years ago. While Bat’s shown up in some of my other writings since then, this was the first new work entirely about Bat I had written in more than two decades.

It was like visiting an old friend. I enjoyed delving into his character, and developing the character of Jody. (Jody, I think, becomes a much more fully realized character than she’s ever been before, which means I’m going to have to go back in and tweak the other unpublished Bat books–which, chronologically, follow this one–to make sure she still matches the woman in this one.) What made it difficult, though, is that this book is set about nine months after the events in “The Nice Guy” and, while I’ve aged and (hopefully) matured in the almost three decades since then, Bat can only be 3/4 of a year older (and not noticably more mature).

It’s been a couple months now and I’m getting that itch to get back into this unnamed novel (see my previous blog). I want to experience this story again. Of course, I want to correct the mistakes, too. But mainly, I’m just looking forward to living this story again. I hope when you read it you’ll feel the same.

The Writing Process

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When I write a story, the first thing I do (this will surprise you) is write the story.

It’s not that I pay no attention to spelling or grammar or stuff like that–I’m a fairly fastidious person where such things are concerned–but it’s not my prime objective. At the beginning, I just want to get the story down.

Once I’ve made this first trip through the story, I set it aside. A few months later, I’ll pull it out and read over it. This pass is always interesting–and a little embarrassing. I find a lot of typos. Oh well. What’s embarrassing is how many things I was thinking at the time of the writing that somehow didn’t get typed by my fingers. Words are missing and sometimes entire lines of dialogue. Or, I’ll be thinking ahead for days that, “At this point in the story, X needs to happen.” I think about it so much, my brain tells me it’s in there and I don’t realize until this second pass that I never actually wrote it in. I might even have later events that refer back to X … which would be a lot of fun for readers: “Where did THAT come from?!?!”

And then, after the second pass, the novel sits on my computer and in printed form for months–sometimes years. I pull it up and read it over now and then, always making changes, which usually get smaller and smaller as the years go by. A little tweak in the dialogue here, an addition to some descriptive text there. And sometimes (as with “First Time” and “The Nice Guy”) I’ll actually rewrite the whole thing. The original’s firmly in my mind, but it serves as more of a guide than a hard and fast rule.

So, this summer (as has been mentioned in other blogs), I wrote another story about Bat Garrett from the years before he met Garison Fitch. It was a story whose basic plot points have been in my mind for decades, I just never could get it down on paper (or computer). Finally, back in May, it just clicked for me. And it was exciting writing it because, for the longest time, most of my writing has been in the re-writing stage. This was the first entirely new story I had tackled in a couple years. It was exciting because while I knew the big story, a lot of the details came as surprises to me. I love that part of writing. The part where the story is so strong that it’s telling itself and I’m little more than a stenographer.

More About the September White Sale

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This September, 2010, all seven of my full-length novels will be on sale! Been thinking about reading one (or all of them) but thought the price was a little steep? Now, you can get them for $3.95 each!

Go to Amazon and type in “Samuel Ben White” and you’ll see that all 7 of my full-length novels are on sale on the Kindle platform. Don’t have a Kindle? You can read Kindle books on iPad, iPhone, Android, Blackberry, PC or Mac!

The seven titles available are as follows:

First Time: The Legend of Garison Fitch — Book 1” Garison Fitch, a scientist in the Soviet Americas in the early 21st century travels back in time to 1744. When he returns to the present, he discovers the world changed, with something called “The United States of America” where his old homeland used to be and a woman he’s never met claiming to be his wife. Now, Garison must decide whether to travel back in time and try to return things to normal, or live in this strange world he created. (My best-selling novel!)

Saving Time: The Legend of Garison Fitch — Book 2” It’s two years later and Garison discovers there are holes in time, and they’re getting worse. He must find a way to travel back in time and keep himself from making the original trip through time. The only hitch is that he can’t use his time machine to do so.

Lost Time: The Legend of Garison Fitch — Book 3” In the summer of 1947, two pilots in the Air Corps of the Republic of Texas are flying an experimental aircraft when they find themselves thousands of years in the future. When they return to their own time, the war has been over for two years and the country they fought for no longer exists. How could a trip to the future change the past?

All the Time in Our World” Teenagers Edward Garrett (grandson of Garison Fitch) and Marianne Overstreet are caught in a freak storm and propelled ten thousand years into the future. There, they are introduced to Marcus, an enigmatic traveling man who wants to train them to lead the battle that will begin the end of the world.

The Nice Guy” Private Investigator Bat Garrett is recruited by a shadowy government agency to undertake a mission of national security. After escaping several close calls, Bat begins to suspect he wasn’t chosen for his skill, but to be someone’s patsy. Can he live long enough to find out what’s really going on?

Psalm 88” Joe Whitcomb is a minister who hates God. Ellen is a teenager who tells herself she’s recovering from her alcoholism and abusive past. Sometimes, it’s easier to run from your past if someone’s running along with you.

So Many Books” (Just published!) Chris Farmer is an investigator with the BIA who discovers a 16 year old victim of abuse while running from his own relationally troubled past. Alyste Smith is teenager whose escape from her troubles has always been to bury herself in books. Chris learns to appreciate books and Alyste learns to appreciate life and both of their lives are changed by a little red-haired girl named Hannah.

September White Sale

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This September, I’m putting all my full-length novels available on Kindle on sale. As you may have guessed, I have no clue what I’m doing as far as marketing my books, so this is an experiment. The price I orginally marked my books at was about half the paperback price for the Garison Fitch books (or, as it’s known in technical terms, “pulled out of thin air”). Looking around on Kindle, though, that makes my books about twice the cost of other lesser-known authors like myself.

My thanks to all you loyal readers who have paid full price. I can’t tell you how grateful I am for your encouragement! I hope you’ll keep reading, and telling your friends. (And now, you can tell those friends that it’s just become cheaper to read “Samuel Ben White”!)

What Could Be

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In my novel “Psalm 88″, there’s a passage that really pushed me toward self-publishing. In the story, Joe and Ellen are growing closer together. Ellen offers herself (sexually but subtly) to Joe. He turns her down–for reasons you need to read to fully appreciate.

I had a Christian publisher who claimed interest in the novel, but wanted that scene changed or dropped because “no man would turn down a girl who offered sex”. Remember: this was a “Christian” publisher telling me this!

Now, without giving away too much of the book (because I would like for you to read the whole thing), I thought Joe’s reasoning for turning Ellen down was quite good. It wasn’t that he was morally opposed (as we generally understand morals). Joe’s whole crisis of faith and conscience was caused by the untimely death of his wife, Janet. He had loved her and–by his own admission–loved sex. But because of his years with Janet, he could no longer see sex as “just sex”. He wanted another relationship–maybe with Ellen–but he holds himself and his relationships to a high standard.

There’s a place in art for gritty realism. There’s also a place (I hope) for art that encourages us to strive for something better. Would I have reacted as Joe did? I would like to think I would. This led one of my friends to describe my work in general as “like to think” art.

In “So Many Books”, the two lead characters–Chris and Alyste–make some odd choices. Some work out well and some don’t. But they’re both striving for a better life. I’d like to think my life choices could be along similar lines (if only I weren’t so weak!).