Author. Educator. Lecturer.

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Blog - Writer's Journey

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Writer's Suicide Prevention Hotline...Pass It On.

Posted on January 2, 2018 at 9:05 PM Comments comments (1)
In response to the recent loss of some of our fellow creatives to suicide, J. Powell Ogden, author of The Guardian‚??s Playlist & The Devil‚??s Playlist, is launching The Writers Suicide Prevention Project to support authors, poets, screenwriters, songwriters & comic book creators who may be struggling with suicidal ideation. Suicide stories can act as a contagion in communities, resulting in more suicides. Survivor stories and stories about those who sought help before they attempted suicide and found healing and joy on the other side of pain can also be contagious, inspiring the lost and suffering to seek help. The mission of The Writer‚??s Suicide Prevention Project is to smash the idea of the inevitable self-destruction of the ‚??tortured writer.‚?? Our goal is to survey researchers and clinicians regarding depression, suicidal ideation and addiction in creative writers, interview survivors about what works and what doesn‚??t, develop tools and find resources for those still suffering and present our findings to the creative community at large. Jpowell-ogden.com


Posted on January 2, 2018 at 9:00 PM Comments comments (0)
This has been an incredible year so far for sales, shows and meeting new fans and friends. I enjoy the shows and am already setting my schedule for 2018. They will be appearing on my website soon. If you have any recommendations for shows, or a favorite book store where I can set up a signing, pass it along. One of the things I enjoy when meeting new people is to learn their names. Many times I will use them in books and several people this year have had characters developed. Look for Britta, Toriano and Mikial in releases later this year. With that in mind, Hanging On, Book 4 in the Random Survival series is do out within the next month. The post-apocalyptic genre remains hot and as I tell fans at shows, read all you want, I'll write more. I currently finished the sequel to the zombie thriller, Tower of the Dead. Look for Island of the Dead to be released in October. My latest release Pick-A-Path: Apocalypse has been an incredible how favorite. Many people read the old choose your own adventure stories as kids and love the idea of having an adult version. Although I have to say, writing it was a nightmare. Formatting has been a problem. An early version had pages off by 7. That has since been corrected and if you got one of those 1st 20 copies, message me for the corrections. The good news for fans (bad for me) is that it has sold so well, I've had requests for more, so that's next on my list. Check it out on my website, raywenck.com. An ebook format is coming, be patient. It's been a bear to format since, ebooks don't have pages. Hope to see you at a show soon. Read on!

I'm Back!

Posted on March 5, 2017 at 4:05 PM Comments comments (0)
I do a lot of shows and meet many new readers. At least once at every show someone will come up to me and announce ???I want to be a writer, too.??? My pat response is, ???What does a writer do???? Most of them get it right, ???They write.??? Then I ask if they're making time to write? Most don't. So I preach about making time, etc. But recently I was asked if writing was lucrative? I almost laughed until I realized what was really being asked. The husband wanted to write his story about his 3 tours in Afghanistan. From the set of his jaw and the distant look in his eyes as he talked, I could see it was a story that needed to be told, if only for his sake. His wife, didn't understand his need, but saw the venture in a more practical sense. She was worried it was going to effect their financial situation. Although at times, my writing has paid well, few make a living at it, but I wasn't about to scare him off from what he had the desire to do. So once again, I went to my usual responses, in hopes of alleviating the wife's fears and motivating the would be writer. The answer is true for all wannabe authors. First, and most important, you have to make time on a regular basis to write. It might be daily for an hour, or twice a week for thirty minutes, but you have to make time or the story never progresses and remains bottled up inside. Also, the longer you wait to begin, the less likely you are to ever do it. I wish I had started 20 years ago. Don't live your life with regret. If you try and fail, you can hold your head high for having made the effort. Next, write the story you want to, not one dictated by genre or what's currently hot at the moment. Write it. Finish it. Then go back and adjust it. You can't publish a story that isn't finished. And last, though some disagree with this, write for yourself. Write for the enjoyment of it, for the desire of accomplishing something you have always dreamed of doing, or for whatever reason. Don't write because you think it will make money. For most of us, that process is slow and uncompensated. The most rewarding part of writing for me is the moment I put The End on the page. I wrote four full length novels before ever being talked into to submitting for publication. Although I'm glad I did, it changed writing for me. I still enjoy writing, but all of the other stuff that goes with it bogs down my day. Still, I wouldn't change it, but for all beginning writers, take one step at a time. The most fun you will ever have being a writer is the writing itself. I didn't lie to this couple about the glories and profit of being a published author, but I did encourage him to take that first step and sit down and write. For me, having accomplished so much more than I ever thought possible, writing has been very lucrative, indeed.

Zombie Apocalypse, Oh No!

Posted on December 10, 2015 at 7:10 PM Comments comments (1)

Dec. 2015 Welcome to my new website. My thanks to my daughter April, for all her hard work setting this project in motion.

Back in Sept. I attended the Columbus, Ohio Comic Con. I had great hopes for huge sales, with the rerelease of my post-apocalyptic thriller, Random Survival series. When I attended last year, book two, The Long Search For Home, had just been released, but was not yet available in print. So, this year, with both books in hand and great new covers, coupled with the facts that this genre remains very hot and many of the special guests were from The Walking Dead, I figured it was a can't miss opportunity for me to get books in the hands of new readers. A no-brainer, right?

Well, horse manure. 

Imagine my dismay when young attendees picked up my awesome book and said things like "Post-apocalyptic, that's my favorite," or "I love post-apocalyptic," only to follow up each sentence with, "Does it have zombies?"


"Ah, no, this is like Walking Dead without the zombies," I'd reply. The books got replaced on my table and the potential readers would slink away. One said, "Well then, it's not like Walkig Dead then, is it?"

When I mentioned this afterward to my son, Jon, he said, "Well, then why don't you write one with zombies?"

As a lark, I decided to do just that, even though I swore I'd never write a zombie story. I figured I'd do a quick 20,000 words and be done. But to my surprise I started really getting into it. Almost 70, 000 words later, the zombie epic, Tower of the Dead, is now complete. Now, if I can only find a publisher still putting zombie classic literature out, I'll be all set.

I guess that proves, like Sean Connery doing James Bond again, Never Say Never Again. After all, I hadn't planned on writing a young-adult fantasy, nor did I set about writing paranormal thrillers, but I did. However, the one thing I will never write is romance. Unh-uh! No way! No how!


I just got an idea for a story. I gotta go write it down before I forget it. See you next month.