January 16, 2017

What I Wish I Knew Before…

By Marianne Spitzer

Recently, a young woman asked me what I wish I knew before I began writing and what I learned about writing and self-publishing. It’s not a difficult question. Writing the book is the easy part, but there are lessons to be learned. I read and heard more often than I can count to write what you know. It is good advice, but for many of us, that limits our genre base. I am not a big fan of sci-fi and would never attempt to write in that genre. I imagine writing an alien battle would be a disaster.

I prefer a bit of advice I received from a fellow indie author: write what you love and what you think people will read. For me, that was easy. Mystery. My first love were Nancy Drew books and other mysteries followed. I also love the paranormal. Combining the two was easy for me. My first book was in the paranormal mystery genre. I also enjoy cozy mysteries and Western historical romance. I wrote books in both genres. I admit I did not know much about the Western settlement of this country, but I loved reading about mail-order brides. When you research a subject you love, it becomes enjoyable and not tedious.

I think it boils down to one piece of advice I can share. Write from your heart. Embrace the subject of your story, write with emotions you feel, and build characters that step out of the book into the minds of your readers.

The hardest part is after the book is written. You have two decisions to make. Do you try to find an agent and publisher, or do you self-publish?

For me, that was self-publication. I did submit to a few publishing companies and received kind rejections, but they were still rejections. I chose self-publishing and have yet to regret my choice. I would advise any new author to begin building a reader base as soon as possible. Social media is the least expensive way to start. Let people know about your book before you publish it. Start a blog and share a few lines from each chapter as you finish. It will help you to move forward, and the feedback will allow you to gauge feedback. Readers will let you know if they enjoy how your story is progressing or not. Their opinions are invaluable.

One last thing I needed to learn was how to accept rejection gracefully. That includes rejection from family, strangers, friends and myself. If you read a scene you wrote and wonder how you managed to blunder badly, do not be afraid to delete or rewrite it. Our first ideas are not always our best. Rejection from others is hard, but remember not everyone likes the same thing. Do not take it personally even if the review or comment attacks your ability to write.

One last bit of advice, keep writing for as long as it brings you joy.
Marianne Spitzer says “my passion is writing. When I am not writing, I am reading or watching sunsets. I have been writing short stories since I was in elementary school. Most were in the form of essays relating real-life events. Many were purely imaginary trips to magical places and times. I enjoy making up stories about people I meet or see on the street. My imagination runs wild and free. Besides my fifteen self-published novels, I have two paranormal short story collections and a children’s book. I’ve read and love supernatural stories and mysteries since I picked up my first Nancy Drew book. I also read all the Hardy Boys books I could find. I am a fan of Stephen King, Wendy Corsi Staub, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and Agatha Christie. Poe and H.P. Lovecraft are also two of my favorite authors.  I write fiction and supernatural mystery is my genre of choice. I also write cozy mysteries, Western historical fiction, and a thriller. I love spring, summer, and starlight, but snow and ice make my dislike list. I am a chocoholic. I have two children and two grandchildren who are the joys of my life.  For more information on all my books, please visit my website Marianne Spitzer, Author, Amazon site Marianne Spitzer on Amazon,  my blog Musings Under the Willow Tree., Facebook page Marianne-Spitzer, Author or follow me on Twitter @MarianneSpitzer

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