General

From Today’s Authoring Roller Coaster

Life as an author is a perpetual emotional roller coaster. My new novel is essentially finished. I think it is even better than my last one (which was said by some to be pretty good), so shouldn’t I be happy and looking forward to its release?

[Tomorrow The Grace manuscript’s last page. Photo by me, August 13, 2019.]

Actually, I’m feeling a little down and depressed. I have spent some two years with all of its characters – nearly four years if I count the previous book, for some of them appear in both books – and I will (again) miss my daily relationship with those “people.” It is not easy after all of this time simply “to let them go.”

[Screen capture of Instagram.]

I don’t remember who posted that meme above, which I saved some weeks ago. But I borrow it here because it is on target. Talk about the day to day ups and downs and ups and downs you may feel as a writer.

I have also been feeling lately that I don’t comment enough on book blogs. So I did recently on one I follow: “Samantha The Reader” (who is so sharp I can even forgive that she doesn’t like one of my favorite authors). She HATED the first Outlander novel. I just couldn’t resist sharing my reaction:

[Screen capture of comment on SamanthaTheReader.com.]

Nor could I resist taking a little dig there at that author’s opinion of where her writing should be placed by genre. I have a graduate degree in history and I take this issue seriously. My opinion above on her take is based on this Newsweek magazine 2018 paragraph:

Best-selling author Diana Gabaldon has talked about this, criticizing retailers, publishers and critics who label her Outlander series as romance instead of time-travel adventure, historical fiction or any of the many other genres she weaves into her novels.

Oh, please. As I read that here once more, I can (as I did in March 2018) yet again feel an urge coming on to bash my head down on my desk repeatedly. For if her “time-travel”-based tale is “historical fiction”…

[French cognac. Photo by me, 2019.]

…I definitely need a drink.

[Excerpt from Conventions: The Garden At Paris, on Kindle for iPhone/iPad. Click to expand.]

Above we see a variety of once living people meeting in Paris and interacting with fictional characters amidst a real September 1791 diplomatic gathering – which is discussed by the very once real U.S. Minister (ambassador) to France (1792-94) Gouverneur Morris in his 1790-92 Paris diary – thus bringing that near-forgotten event back to life by including it within the fiction swirling around it.

THAT is historical fiction. It is FICTION – often with more than a touch of the romantic – imbued with, and written within the constraints of, HISTORY in order to bring that HISTORY better to life for us as readers. Who is real in that scene? Who is invented? It should not matter because they ALL “live” in the same “reality” of that time. There are no “light sabers”; there are no magic spells; there are no half-humans/half-cats; and there is no good grief, bl-ody “time travel”: no one has been “teleported” or “beamed” or “slingshotted” back from “1991” to 1791 to help prevent, say, the guillotining of the King in 1793.

Why is the concept of “historical fiction” being, uh, historical REALITY that is FICTIONALIZED, really sooooooo &#*;$@ยฃ%#! hard to grasp? For apparently it is for some writers. They just can’t stand in their own genre, but have to try to invade yours because… well, apparently, they feel looked down on because they believe critics (and some readers) consider their genre lightweight?

Anyway, when you are feeling a bit low, and now also maybe wondering why the heck you even bothered devoting YEARS to writing another ACTUAL “historical fiction” and “romance” novel when maybe you should instead try to write about dystopic trolls and half-human magicians and vampires and TIME-TRAVEL… and you then notice someone who has followed you for ages on Instagram and regularly interacts with you for reasons you still don’t entirely fully understand, but who had not been active for a few days…

[Screen capture of my Instagram.]

…is suddenly back from holiday and has zooooooomed through your feed “liking” a bunch of your recent posts. And when you see that, you smile. It may even help you feel a bit better. ๐Ÿ™‚

And now you start all over again facing yet another writing day.๐Ÿ˜‚

Have a good one, wherever you are. ๐Ÿ™‚