When Not Writing my Next in the Sterling Novels, I Blog to Amuse...

When Not Writing my Next in the Sterling Novels, I Blog to Amuse...

June 22, 2011

The most asked question

So, when a reader sends me an email, typically their question goes like this:

"Joseph, I've read your book and your bio, Dr. Michael Sterling is you isn't he?"

My answer is always the same: 

"Parts of him are, but parts of Private York are too."  (I can just see their eyebrows lift; I love it.)

(Private York is Dr. Sterling's unannouced, and unwanted side-kick; he appears in my next novel, too.)

You see, I think most of us that write inject a bit of our reality and subconcious into our work, but not into just the hero.  Dr. Sterling is certainly me - not literally - but he represents much of what I've done, accomplished, and believe; he is, to some extent, who I am now and represents from where I've come and to the level I aspire.  He is part fantasty and part reality.  His attitude and demeanor reflects a bit of my own, but so does Private York's.  I've often replied to these questions with this:

"Dr. Sterling is a culmination of my life as a mature man, and is how I see myself, or would like to see myself, but York is certainly me when younger, brash, and inexperienced, but full of all the arrogance, confidence, and swagger that comes with being twenty-something.  He is the asshole with fantastic potential that I was."

When reading a piece of fiction, think of this: the protagonist, supporting characters, and even the antagonist, represent bits of the subconcious of the author - Makes you wonder about the author of the "Dexter" serial-killer novels; if that doesn't blow your mind, I don't know what will...


  1. Spot on. In an upcoming story, set in the year 2100, I have my bad guys with a conscience blow up a bus full of kiddies... yeah, a few of my beta readers started to look funny at me. Had to explain to them I wouldn't even harm a fly, let alone a busload full of kids >_<

  2. I might look at you a bit odd, too :) but, hey, that's what an imagination and the creative process does: outlines the plausible; the implausible; the thinkable and -- the unthinkable. It give us sentient folk a grasp on the importance of our lives-how can one love without knowing hate; how can one inspire without having been inspired; how can one elevate without know from what to elevate? I say: grasp all side, including your morbid one. After all, we all slow down, and rubberneck at an accident, don't we?

    Ask yourself, why is that...?

    Take care,



  3. food for thought, that's for sure.