Guest Blog/Andrew Hess

Writing process for poetry and fiction

My Poetic Writing Process

Poetry, in its essence, is something I don’t feel can be learned from a book. It is something that comes from your heart and your soul. They are words that reflect intimate moments of your life and can be expressed in a multitude of fashions. I like to keep my poems simple, easy to understand and relatable to anyone reading them.

When I first started writing my poems, I was much younger than I am now; not just in years but in maturity as well. I had been struggling with major setbacks in my personal life that made me feel like everything was spiraling out of control and I had no outlet to express myself. My book, Chamber of Souls, was a collection of poems that represented my struggles as I coped with the end of a bad relationship, moving back home and starting over from scratch. It was an eye opening experience as the thoughts flowed from my mind and became words on paper.

Each poem felt like an out of body experience. Most of the time I sat at work when the wave of inspiration took over me. My eyes would glaze over and had just a few words that made perfect sense to me. I didn’t think about what it meant, I didn’t think about what was going on around me. I grabbed the nearest pen and a piece of paper and jotted down every word that came to me. The poems took me minutes to write out. Some were long, some were short, none of them rhymed, but I didn’t care. They made perfect sense to me and was everything I felt at that moment.

I never thought to put together a book of poetry. It took me months to even reach my sixth completed poem and didn’t even think they had any connection to each other. I was just grateful for the ability to get what I was feeling written down on paper.

My Fictional Writing Process

Unlike writing poetry, sitting down to write a novel has been a completely different experience for me. My first book idea came to me when I was sitting in a Literary Fiction class in college. I kept thinking to myself how much the world has changed since I was a kid. Then I watched a few Michael Moore documentaries and thought there was so much the government did or could do and we would never know.

I devoted too much time in and out of class plotting out my first real book idea until I felt ready enough to write out a rough draft. I decided to write it out in a notebook, which was very time consuming and tired me out. I think it took up about two sections of a five subject notebook and was so bad that anyone could have taken my idea and done a better job with it. So I sat up every night working on my computer and started taking the ramblings of a bored college student and started turning it into a true first draft.

In the nine years I have been writing, my routine has never changed. I spend days at a time mapping out the story through an outline on a large yellow legal pad before even attempting to begin the story on my computer. Once I start, I spend every night during the week typing away until I get the story where I want it to go and really get a feel for my characters. Since there are many distractions all around me, I tend to lock myself in a room for hours with either the TV as background noise or keep my headphones on while I blast music. The stories themselves tend to take me a couple of months to write the full first draft. That’s when I take a break from it and start to focus on developing other stories. It gives me enough time away to come back with a clear perspective as I comb through the countless chapters, edit where I need to or re-write the chapters that really need attention.

Andrew’s Bio

Andrew Hess is a resident of Long Island New York who likes to spend much of his time traveling between Long Island, New York City and the Dutchess County areas. In 2011 he debuted with his first book Chamber of Souls, a small book of free verse poetry which depicted the struggles of a man who thought he had everything in the world only to feel like he lost everything after a rough break-up. In 2013, Andrew debuted his novel The Phoenix Blade: Project Justice; the first in The Phoenix Blade series.

Andrew is also a blogger at where he interviews and promotes other authors in order to assist indie authors get more exposure. Andrew is also a frequent guest on the Anthony Charles Podcast, a show dedicated to creative professionals as they give insight into their works and the lives they lead; guests have included authors, comedians, musicians, stuntmen, actors and producers.

The Phoenix Blade: Project Justice

What would you do if everything you said and did was monitored and used to force you into working covertly for the government?

College student Andrew Lancaster has had enough of corrupt politicians and corporate greed, but his anger filled rants may have gone too far. When Lancaster is contacted by a government official calling himself “The Benefactor,” he learns his private communications have been monitored. And there will be consequences.

Lancaster is given a choice; join forces with the government he distrusts, or face a treason indictment. As an added incentive, he’ll receive the answer to a question that has plagued him since childhood-who killed his mother.
It is something Lancaster cannot live without knowing and enlists as an undercover operative in Project Justice. At first the mission seems ideally suited for his do-gooder attitude. But Lancaster soon discovers the tactics he’ll be using are not only dishonest; they’re deadly.

Lancaster learns he will be an assassin; eliminating targets the Benefactor and other high ranking officials deem to be evil.

N.B. This book is now available, free, on Smashwords

The new book in this series: The Phoenix Blade: Awakening launched August 28.

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