On Turnerstories.com, writer N.A. Turner shares one short story every month, accompanied by an illustration. The stories can be described as a mix between Black Mirror meets The Brothers Grimm. These stories are places where reality meets fantasy. From a magic tree, technology gone bad, societies shaken to time travel. The stories are also featured in the Turner Stories Podcast.
On his website, N.A. Turner also shares the lessons learned on his writing journey.
Why did you start your publication?
Last year I finally decided to take action upon something I have always wanted, to write fiction. After a couple of months of stacking up on short stories, I launched my website last September.
Ever since I was I child I’ve written stories, but I didn’t dare let anyone read them. “Life got in the way”, studying, starting a business, making money. However, the dream to become a full time writer had never left me. I’d been working on a novel, but I had no idea how to find my way in the world of writing and publishing. And then I had an idea. I would launch a blog and publish one short story every month. I already had a list full of ideas of topics that fascinate me. About our place in this world, about the future, how we can maintain our humanity in these fast changing times. I like to reflect on our shared human experience.
Not only would writing and publishing these short stories help me improve my writing, it’s also helping me find my way in the (self) publishing world.
What is the most gratifying element of publishing the written word?
Definitely to see/hear/read other people’s reactions to my stories. Hitting publish on a story means putting yourself out there, your ideas and values. When it resonates with people it is so gratifying.
What are your happiest memories in your writing/publishing career?
Publishing my 1st story “The Money Tree” in September 2017. A transformative moment, for I officially became a writer and published my work for everyone to read. Within a month, I managed to get featured on some blogs and received 1000s of visitors! It was surreal. Lastly, I would say a recent happy memory has been receiving my first dollars for my writing through Medium.com. A small amount, but still, I’ve earned money through writing. Unreal.
How do you handle success and failure?
Success results in principles I can repeat. Publishing on different platforms (Medium, Thrive Global), reaching out to others and getting featured on other blogs.
Failures result in iteration and shifting gears. Like when I’m stuck writing a story. When I’m unhappy with the result. I leave the story and start another. Only to come back to the previous one a while later, with fresh insight.
What makes you write when you’re exhausted and your fingers ache?
When an idea that’s stuck in my head needs to get out. I keep a list of ideas for stories, dialogue, short ramblings, etc. It literally keeps me up at night, because I’m often struck with ideas and inspiration the moment my head hits my pillow. And then I need to write everything down, no matter how exhausted.
What is your advice to young and new writers?
Write often, always learn, get quality feedback and set a daily writing goal. I strive to write 400 words a day, no matter what. Keeping up with that pace results in at least 1-2 stories each month.
Are you a traditionalist or a digital? (paper or eBook)
Personally I’m a traditionalist, I need to read on paper. I keep adding shelves to my wall to store all the new books I buy… With my own work right now and as a self-publisher, I’m focusing on eBooks, Medium.com, and my own site.
Do you blog?
Yes, next to writing short stories I blog about my writing journey. The things I’ve learned, failures I’ve stumbled upon, writing and marketing lessons, favorite books, etc. It’s almost like my writing diary.
Do you self-publish?
I’ve published one eBook through Amazon, with the second coming out this May. Next to that I publish all my work on my site and on Medium.com.
If you have a publication or promotion – tell us.
My first collection of short stories, titled “We’re all in this together”, is available on Amazon.