A Writer’s Life–Part 3

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I didn’t choose to become a writer…

I didn’t choose to become a writer–I was born a writer, even though I didn’t write my first word in a novel until I was 40!  You heard me right–40 years old, practically over the hill. But still I believe I was born to write.  For two reasons.

The first is that I love books–always have and always will. The Orthodox Jews have a tradition that if they drop a book, they will pick it up and kiss it–in case the name of God is in that book. I have that same sort of reverence for most books. There may be a few that don’t deserve it, but I’m not here to talk about those.

Probably from kindergarten on, I love to read.  Nothing was more exciting to me than the weekly trip to the library except maybe when I was allowed to buy a book from the Scholastic Reader. Then it was serious business. It was so hard to choose, but eventually I would. When my family would go on fishing or camping trips, I could be found sitting on a rock or in the car and reading. Yes, I read under the covers, in the dark,  and in the car.

So my love of books is the first reason I believe I was born to become a writer but not the only one. Lots of people love books as much as I do and never become a writer. Though some of them probably would love to write, but don’t know it yet! Just like me.

The second reason is a bit stranger than the first. At least it might be for you, but it never seemed odd  to me. It was simply a part of me. I always created stories even as a young child. Barbie and Ken had quite the life not to mention The Potato Family. But my imagination didn’t stop with my toys that I acted out the stories with.  I called it daydreaming back then, but now I realize I was actually creating stories. My daydreaming didn’t stop as childhood ended and adulthood began.

I would daydream as I drove to work, when I was relaxing, or most any other time or place. Unfortunately, I was 40 before it occurred to me that my daydreams had a purpose. And that purpose was that they were the stories I should be writing down to create novels. My daydreams were the books I was supposed to write!

My first book took me almost a year to write. I didn’t tell anyone I was writing a book because it seemed absurd that little old me could ever become a “real writer.” During that year I got bit my the writing bug. I fell in love with not only creating a story that only I could write, but with writing it in the best possible way. So if you ask me how I became a writer, I would tell you God created me to be a writer.  I believe that all that reading and imagining were the first steps in me becoming a writer. I don’t think I chose to become a writer. Instead I was born a writer–it simply took me forty years to start putting my stories on paper or should I say on a computer!

I have a third reason but I’ll share that story in Part 4 of a Writer’s Life.

How about you? What were you born to do?

God Bless & Good Reading!

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An Interview With Myself!

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When I have a new release I usually create several different posts as I take a book blog tour, which is a fancy way of saying I visit other people’s blogs to talk about my new book. I’m not doing that with The Christmas Angel Thief since I have another book releasing on December 1.

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One of the types of post I do is an interview. So I thought it would be fun to interview myself. Along with that, I’d love to get some questions from you as well. They can be about me, about this book, or even questions about the writing process itself.  So, for the next few weeks, I’ll post a few questions for myself and then see if any of you have any questions for me.

 

What is your writing process?

I’m what they call a “pantser” meaning I write by the seat of the pants. I never know what’s going to happen in my story on any given writing day. It’s as if my mind is a movie screen and I watch that day’s events and then I write it.

When I start a new story I usually have a clear picture of the main character in mind and what obstacle he/she will face, but anything goes after that. If I’m writing and start to feel bored—then I kill someone, blow something up or do something that’s a complete surprise to me.

And that way it’s a surprise to me and to my readers.

How long does it take you to write a book?

That’s a questions that I get asked a lot and I still don’t have a good answer for it. Because I might work on a story for a few weeks or a  month, then move on to another project, then come back to it at a later time. Another thing I do is work on several writing projects at a time. That means I might spend 30 minutes on a story one day or 2-3 hours on it another day.

Once the first draft is finished, I always set it aside for a while, then come back to it to edit, revise, and polish. I do this several times before I send it to my publisher.

So as you can see, it’s really hard to estimate how long it takes me to “write” a book. But I can say that from start to finish, any full-length book is worked on for at least a few hundred hours.  My novellas would be a shorter time, of course.

 

So there you have it. Two questions that are often asked of me in a typical interview. Now it’s your turn! Post a question for me and I’ll answer it–probably!

UNTIL NEXT TIME…GOD BLESS & GOOD READING!