1000 Word Book Review: Firetok by Gordon Wilson


Screen Shot 2016-03-31 at 6.09.37 PM.png

Firetok by Gordon Wilson

From the first few chapters, there a few key facts to pick up. The main character has some psychic abilities. Much of the first chapter covered the relationship of the main character and a little girl, with child abuse playing a major part in the story. I’m sure the entire story has nothing to do with it, but for me, it wasn’t exactly my cup of tea to read that as the beginning. I would have preferred getting the psychic ability story out in the beginning some other way. Perhaps the girl at the beginning comes into play later on in the book. Based on the cover, I assumed Firetok was a dog of some kind, so I was a little confused why the story didn’t begin with the dog instead.

Does the first 1000 words show it as edited?

There story was edited. It flows well. There is a key point the author is trying to make in the first chapter and accomplishes what he sets out to do, I think.

Do I care about the characters after the first 1000 words?

I don’t necessarily care about the character through Chapter 3. It is hard to really relate to what he is going through, and to be frank, the actions of the kid is and administrators are baffling. There wasn’t a date I saw, but if happened in the last 40 years, the girl wouldn’t have gone back home with the mother.

Do I like the world building?

There wasn’t much of a setting covered in the first couple chapters. Most of it is character driven and covers the relationships in the story. I did like that the language in Chapter 2 seems more of a regional dialect and local, giving it some authenticity.

Overall Assessment: Would I continue reading past the 1000 words?

I personally wouldn’t, due to the subject in the first chapter. Child abuse and non-action because of it wouldn’t have made me read on. It reminded me a little bit of Forrest Gump in a way, but the that story was told, Forrest was likable far before the child abuse stuff.

Overall Story Opening Rating: 0.5/5.0 Happy Go-Lucky Red Pandas.

Screen Shot 2016-04-04 at 7.49.20 PM.png (Nothing sadder than a half red panda)

One thing I would have liked seeing:

Make me like the main character early on. Maybe use a flashback to cover childhood trauma instead of leading off with it. Then I would have cared when reading it. Another way is to actually make the first chapter the last chapter. This would be a reveal similar to the end of “Once Upon a Time in the West.”

Q&A with Gordon Wilson

How long did the first draft take to write?  

My first draft took pretty close to 8 months to write. I was working on the road and could only work on it Saturdays.

Did you change the ending in the middle of writing?
I did not change the ending, it pretty well wrote itself and even now could not imagine a different outcome.
Did you submit traditionally?
I don’t think I ever sent out any query letters. I had no idea how to really write a book much less go down the agent road. My initial intention for Firetok was to introduce the characters of what I expected to be a several part story.
Where do you want to go with the series?
I don’t have a firm vision of that yet. A couple of the characters have a lot of growing to do and much more wrong to right. They like me are still learning how to use their power.
Favorite author who has influenced your writing?
Favorite author, I kind of hate to say it because I get compared to him frequently but I would have to say Stephen King followed closely by Mark Twain. Have they influenced my writing? I think they must have because I have read so much of their work. I really enjoyed how Twain could make a story seem kind of straightforward and believable without being overdone.


Exploits of a Midnight Traveler (Part 4)

Screen Shot 2016-04-03 at 9.34.47 PM.png

I made it down and into the lobby without a word to my elevator traveling companion. I find it hard to trust anyone who has ever pulled a gun on me. I kept him in my peripheral vision to avoid a stare down. Something here didn’t seem right. Hell, it wasn’t right. It crept in like a whisper and intensified as the floor numbers got lower.

By the time the elevator stopped, it was an inescapable clamor. I had to lose this asshole and get back to the room. How was that going to work? We walked through the empty lobby and out onto the sidewalk. Mr. Mercedes made me nervous enough not to pay any specific attention at first to the fact we were the only people in the hotel. The concierge and clerk who were always at their post were gone. Not a soul in the typically bustling lobby.

This whole thing is wrong and getting wronger. I need to get back up there now.

I tried, “I will meet up with you later, there is something I have to take care of.”

Mr. Mercedes stared back with a scowl, I was surprised when he answered, “How long do you need?”

“Not sure.” I knew he could tell I was bullshitting, I bit my lip to attain some focus. “Give me an hour, I’ll meet you…” The nag of suspicion was blown away by the tsunami of realization. “Fuck me! Everything I have in this country is in that room…my money… my passport…” I knew I was cooked.

Mr. Mercedes showed more surprise than I would have expected but he blurted out “casino, one hour” under his breath before he bolted himself. I considered my options carefully over the next one and half seconds. As the second hand drifted in slow motion in the direction of two, I turned back toward the hotel doors. I walked the fifteen or so steps re-weighing my options.

Out of habit I thanked the door man and stepped into the lobby. It didn’t even strike me as odd until I heard the noise from the lobby which was bustling like an entry gate at the super bowl. “What the ffff….” I said it out loud. A large man bumped into me in the commotion and looked me up and down as if I said it to him. I ducked my head down and tried to press through the crowd toward the elevator.