About Seven Minutes in Heaven
WELCOME TO HALO TRAVELS, PARADISE ON A BUDGET
When a simple procedure allows anyone who can afford it the chance to visit a part of Heaven, it quickly becomes the number one tourist attraction. Despite the overabundance of selfie-obsessed tourists, Karen Benson is enjoying her much-needed vacation away from her stagnant life and tragic past. But when an accident leaves Karen literally stranded in Hell, both sides scramble to deal with–or capitalize on–the situation as a conspiracy of biblical proportions begins to reveal itself. Now, Karen will have to confront monsters, biker gangs, sweater-wearing cultists, and demonic squirrels as she makes a desperate run for the border!
Guest Post – Nobody Cares About Your Book, Dude
You’re writing your first novel, and maybe it’s not going great right now. It started out fun, and you were full of energy, but now, you’re starting to wonder if all the time and effort is worth it. Maybe you should stop. Is it even any good? No one really knows about it, anyway, right? You’re an unknown. It’s not like people are waiting for it to come out like it’s the next Game of Throne’s book or anything. Nobody cares about your book, dude.
That might be an example of that voice that keeps you from finishing your novel. And even after you’ve self-published, it might be a recurring theme.
My girlfriend asked me once, while I was writing my novel: “What does success mean to you?” After thinking about it, I decided that success to me, at that point, simply meant finishing the gargantuan task of writing the darn thing—of putting my novel out into the world. After all, why did I decide to start working on the book? When I’m not writing, I work as a freelance video editor and co-director—mostly on documentaries and reality shows, so I’m no stranger to shaping stories. But they were usually limited to the footage I had to work with, the budget, and a million other restrictions. With books, I felt like I could let my imagination run a bit freer. That was the dream.
Speaking of dreams, I think it’s important to have them, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t dream of becoming a successful writer right from the start. And I still do. That would be success with a capital S. Real success. But I realized that couldn’t be my measure of success at that point because that’s the dream, not the goal. Everyone has dreams: your book becomes a bestseller, you become rich and famous, and you buy a lion.
Goals are different. My dreams are always there, but I try to keep my goals way more attainable. “My goal is to write five good pages today.” “My goal for the month is to get to a hundred pages.” “My goal is to finish my darn book!” —That keeps pushing you along, one page at a time. It keeps you going long after the spark of that fresh new concept, that rush of “What a great idea for a story,” has begun to fade, and the doubts have started creeping in.
It’s hard to pinpoint the exact moment I had the idea for Seven Minutes in Heaven. In my mind, it was when I was traveling down south. Those beautiful sandy beaches. Heaven on Earth. Paradise. Then, you venture outside of the touristic center and see the locals living their normal lives—and they’re not living in swanky hotels and gorging at all-you-can-eat buffets…
That was the spark—that weird thing about tourism and resorts where we show up someplace that looks amazing and take over. We build-up hotels and take selfies while the locals are just trying to get to work. For us, it’s party central, but for them, it’s Monday.
So, that was the basic, simple idea: What if we could visit Heaven? You know we’d turn it into a resort.
And that was funny to me.
I started writing the story years later.
Another element of the story, I think, can be traced back to a different trip. After a hard breakup, I decided to take a trip to Europe. I was going to leave my life and sadness behind for a while and travel a bit. There’s nothing more freeing than going to a different country and surrounding yourself with people that don’t know you… And I did have fun, but I was still sad. No matter where you go, your baggage (insert easy pun here) goes with you. And that element, in a way, wound up in my story: My main character, Karen, wishes to leave her life behind for a while, but she’s forced to confront her demons (and actual demons) when she literally gets stranded in Hell.
You never know in what way elements of your life will start connecting with your imagination once you sit down, brainstorm, and write—be conscious or not. Any life experience can somehow find its way into your story. As they say, “Write about what you know,” and sometimes, we don’t realize how much we know.
And so, years after getting that first nugget of the plot for Seven Minutes in Heaven, I finally decided that this was going to be it. I was going to hunker down and write my novel finally. If you want to write, stop putting it off. There’s no perfect time to begin writing a novel.
My debut novel is out now, Seven Minutes in Heaven.
Follow me on Facebook at: @karlsauveauthor
Available soon, Pornstar Assassin #1, the first in what I’m hoping will be a series of pulpy action/comedy novellas set in the Seventies.
Hopefully, by the time this guest post gets uploaded on the interwebs, my upcoming podcast, Bishop’s Files—a dark comedy about a depressed, small-town journalist-slash- serial killer who’s sick of other people taking credit for his murders—will be out as well.