“Get To Know A Writer”

After my last couple of posts, we need something lighter. So…

[From Instagram.]

Is that where people think writers dwell? In isolation? In a castle?

Moving along…

[From my Instagram Stories, August 24, 2021.]

Thus me… if you happen to be new here and have not clicked away already. LOL! “Get to know a writer?” Okay, here we go:

No. In fact, what you see is what I have: five published novels and two short stories (free at the link at the very top) to date.

Other than my “work in progress” (“wip” in hip social media speak), I have NOTHING else even close to publishable in reserve as of this post.

Nothing I have published embarrasses me. And I think that is an important point to make. For one never knows WHAT might attract anyone’s attention. I write as if every word I write might be read by 8 billion people.

Terrifying that possibility, eh? LOL!

I plot the entire book from beginning to end VERY broadly. Then I start basically at the beginning. After that, I jump all over the place… until it is finally finished. It might well be finished midway through, really. It all depends.

I do have one, but I am not saying who she is. LOL!

I can think of one, but I don’t want to share something like that with readers.

Again, I won’t say. A finished book is just that. No book is perfect. We all look back on this or that in it and think, “I could have written that another way.” Readers, fortunately, never know that – if you don’t tell them.

I suppose it depends on the real interest of the person(s) asking. I am never “embarrassed.” I am however naturally reticient.

A major problem is most writers are not actually “actors.” I am not looking for my own personal fame. I want my BOOKS to be enjoyed and my CHARACTERS to be known. I don’t actually give a damn about myself.

Uh, the one I write in.

I don’t understand that question. I don’t need to seek out some vague “inspiration” to write. I just write what I want to write based on ideas I find interesting that I hope readers too will find interesting.

Often with music playing – anything from the Beatles to Journey to Mozart.

And usually I write alone, in my study.

I do think I am more descriptive than previously. I was very “sparse” in my first books – but that was also deliberate because I wanted them to be “easy” and “clean” reads.

No way I am sharing that. Readers will make that judgement. I’m not going to offer my own thoughts, so readers go looking for those “weaknesses.”

I don’t know. I can’t judge that. Only readers can.

There is the “works in progress” shorthand “wips”… for those with “works in progress” – plural. I admire such people to have lots of stuff on the go at once.

But I digress. As for the playlist question: I did once early on, years ago. I have not since.

Because I am insane.

Seriously, because I felt I could write better books than lots of the stuff I was seeing published. I also felt by my 40s – when I truly started – I had enough life experience to make some I hoped “original” and “interesting” reading. My (now late) uncle, who was a novelist, had been on at me since the 1990s to write, and I finally decided in 2012 to give it a go… which resulted in my first novel that was very much based on, well, me.

After that, I could not stop. It became like a drug. The more I wrote, the more I wanted to write and to push boundaries and do more and try new stuff on the pages. Every book finished has led me on to want to write a “better” next one.

Yes.

Just keep doing what you are doing.

Many of you may know this already. If you don’t, I have always been taken with classics such as War and Peace, The Last of the Mohicans, The Age of Innocence, Pride and Prejudice, and more recently The Winds of War. They have influenced me, I am sure, more than I can possibly say.

If you write “naturally” and know your planned plot and characters well because they are “organic,” you won’t have too much trouble keeping track of what is happening and who the characters are. I think writers who try to do too much find themselves twisted into literary knots. I would urge a new author especially, with early books, to keep it “clear” and “simple” insofar as possible.

I tend to write for a couple of hours in the mornings (especially on days I don’t post here). Increasingly, I write in the evenings now, too. I write mostly for an hour or two or three at the most in a “session.” I have learned if I get “tired” it comes out sloppy and I have to spend a lot of time rewriting, so I prefer to write “well” so I don’t have to keep going back and fix a mess.

I am proud of everything that is published. Sometimes I am truly pleased at what I have written.

Interestingly, writing sex does not trouble me as much as writing violence.

Yes.

I can’t say that is entirely the case. I have done some research into, for example, aspects of history in which I was less well-versed. I try to confine what I write to what I feel comfortable writing about. I seek to avoid subjects and topics to which I feel I cannot do justice.

Oh, well, since you asked… from my very first book, just a few chapters in…

[Excerpt from Passports: Atlantic Lives, 1994-1995, paperback. Copyright, 2013. Photo by me, 2021.]

…is a bit of recent history.

Maybe some of that all above is familiar to you, but if so it is likely not all old news to you. And if it is new to you, that’s great. Either way, you may now know this writer a little better. 😉

Have a good day, wherever you are. 🙂