I posted this on Facebook last week.
It's hard to believe that since 2009 I've published (in one form or another) 12 novels, developed more than a dozen recurring characters, and wandered through the 1930s, the 1950s, and present day.
My characters have taken on the bad guys in Asia, Europe, America, and a during a long hot summer in 1956 Michigan. I've even won a couple of awards and a few nicely framed honors.
Currently, in my queue, are three World War II thrillers (with new characters), and a hopeful third book in the Alex Polonia series. Most are self published (and thank you Thomas & Mercer), and right now almost all are priced at $0.99.
Unlike a lot of authors, I'm not in this for the money (however, a few bucks would be nice), the acclaim (don't do award competitions - a waste of time and money), don't do book signings (the ROI sucks), and I almost give away my work.
I love to tell stories, maybe squeeze out a tear or two, and maybe even a snicker. Take some time, read my stories, and maybe leave me a note, whether you enjoyed them or not. I will keep them coming.
And all that is true.
Writers writer, even Neil Gaiman says that it's the number one reason to write. (I like Neil's work, but sometimes even he states the obvious). What drives someone to spend months and even years writing a novel? It's a reclusive and uninclusive occupation, for little or no money (for most writers), causes issues within the family, and yet when done properly leads to immortality--think Shakespeare, Dickens, Bradbury, Hemingway, Dr. Seuss, S. King and even Gaiman. Maybe that's the reason, to have your words live on beyond you. You can't take anything when you go, but you can leave a lot for people to argue about. "That damn Voltaire. If he were here right now, I'd give him a piece of my mind."
One word placed after the previous one, so on and so on, until you run out of words, or story, or paper. Beginning, middle, and end - it's that simple.
Someone asked me the usual question, "How long does it take you to write a book?" We writers patiently try to give cute, pithy answers, "As long as it takes." "Till I'm done." I like to say that it is a question of experience. My first book took almost twenty years to publish (not write - I still don't think that book is completely done), the last one took three months, one in the middle took six weeks. So who the hell knows. The one point I'd emphasize is that if you don't put your butt in the chair, it will never be written, even if you had all of eternity.
There's a lot of hype out today about books and authors, battles rage within the writing community over diversity, propriety, cultural appropriation, sexism, racism, in fact over most any ism out there. Books are still banned by both the right and the left ends of our culture. No one wants their beliefs challenged. I received a review (it's still on my Amazon review list - look it up) over my young adult novel, The Cherry Pickers, that said they liked the story until it challenged their religious beliefs and their neat world view of homosexuality. From that point on, they gave the novel thumbs down. I wonder if they ever finished it? And to be honest, I loved the review. If I can write in a way that achieves my goal of telling a great story and making you uncomfortable in your shell, even for a little while, I've succeeded.
The human species is a source of boundless opportunities and grist for my writer's mill. Keep it up out there, can't wait to see what tidbits you leave for us tomorrow.
All the best . . . .