Library employees can wear many hats: program leader, performer, educator, technology guru, customer service representative, public relations and more. Besides all of that, some library employees are authors, too.
This month I decided to ask one of our own, Logan Petty, about being an author. Petty is not only the Dalton-Whitfield County Public Library's young adult coordinator, he is also an author of young adult fiction. He writes fantasy and adventure books. Read below to learn more about Petty.
Question: Tell us about your writing process and the way you brainstorm story ideas.
Petty: I am somewhere between a "pantser" (someone who makes it up as they write) and a planner. I usually make a chapter map of each book I write, with one or two paragraphs about the plot of each chapter, then I start writing. My chapter map usually changes as I go, but it gives me a good guideline to keep the story on track. My brain is in constant "storm mode," so any time a good idea pops up, I tend to write it down or start developing it in my head.
Q: What is your writing kryptonite?
Petty: Boredom. If I don't like what I'm writing no one else will. Sometimes it will stop a story in its tracks and I'll go back and rewrite entire portions of the book. One time I even scrapped an entire book that was almost complete and only kept the first chapter, then rewrote the entire book.
Q: How did you celebrate the publishing of your first book?
Petty: "Thrallborn" was the first book I had ever published and it felt great. I remember saying while I was writing it, "Wouldn't it be so cool to see a book with my name on it sitting on the shelf next to 'The Lord of the Rings'?" So that was the first thing I did when I got my first copy of "Thrallborn." I still keep them there today.
Q: What other authors are you friends with? How do they help you become a better writer?
Petty: Kenyon T. Henry and Keith Robinson are local authors who I like to catch up with at signing events and conventions. They've shared stories and experiences with me that have helped me along the way.
Q: If you were given the opportunity to form a book club with your favorite authors of all time, which legends or contemporary writers would you want to become a part of the club?
Petty: J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis and Brian Jacques are three of my all-time favorite authors who I grew up reading and that have influenced my writing. I would definitely choose them.
Q: How do you think the concepts such as Kindle and e-books have changed the present or future of reading?
Petty: E-books and Kindle have made it possible for authors like me to share our stories with the world without having to deal with publishers who most likely wouldn't give us the time of day. The creative freedom it allows us is another major boon.
Q: What marketing strategies do you find most helpful?
Petty: Honestly, word of mouth. I have the most success when I am able to sit and talk with someone about my books. Seeing their eyes light up with intrigue feels really good, too. My favorite times are when the kids who read my books already come up to me at conventions and start asking questions about their favorite characters.
Q: Can you tell us about your current projects?
Petty: I am currently working on the final installation in the "Swerdbrekker Saga," which started with "Thrallborn" and includes "Ghosts of Alfhaven," "The Battle for Jordborg" and "At Storm's Edge." The "Swerdbrekker Saga" follows a young half-elf named Sawain who rises out of his humble origins to become one of the greatest heroes in Hammerhold's history. His exciting quest to defeat the evil Grey King wraps up in the final book, "Swerdbrekker."
Q: Any advice you would like to give to aspiring writers?
Petty: Don't give up. Keep writing. Keep talking to people about your books. Keep sharing your stories. It gets tough sometimes, and you will be discouraged sometimes, but keep writing. Find that group of people, even if it is small at first, who want to know what happens next. Then write for them, so that they can find out. Trust me, it helps a lot.
I want to thank Petty for answering my questions. We do have his books in our collection. You can sign up for curbside service and put some of his books on hold to check out. To learn how, just go to www.ngrl.org.
Please be safe, stay healthy and know that we look forward to seeing and serving you in person as soon as we can. Miss you!
Brandy Wyatt is the administrator of the Dalton-Whitfield County Public Library.