Welcome to my personal website. My name is J.R.F. Witty and I am a Self-Published Author. All my life I have desired to be a writer, but preferred to be able to have food to eat and feed my family. So I steered away from that desire and just went to work, put my nose to the grindstone as they say. During that stage of my lifetime, I never gave up reading or my desire to write. I practiced it, even when I wasn’t doing it. Often in many conversations with peers at work or strangers, be it in person or on the phone. Heck you could be the poor soul I crossed paths with in the grocery store or got in line near me someplace. Maybe it was via an email I sent out, or a presentation that I created and gave for whatever reason (that is to say even in my business reports and training I did). More than once was I asked “Are you a writer?” or I was told “You should be a writer."
My first book is already available, you can find it on Amazon.com but it is not a fiction. You see, getting into writing, knowing I would need to find people to help me edit (get those typos out), I just wanted to see what it took to self-publish. How hard would it be? Would it cost anything at all? Turns out, it was pretty easy and didn’t cost anything…can’t say as much for this website, lol. So for my first book, rather than release one of my Fictions I’ve been working on, I released a non-fiction, stories I know very well (because I did them) in my youth. Tales of what it was like, growing up in small remote town USA. The things I did, the things that happened to me, how they shaped me, guided me, making me into the person I am today.
My current book I’m working on is a fiction with a working title of “What is a Soul”. I am considering “What makes a Soul” or maybe even “What defines a Soul” as well as a few other options. We’ll simply have to wait and see what I finally settle on. Besides writing my tales along with getting everything in place to market myself and my books, I am honored to share with you some information about myself when it comes to books. Things like I’ve never been stuck in just one genre, loving everything from children’s books, to horror, fantasy, mystery, western, history, biography, the list goes on and on. Keep in mind, we haven't even included comics or graphic novels yet and I like a lot of those as well. .
This is the book I am currently reading,
Noir by Christopher Moore. This book sucked me in from the very beginning. With its introduction of Sammy and the Cheese. It’s very well done, I believe it truly represents the period and location during the time of the story. How they act, interact, talk, work with one another while dealing with the world around them. Set in 1947 San Francisco, it’s a fantastic book. Witty, a bit mysterious and of course it makes me crave the cheese.
What book do I think changed my life?
When I read The Hobbit at the age of 14, it was very moving to me. Moving because where I grew up, call it small town America, I was extremely gifted with math. My teachers had been passing me, from grade to grade given my math was truly phenomenal, this was all my teacher’s had focused on, just passing me, grade after grade, not caring that I wasn’t getting more out of my education. So imagine my surprise when I get to Freshman English in High School and I’m told we’re going to do a paper on a subject of our choosing and it will require an Outline, Title Page, Proper Body Structure, Summarization, Footnotes, references and just a whole bunch of other things I had no clue about.
Telling my best friend at the time, Casey, “What is that” he thought I was joking, but soon realized I was not. He told me I had to talk to the Teacher. After class we went to Mr. Branch (our English Teacher) and I told him I didn’t know what he was talking about, he might have thought I was joking as well, but he didn't show it and offered to help me. Casey went home and told his Father, the school superintendent about my situation and Mr. Branch wanting to help me, I’m not sure, but I believe he intervened to make sure I got that help. After during a standardized test I was given to see where I was, my math was at a Junior level in College, my English, reading, writing and such were 2nd to 3rd grade level. Mr. Branch took the time to work with me, after asking me what I liked (which at the time was Knights, Dragons and such). He hooked me up with a copy of The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. I gobbled that book up, could not get enough of it, as I read it and continued my other training, I tested again at the end of the year with a Sophomore rating for English and writing as I went on to 10th Grade. David Branch, where ever you are, you are the greatest and inspired me greatly to help others throughout the years. I hope (where ever you are) that you are very well.
If I could be the Author of any book, which one would I pick?
That is a really tough one. As I mentioned, I have a fondness for J.R.R. Tolkien’s work. Then there are the practical and classic, timeless choices like “Romeo and Juliet” or advancing forward “The Count of Monte Cristo” or forward some more for “To Kill a Mockingbird”. Then there is the Harry Potter series, even the current Noir I’m reading. I really don’t know how a person can pick just one, it’s like trying to name my most favorite song or movie, still I’m going to try. I’m going to go with the Deception Point by Dan Brown. If you’ve not heard of it, I’m sure you’ve heard of “DA Vinci Code” for which he is well known. I do love Dan’s writing and I would have very much loved to have written Deception Point, being a tech nerd all of my life.
