Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Guest Blogger, Rolf Hitzer

Please join me in welcoming debut author Rolf Hitzer as the special guest blogger here at Thoughts in Progress today as he makes a stop on his virtual book tour.

Rolf’s first novel is HOODOO SEA. Here’s a brief synopsis of it: “The government of the United States of America is on the verge of startling the world. Billions of dollars had been invested in its space program . And now, the moment of truth had arrived… Scott Reed is the man for the historic mission. He is the Wing Commander chosen by the elite brass at NASA. The assignment to test flight the first speed of light craft, held top secret, was about to shock the world. The risk? Utter and complete failure. The reward? Being a part of the greatest human accomplishment ever known to mankind. Major James Harrow, second in command of the four person crew, despised his Wing Commander. Harrow was a proud and patriotic American. What was NASA thinking when they selected a Canadian to pilot the voyage? There was no comparison as to who was the better skilled aviator. This was his time, his moment. Major James Harrow was about to prove to everybody they were wrong to bypass him as Commander. The weather conditions were perfect and lift-off for the test flight was text book. The triumphant cheers from Mission Control in Houston were echoed all the way to Cape Canaveral. The silent fear of the first hurdle of the flight had been succumbed. All systems were go! That is, until the crew and SOLT-X1 entered the Bermuda Triangle…”

Rolf stopped by today to talk about the “seven things I didn’t know when writing a novel.”

When I had made the decision to pen my first book, several things happened during the process I hadn’t expected. During this journey I was enlightened by these seven:

1.) Discipline – each day I made an appointment with myself for two hours to write. At first this seemed simple enough to do. As the months rolled along, I was tested often by the temptation of skipping a day here or there. Being focused to the task became paramount.

2.) Loneliness – the isolation from the people I loved the most when I locked myself away to write became one of the demons I fought each day. I wasn’t prepared for this feeling.

3.) Interruption – every writing session while working on the novel was a different experience. There were days the words flowed faster than I could put onto paper. Contrary, there were days where more time was spent staring at a blank page. It didn’t matter how my writing was progressing during any specific session, if the phone rang or someone in the household needed to ask a question, I was surprised how annoyed I became of the disturbance.

4.)Mental Exhaustion – after struggling with words, or racing to keep up with my thoughts, when I had finished for the day, often I found myself mentally bankrupt.

5.)Consumed – the deeper I was in the book, the more I became possessed by the story. Each night while lying in bed plots would begin to take shape. Chapters were born. I couldn’t hide; the novel would find and consume my thoughts.

6.) Fear – this emotional monster constantly toyed with me. Would I ever finish? Was I capable enough to write? Will anyone like what I had written? Oh, there are more. Fear became a scary beast and also a terrific motivator.

7.) Thrill – euphoria overwhelmed me when the last word was scribbled down. I had just scaled the highest mountain, swam the deepest ocean. I danced the Red River Jig. In reality, I celebrated by going out for a nice dinner with my wife.

Rolf, thanks for guest blogging today and sharing these things with us. From a reader’s standpoint, I am continuously amazed at the process writers go through.

Now for a bit of background on Rolf. He was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada in 1959 and raised by his parents, Erna and Julius Hitzer. He attended Princess Margaret Elementary School, John Pritchard Junior High and Graduated from Kildonan East Regional Secondary School where he had majored in Culinary Arts.

Rolf married his wife, Irma, in 1997. Together they have a wonderful blended family with Rita and Clark Bodoano and grandchildren, Alexandria, Patrick and Braeden; Jason and Leah Tutlies, and grandson Easton; Mandel Hitzer; and the youngest, Jessica Hitzer. Clearly the growth of his family is still a work in progress.

Rolf has several passions besides writing, which include: being at the log cabin on weekends; spending time on the water with a fishing pole in hand; wildlife viewing and especially Moose calling during the fall rut; and playing a range of Poker card games and a variety of board games.

In addition, Rolf is a member of the Winnipeg Real Estate Board, the Manitoba Real Estate Association and the Canadian Real Estate Association. He is currently working on his second novel. For more information on Rolf and his book visit his website at 



  1. Rolf, thanks again for guest blogging here today. The more I learn about what writers do to complete a book, the more in awe I am. Wishing you much success with your writing.

  2. Mason - Thanks for hosting Rolf.

    Rolf - I know exactly what you mean about the discipline needed for writing. I think if you don't build writing time into your day, it simply doesn't happen. Especially with all of the interruptions that are inevitable. Congratulations on Hoodoo Sea and I wish you all the best with it.

  3. Thanks so much for hosting Rolf today, Mason. :) I think I've felt many of the emotions he has when writing a book! I enjoyed reading his seven things. :)

  4. I think so much of the writing process comes down to focus. Through all the seven things on that list, you had to remain on the task at hand, focused, in order to complete. Kudos, and best wishes with your debut!

  5. Good luck with this book! The concept of light speed is fascinating. I think all of us learn those seven things you listed. Every day I relearn the meaning of interruption - LOL. Thanks for hosting, Mason.

  6. What a great storyline!

    And yes, those things you didn't know about writing a novel made me smile. Sometimes we get blindsided by them, don't we? We think we're prepared and then we realise we're not.



I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's post. Thanks for dropping by.