As I looked over the suggested topics for blogging at Love, Passion, Romance I despaired. I don’t have an established writing process or method of getting an agent’s or publisher’s attention. I don’t have a wacky bio (at least I don’t think I have) and I don’t write exclusively in any one genre. Along the way, I’ve made too many mistakes to believe myself capable of offering a list of do’s and don’ts. (I’ve discovered that in this business there are as many exceptions as there are rules). Hmmm. Maybe my best plan is to try to explain why I don’t fit into any of the above suggestions and yet have managed to become the author of twenty-seven published books.
Simply put, I love to write. Sure, getting published and having respectable sales figures is exciting but it’s the process that turns me on. The minute a good idea strikes, I take the bit of every day concerns in my teeth and am off, imagination running wild and free. When that happens, I become oblivious to the world around me. Characters, plot, setting, atmosphere take over my life. I’m in my private kingdom of words, words, and more words.
Genre has no place in this world. Sometimes it’s non-fiction, sometimes fiction, sometimes contemporary, sometimes historical. It’s my reason d’etre of the moment and that’s all that counts. I’ll never have the luxury of being branded but, then, hopefully, I’ll never cease to surprise readers.
Over the years I’ve had a few agents. None of these associations led to sales. Consequently I went back to marketing on my own. I studied publishers and their submission guidelines, checked out books they’d recently produced, and took my chances. I haven’t gotten rich but at least I’ve managed to have my manuscripts published in timely and acceptable ways.
Do’s and don’ts. These are definitely troublesome concerns. Each time I speak to an audience of aspiring writers, I try to avoid this topic except to explain the following. What is a “do” one year, a few years down the road becomes a definite “don’t”. The rules and requirements of professional writing are constantly changing. The best a writer or anyone hoping to become a publisher writer can do is keep informed and up-to-date on the trends.
Wacky bio? Well, as anyone who reads my fiction must suspect, I’ve spent a lot of time in the wilds with first my father and then my husband. Thus, the settings for more than a few stories. I’ve canoed rivers and hiked up mountains in sunshine and rain, heat and cold. I have three wonderful children who respect my work even when others don’t, and I graduated from university with a degree in English Literature two years after my oldest daughter received her degree in Education. I learned to ride a horse when I was forty-eight and have shared my life over the past three decades with a dozen wonderful dogs who have become the subjects of many articles and two award winning books.
I thank Love, Passion, Romance for inviting me to blog on their site. It’s been a pleasure. And fun to try to analyze me, myself, and I.