What book really influenced me, making me want to be a writer?
The Lord of the Rings series by J.R.R. Tolkien. After learning “The Hobbit” storyline had a continuation of the story I was hooked. So much so that after working, saving money to buy more books, I would often re-read through the series (in between the books I was able to buy). Yeah, where I lived the local library was kind of hurting for books after having burned down. Thusly it was work, save and once a month, sometimes twice, I could purchase a new book to read from the local, small bookstore. In fact, a lot of the books I read were great books, some I considered OK, however, even the ones I really liked, I noticed they did not hold a candle compared to Tolkien’s work. His work gave us so much detail, he made up whole languages, family tree’s, history, it truly was beyond comparison of the other books I had access to at that time.
What is a book that I believe is underrated.
I don’t know if it’s underrated, but I see it gets a lot of flack from those who have read it. Lord Fouls Bane by Stephen R. Donaldson. OMG, I was 15 maybe 16 when I read this book and it abhorred me. The main Character, Thomas Covenant, ugh, he did horrible things. Things I had not read or seen in any of the books I had been reading. Things I did not agree with. So much so it was tough for me to finish the book, let alone imagine I’d buy and read the whole series. I actually set it down, cursed a little about spending my hard earned money on it and wondered if I could return it. But something in me said “be open here, this is a story, a tale, it is not reality, not your reality, so just finish it, don’t quit.” After all I thought Gandalf fell to his death (Spoiler Alert) and he did (Another Spoiler Alert) but came back better than ever. So I picked up the book and finished it. Stephen’s portrayal of the main character, a man who’s not believing what is happening, is spot on. Image if you thought you were having a dream. A dream you could not wake up from, where you were put into impossible situations, what would you do? If I believed I was stuck in a dream...OMG, I’d probably be a little monster, I hope not because that’s not me, but I have to admit the possibility is there. Again, I would hope not, but I do realize we all have that capability in us. The main character wasn’t quite being malicious on purpose with everything he did, he just didn’t believe anything was real and really didn't want to play along. To me this is a true introduction into an “antihero”, you know, someone put into a position they don’t want and can’t get out of. Given the character’s story I find his actions quite believable… but man was that one hard to read, especially at that age. Knowing what I do about life now, I get it more and if you’ve ever read the book or series and gotten really upset, relax, it’s just a story and I can relate as it really did stir my emotions, which is that not the purpose of a great story? I think it is.
What was the last book to make me cry?
You mean other than when Galdalf was swept off the bridge of Khazad-dûm? Oops, there I go with those spoilers again. I have to admit, it was my own first book, some of the memories I shared brought some tears to my eyes (some real sad parts in there my friends). What was the last book that made me lol as they say these days? Noir by Christopher Moore, the book I am presently reading has caused me to lol quite a few times. Of course, my own book I wrote which made me cry, also had me lol’ing to tears recalling some of the crazy things I did and saw, very funny, I would hope if you read it you would laugh too.
Is there a book I couldn’t finish?
No, but there have been some books I put down and quit reading for a while, the aforementioned Thomas Covenant series by Stephen R. Donaldson, I’m very glad I went back. Would you also believe my Beloved Lord of the Rings? Yep, in the Fellowship of the Ring, when Galdalf fell I was heart broken and upset and put the book down. I had been excited to finish it and start The Two Towers that I had just bought with that hard earned money. I didn’t get back to it until like two weeks later. Do I have any books I’m ashamed to admit I read them? Well, when you think about an old man reading “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” by J.K. Rowling… I mean really, don’t you get the feeling that book’s for a young boy? That said, not ashamed, never be ashamed people, only cognizant of your choices, making sure they are good choices as good choices are nothing to be ashamed of.
Do I have any book recommendations to give as gifts?
Yeah, like way too many. I think more important than any book I might recommend, it would be just recommending you read. If it is a child, I'd start them with something they really like, for example, if they liked dogs, why not a book on dogs? For those of us a bit more seasoned (that's a polite way of saying older), how about The Six-Gun Tarot by R.S. Belcher. A vivid and wildly imaginative book, mixing in some fantasy, steampunk and actual biblical type references, not to mention the old west. It's a fantastic book. On the other hand, if you’re reading my book, Bless your heart child. Even if you’re not reading my book, Bless your heart child.
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