New Author Showcase: Norton S. Beckerman
Nort Beckerman writes, teaches and speaks about regaining and maintaining a healthy, effectively functioning brain. He’s the author of a non-fiction book entitled “A Users Guide to a Healthy Brain.” He’s been a speaker on TEDx and until recently he was the Brain Health Couch on local TV.
Nort started to study the brain in 2002 so that he could understand his own supposedly incurable cognitive problems. An illness had cost him most of his short term and working memory and then he lost his ability to talk. According to him, If something like this had to happen it couldn’t have happened at a better time. New technology and the findings of research conducted in the 1990’s radically changed the neuroscience community’s understanding of the human brain. What he was learning told him that his supposedly incurable cognitive problems weren’t incurable at all. It took him 21/2 years, but he regained his memory and his ability to talk. Nort still study’s brain science but his objective is to share with others what he has learned. He presents it in an understandable and useful manner. So what does this have to do with his novel.
Nort’s been an avid reader of fiction and non-fiction all his life, and that’s what led to VIRUS. He is constantly occupied reading or writing about brain science. But he wanted to write a story that would incorporate his training in science with his love for fiction.
He decided that his informational website was a perfect place to give it a try. He decided to write a serialized story wrapped around information about the brain. He joined a writer’s group to get some guidance. That was in 2011. Apparently, that was a major turning point in his writing career. They liked the story he was writing and encouraged him to write it as a novel. But he was a science writer he had to learn how to write fiction. It was their listening, reading and critiquing his writing that honed his skills as a writer of fiction. As a reader he knew that his book had to have an unexpected and rewarding ending. After six years, seven manuscripts and a patient editor “VIRUS., a science fiction thriller” was born.
What does a writing success mean to you?
There are two ways to measure success; financially and emotionally. There’s no question, I would like to sell my book. But I’ve already received an incredible gift from all those that have supported my efforts and helped me to learn how to write fiction. I’ve already been successful. That success continues to climb with the number of readers that read my stories and enjoy them.
Who or what influences your writing the most?
Reading, storytelling. I’ve been an avid reader of fiction and non-fiction most of my life. I love reading. My father was a storyteller and I used to make up stories for my children and grandchildren. I never really thought about writing fiction until I joined a writer’s group. They liked my stories and encouraged me to write, but I’m a science writer. I had to learn how to write fiction. There’s a big difference. But I found that I love writing fiction. I’ve written a short story entitled “DAD!” and I’m writing a sequel to “VIRUS …”.
Do you have a system for writing?
No. My characters exist, but in a different reality. They periodically allow me to join them in their reality, but I have to be in the right mood and in the right frame of mind before they let me in. Sometimes it just hits me and I’m there with them. Most of the time things occur in my head before I can capture events and emotions in writing.
If you could sit down with anyone (living, dead or fictional) and have a long conversation, who would it be?
There’s so many to choose from. Predicting the future is like creating a new reality. I think Leanardo Devinci. His mind and thoughts went way beyond his existence, his reality. He created a future, a new reality, with his inventions even if they were only on paper.
What is the one thing that you find challenging in your writing work?
Writing is the easy and fun part. I merely need to be relaxed and receptive. The hard work for an indie author is marketing the books. The world of books is a universe unto itself. Understanding that universe and walking through it as a writer, storyteller and entertainer is the hard part. When I ask people to buy my book it’s like asking each of them for a job.
Book Title: VIRUS a science fiction thriller
“VIRUS a science fiction thriller” is a story about two different things that become inextricably entangled. The first is a finding that modern science says can’t exist. Bur it does exist and it’s deadly. The second is the evolving relationship between two very focused people as they try to resolve their horrible nightmare.
“VIRUS …” is fiction and it involves science. That’s why it’s science-fiction. But it’s an easy, involving read with some unexpected twists along the way. The characters are contemporary and could be real but they’re not. As a reader myself, I knew the story I was telling had to have a bombshell ending. And it does!
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Don’t become a writer because you think you’ll make lots of money. Write because you love storytelling. Learn your craft and read.