Often times preceded with “That’s nice, but…” or “No, seriously…” Yup, that’s the most common. Of course, established authors don’t get this question. They usually get the “Where do you get your ideas?” stuff. It’s a fair question. Writing something people will enjoy reading isn’t enough, you still have to find a way to get it published and get the book to the people who want it. It’s understandable that people get nervous when they hear someone say they’re writing a book…for a living.
See? I get this question, too. I tell most people I keep my ideas in an old (but well rinsed) milk carton under the sink. It’s as good an answer as any, since ideas come from everywhere. What you see. What you hear. What you read. Even milk cartons (but rinse them thoroughly…you don’t want your ideas to stink).
Check back in a year for a good answer.
To set the record straight, it’s not a “children’s” book. The main character is a 12-year old boy, so at the least it’s a book about a young boy. It’s a young adult fantasy adventure that should be able to be enjoyed by many people.
I like to write to my maturity level. That, and I love the enthusiasm and imagination that young people use to look at the world. I only hope that when I grow up, I retain that magical viewpoint.
This was a tough decision. Starting off with a novel is hard enough, but attempting a multi-part book – and keeping each book complete in itself – is a challenging task. In this instance, I blame the creation. The characters and the story demanded I give them more time than a single book would provide.
Since this book is also for adults, let me answer this another way. I plan on writing other books aimed at adults. I have one sketched out that is for a more mature audience (as opposed to “older”).
For me, I started out trying to write the book on my computer in my office at home. I failed. I moved to my patio, with a placid background of green grass and pine trees. More failure. Finally I wrote out a detailed plot, with chapter notes, filled a large thermos and headed out to the beach with a cheap laptop computer. There, with the waves gently lapping at the shore and multiple distractions from cute children to…other distractions one finds at the beach…I typed out my novel. If you can get past not being able to see what you’re typing because of the glare, I highly recommend this process.
I’m tempted to say, “Yes, see what established authors suggest”, if only because it seems presumptuous for me to offer advice, but I do have a few thoughts on this.
First, believe in yourself. Nothing matters if you give up. If you hate the way your story is going, rework it or start on something else. If you want to write, then you need to…uh…write.
Second, enjoy writing. I could never do this if it felt like a job. I’m sure some people can, but I would imagine most people will enjoy your work more if they feel your own enjoyment coming through.
Finally, perservere. Getting published is horrendously difficult. Finding an agent or publisher to give you a “shot” is tough. Even then, you will likely still have to be the chief marketer and cheerleader for your book until it proves itself in the market. Be passionate, but keep perspective. Rejection is not a personal statement.