My Twenty Year Novel
Big squeezy hug to Carley Ash for inviting me to visit. Thank you. Isn’t it wonderful that such a beautiful group of people all banded together to discuss what they are passionate about—writing?
When I first started out I was terrified to call myself a writer. That’s what I was, for sure. I mean a person doesn’t put pen to paper nearly every day and not be a true writer. But it scared me to admit the thing out loud. What if someone read what I scribbled and found it to be horrible? What if my deep desire to become a published author was nothing more than a silly little girl’s dream?
When I became a mom all that nonsense changed. I wanted my kids to have big dreams and the courage to go after them. After all, how can you succeed if you don’t put yourself out there and go for it?
So I did. I had an idea for a novel set in Spain that included a 15th Century ghost with memory disorder, a woman with anxiety disorder and a gorgeous Spaniard doctor trying to protect his loved ones from by a psychopathic killer.
I researched the historical period and worked hard on my craft. I wrote. And I wrote some more. I must have completely rewritten that manuscript ten times (felt like fifty) over the course of twenty years before I sold it.
Oh, I wrote other things too. Articles, poetry, a novella called Soul Stealer, a few kid’s books, a biography and a nonfiction parenting book. But Catch Me in Castile was my first novel and I wanted it to be great. Plus, people don’t realize how long it can take for a writer to get her groove on. My groove, apparently, was years in the making.
Now, don’t let me scare you. It might not take you as long as it took me, but do give yourself time. The goal should be to write stories that readers cherish. You want to be proud of your work, don’t you?
So…If you want to succeed in this publishing biz, I suggest that you study, learn, grow and improve. Take writing classes or join critique groups. Read, read, read. Work on your craft and bolster your courage. If you are dedicated and persistent anything is possible. Many people give up too soon. You’re not like that. You can be great. Be prepared to give it time and stay positive, focused. Don’t stop.
On the flip side of that coin, there are a several people out there who dream only of seeing their name on a bright and beautiful book cover. They’re not prepared for what it takes to get there. I can’t tell you how many people have said to me, “You’re an author? I’ve always wanted write a book.”
I get all excited because I love meeting other writers (and readers). But after chatting a while, I realize that the person hasn’t STARTED to write the book. They have a good idea, or two, but they haven’t done a thing about it. They don’t write. They don’t read.
It would be like me saying, “I’ve always wanted to run marathons.
I don’t really have the spare time to work out, I’m not a very good runner, I haven’t studied the techniques and skills of other great marathoners, I haven’t gone to any classes or had any special training, I don’t want to pay for good shoes (or any other tools I might need to improve), and running hurts! Come to think of it, I don’t really like to run at all. Hearing the crowd cheer for me when I cross the finishing line would be cool, though.”
You get the point. So here’s the two-part question of the day:
Have you always dreamed of writing a book? If so, what are you going to do about it?
Best to all!
Kimberley Troutte has been a substitute teacher, caterer, financial analyst for a major defense contractor, aerobics instructor, real-estate broker, freelance writer, homework corrector and caregiver to all the creatures the kids/hubby/dog drag in. She lives with her husband, two sons, one dog and three snakes in Southern California. Her published books at Samhain Publishing include Catch Me in Castile and Soul Stealer.
Please visit her at http://www.kimberleytroutte.com.