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New Berlin resident and world renowned writer, Gregory L. Norris, offers advice to aspiring writers

August 21, 2013
BERLIN – "The sky is not the limit – it is only the beginning," said world-renowned writer, Gregory Norris who now resides in Berlin. This was the advice he gave to any aspiring writer.

His new Berlin Writers' Group meets weekly and he recognizes an abundance of creative and talented people in the area. Esther Leiper, Judi Calhoun, and Jonathan Dubey are three local writers in his group. Part of his inspiration, he said, is having human contact. "I soak up their light and energy," he said.

Norris has written thousands of published works including articles, short stories, flash fiction, novellas, and scripts for T.V. shows including two episodes of Star Trek: Voyager. He is currently working on his first movie script. He writes mostly science fiction and on the paranormal, but never limits himself to one genre. He also writes romance, mysteries and westerns, even though at one point in his life he loathed westerns.

Recently, after his article in The Berlin Daily Sun, NH Chronicle ran his story which was filmed at his home on Maple Street. The walls in his work room were decorated with all of his childhood idols whom he had worked with and interviewed including William Shatner, Martin Landau, and Kate Mulgrew, who even wrote a blurb for his book, "The Fierce and Unforgiving Muse." She starred in one of his Star Trek: Voyager episodes titled "Counterpart." Most of his interviews were conducted during the time he wrote articles for Sci-Fi Magazine, a pre-runner to the Sci-Fi Channel in his younger years. During the NH Chronicle airing, Norris revealed file cabinets of thousands of unfinished and finished works labeled from A to Z all written with a fountain pen.

Norris grew up in Windham where his passion for science fiction started. He took a liking to T.V. shows like Dark Shadows, Space: 1999, and Lost in Space. His only friend had moved away, so besides his family, his surroundings were all he had. He described his home as an "enchanted cottage" encircled by dark woods. There was this castle on a hill nearby, he said. "When the wind blew the trees, I could see the castle." All this inspired him. During this time, he started writing his own episodes of Space: 1999. This led him to a long, successful career. After residing in Milford and spending time in Hollywood where he worked, he decided to go further north in his home state and fell in love with Berlin where he now works from. He has already pitched and sold many stories and ideas to publishers since he has been here.

His new home on Maple Street that he named "Xanadu," is now where he works. Xanadu is his favorite movie starring Olivia Newton John, and whenever his batteries are low, he fuels up by watching the movie. Berlin is his proud new home and inspiration is everywhere he said. Whether he is looking out in the distance to Mt. Washington and the Presidentials or in his back yard of freshly mowed grass, he is truly inspired by the area. On the day he and his partner first moved to their home five months ago, a flock of wild turkeys welcomed them in their back yard.

Norris noted that inspiration can come from anywhere, but that his childhood memories with his two grandmothers still inspires him to this day. One of his grandmothers read him Edgar Allen Poe, now a favorite author of his. He mentioned how his other grandmother, Rachel Runge, wrote "Guidelines for Children," which could be found on the table in the waiting room at the doctor's office.

When asked what advice he would give to other aspiring writers he had a lot to say. Ideas for stories scream to him at night. He said he doesn't rely on memory so he always writes down his ideas on index cards. He believes that so-called writers-block isn't real and that it is an excuse not to write. "There is no physical manifestation of something holding you back," he said. He prefers to call it a "passion power outage" due to the amount of hours a day he writes. He offered his formula for writing: 1. Write. 2. Finish. 3. Polish. 4. Submit.

"Give yourself permission to write and to do what you want to do. The sky is not the limit, it is only the beginning," he insisted. "And, I don't believe in thinking outside the box, because I don't believe in the box," he continued.

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