For this month’s Book & a Latte Contest, I asked some of my fellow Happy Homicides 5 authors two questions about their writing. The answers I received made me realize I’d stumbled upon the wide world of “true confessions” mystery-writer style. You must promise not to laugh at us, but you can certainly laugh with us as we reveal why we love to write and why we hate to write.
Happy Homicides 5 is currently available for preorder on Amazon.com for fabulous introductory price of $0.99. (The price will change when it goes live!)
Happy Homicides 5 authors reveal love-hate relationship with writing
I love to write because this is how I process the world. Writing allows me to make sense of life, especially when it makes NO sense at all. I love the clarity I get from organizing words on paper. And yeah, sometimes there’s a lot churned up before things get clear, but after 30 books, I realize this is a process.
I hate to write because it’s an addiction and I am powerless in the face of it. When I can’t write (because of travel or family commitments), I feel lost. How can this have such a grip on me? I’ve been writing since I was in middle school, I majored in journalism in college, and I have worked as a reporter, public relations practitioner, and tutor since then. This is so much of who I am that it frightens me to think of life without a way to scribble down my thoughts.
I love to write when the story on the page resembles the story in my head. I hate to write when the words are bottled up behind a wall of sludge, and I am unable to translate the story in my head onto the page.
I love to write because it gives me more energy than anything else I can do. It leaves me euphoric and up bouncing around like someone who’s fiercely over-caffeinated. To have written is probably the best feeling on earth, and like the pain of childbirth, when it’s done, you forget all about that stuff in question number two.
I hate to write because to get to the “to have written part” requires hours (many, many hours) of sitting. In a chair. And staring at a screen, typewriter, piece of paper, whatever, while you search for words–and not just any words–it has to be the right words, the perfect words to convey the right thought, in the right sequence. And you will rewrite those words many times until they are exactly the way you want them, and then you go back to staring. Still sitting. While you search for the next words. And this probably the most exhausting feeling on earth, and you forget all about that stuff in question number one.
I love to write because I can create my own world. You know when you get addicted to a television show like Gilmore Girls and then they have the nerve to stop making it? The only person who will shut down Pecan Bayou will be me.
I hate to write when I find myself in day after day of revisions. I wish I could make the first draft perfect and move on but it just doesn’t work that way. This is the no-fun hard work part of the deal. My readers read my book once, maybe twice. I read through it over and over again.
I love to write on a consistent basis. Oh, consistent basis. That means, like, Every Day. Yikes, scary. But those are the days when the words flow, the plot develops, and the characters talk their heads off.
And then comes the dreaded Day Off. When I haven’t written Every Day, it feels like the only way to free up the words is with several shots of tequila, a large dose of mental milk of magnesia, or a visit to a tropical isle. But then, I probably wouldn’t be writing, would I?
I love to write when I’ve crafted a scene that shows the evening light casting shadows in the room, the apprehension of those present, the expression of a character’s face having accepted a hard truth, the exhale when the worst is over. I love to write when I’ve done so in a concise sentence or two. And I love to write when I learn a reader has dogeared that page.
I hate to write when I’ve finished writing a page and every line of dialogue ends with ‘he said,’ when I’ve repeated the word ‘strode’ four times, when yet another character has brushed her hair from her face and furrowed her brow, and when I realize not one overused word has moved the story forward an inch.
Happy Homicides 5 Book & a Latte Contest
What: Anyone may enter to win the Starbucks gift card, e-book copy of Happy Homicides 5, and a second book of their choice from those shown here. Two winners will be selected. Selected winners, if US residents, may choose to receive a soft cover book for their second book (if available — see notes under covers for details).
How to enter: Choose one or more of the options below. Each option gives you an additional chance to win.
Who can enter: This contest is only open to anyone over 18 years of age. Entrants must have a US mailing address to be eligible to win an additional soft cover book.
Winners: Selected winners must claim prizes within 72 hours of notification. Verification of entries: All winning entries are subject to verification.