As the author of over fifty works of fiction, people have asked me why I don't concentrate my work and pursue a single genre. They point out that genre writers, especially those who specialize in serial genres, reap the greatest commercial rewards. They have a point and the evidence is clear.
Being a writer is a challenging creative pursuit, because as writers, we spend a lot of time alone, in our heads. And for the longest time writers have been told they should write "when they feel inspired."
Catherine Coulter has written 73 novels in various genres and has topped the New York Times bestseller list 67 times. Her new series, "A Brit in the FBI," features Nicholas Drummond, a British citizen who works with the FBI.
M.J. Rose is the international best-selling author of 13 novels and three non-fiction books. Her most recent novel, Seduction, has received rave reviews from USA Today, Publisher's Weekly and many others.
I needed to justify the hours I spent writing, not only to others, but myself, as well. How do you explain to friends and family that you are doing something of value when there was nothing to show for it, except for the hours of being hidden away in one's room?
The truth is, it's not easy to write a novel. Like a clock, a novel has many moving parts that all need to work together in perfect balance. Pace. Momentum. Tension. Plot. Characterization. Story arc. Character arcs.
As you read thisessay, I'll be taking a nap. Or relaxing on my sofa, eating bonbons and reading Christopher Isherwood's Berlin Stories. I'll feel that I deserve these luxuries because, between November 1 and November 30, I will have written an entire novel.
What's key about communicating is the formation of meaning. And that doesn't happen on the page. It happens in the mind of the reader. That's who you have to care about, and that's where you do your work as a writer.
Romance writers are supportive of each other. They are the Sisterhood of the Traveling Laptops, quick to lend a hand or writing tip to an up-and-coming author. They jump at the chance to encourage their colleagues. They are also fans.