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So, You Want To Be An Author?

Part One - Why?

It is said that everyone has a book inside them. Who said it first? I have no idea, and Google is being uncooperative in helping me find out.

In last week’s post Back When I First Started To Write, I gave a very edited version of my path into writing. So this week I thought I’d expand on it by running a series on the writing process and using my own experiences and what I’ve been taught by the WWBC and myWANA guru, Kristen Lamb.

So, You Want To Be An Author? Part One is going to be about WHY? Why do you want to be an author?

Now, if you read last week’s post you’ll have a rough idea of my background and my unhealthy fascination with Dempsey and Makepeace…..moving on. But for those who don’t know anything about me, keep reading.

This week saw World Book Day and it got me thinking. What other stories and characters, other than the suave Michael Brandon (aka Dempsey), have inspired my writing. My first book, for instance, was Enid Blyton’s ‘The Children of Cherry Tree Farm’. At least it’s the first one I remember reading. In fact, I loved all Enid Blyton Books. What kid didn’t? I would have given my right arm to be a member of the Famous Five! But that would have made it the Famous Six….unless I off’d George or Timmy or…..did I just say that aloud?

At school, my three-page story assignment turned into a mini 30 page ‘who-done-it’ novel. I received an A- for that piece of work and it ended up taking pride of place on the staff room coffee table.

My sister and I were always trying to solve some mystery or another when we were younger. And growing up didn’t stop me, either. School friends, including horror writer Steven Marshall, and I investigated haunted houses and ghostly sightings. Not even adulthood could slow my fascination for the unsolved mystery. During my (very late) teens, a group of us used to go ghost hunting in woods and cemeteries in the dead of night – just ask Erkan Mustafa 🙂

My favourite TV shows were CHiPs, Hart to Hart, Charlie’s Angels, Hunter, Murder She Wrote. If there was a murder committed and a mystery to solve, I loved it.

My love affair with Michael Douglas began when I saw him Romancing the Stone away from Kathleen Turner. I wrote many ‘man-saves-woman’ mysteries set in jungles after seeing that film, I can tell you.

I was born to write – and write crime and horror and mystery.

But does that answer the Why I want to be an author?

I don’t believe it does, although it certainly explains where my love for writing has come from and why I write the genres I do.

So, why do I want to be an author?

If I really strip away the outer layers and plunge headfirst into the core of the question, it has to be this. I want to scare the crap out of people. I want to make them smile. I want to make them forget life – for just a few hundred pages at least. And, after they’ve wiped the sweat from their brow, reset their pacemakers, and put the book back on their shelf – it’s my name I want them to see on the spine.

Money has never been the drive behind my wanting to write. Just as well considering there’s hardly any money to be made in fiction – unless your name ends in King, Rowling, James, or Childs.

In today’s world of digital publishing, and the ever-increasing e-books downloaded onto Nook and Kindle and iPhones etc, my spine dream may end up being just that. But then, I’m not the kind of girl who sets her sights on only one thing. If I can’t have my book-spine, then I’ll have other things instead. Okay, so being read on a Kindle isn’t my dream but it isn’t that bad either. And I’ll be just as happy for people to see my name among the end credits of a show as they scroll to the top of someone’s 42” TV.

So, that is why I want to be an author.

Now, lesson one. Tell me why YOU want to be an author. None of this “Oh, I’ve loved writing since I was a kid” baloney. I want the real nitty-gritty reason.

If you want more of me, I can be found on FacebookTwitterGoogle+ and Linkedin

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