I’m a mum of one who is addicted to reading and writing. If I’m not spending time with my son, I can be found hunched over my laptop, writing. I’m also one of these (weird) people that can compose whole chapters on their phone while taking a stroll round the neighbourhood. My sister is convinced that I am going to be kidnapped but so far I’ve only walked into one car, two trees and some dog poop.
I find these long walks gets the creativeness flowing. It also inspires me to walk faster so I can get home and tap away at my laptop.
For me, writing is like breathing, essential to your wellbeing and heady with promise. I write mostly horror, having been influenced at a young and impressionable age by none other than the master of horror, Stephen King. His book Cujo was a revelation, a turning point for me. I still have fond memories of reading it under my sheet with a torch, too scared to move. To this day, I cannot even look at a Saint Bernard.
It was a pivotal moment in my life, a milestone if you will. I learnt to love the horror genre and immersed myself within it. I have written countless horror stories, some good, some bad and some just plain wrong!
So despite my deep love and affection for horror (we have an understanding), my first book, Little Girl Dead (catchy huh?) is a murder mystery. Initially it was going to be a short horror story. I had every intention of causing more murder and mayhem, but the story had other ideas and evolved into something else. While still being brutal in parts, it is a lot more character driven that what I have previously written.
I cry when I write, I’ll admit it, I’m a sook and I’ll yell at the screen when writing about an evil character, even as I write the words. I believe that the author must have an emotional connection to the story to make it believable. If you can’t involve yourself emotionally in the story, how can you expect a reader to? It’s really a case of leaving your heart on the pages, hold nothing back.
Not everyone is going to like your book. You can’t please everyone and although one bad review can ruin your week, it won’t ruin your life (I’ll get back to you on how that goes later on!). As hard as it is, we need to let these reviews slip right past us or use then to strengthen your next manuscript, even if it is like a shard of glass to the heart.
What happens if a book doesn’t sell as fast as you want it to? Well this book is going to be out there forever, no one can take that away from you, you wrote a damn book, it may sell years down the track, you just never know.
What I have learnt is to persevere. You can only get better at writing, by writing.