First and foremost, don’t give up.
Writing is such a solitary occupation, with little opportunity for pats on the back that the writer needs to keep in mind that it can take a long time. In my case, it was close to twenty years, although I have to admit I didn’t get really serious about it until I joined RWA 9in 2005. Correction, I was devoted to becoming a published author before then, but went all out in 2005, joining crit groups, taking classes, etc. There were times, after getting a rejection, that I promised myself to quit—and ten minutes later was back at the computer. In 2007 I got a contract for Murder by Mistake, the first book in the series, but the company folded and I had to start over. I eventually signed with Red Rose Publishing, my current publisher.
Join a Critique Group
I can’t tell you how much I’ve learned from critique groups. My first group was near where I live and consisted of an ex-newspaper columnist/editor, and a couple people writing short pieces. Needing more than that, I joined RWA in 2005, and credit them with my publishing success. No matter how much one knows about writing, the divergent views and fresh looks at a mss from several others are valuable. I also enjoy meeting the members and feel they’re friends.
Study and Take Classes
I’ve often heard, “write what you know.” Well, that could be very limiting, so I remedy that by taking classes, most of them through RWA chapters. Writing mysteries will often trigger the need for technical help and I’ve benefited greatly from classes such as Homicide Investigation, as well as many others. I also do studying on my own, using books I own and those I get from the library, as well as information online.
Read, read, read
I don’t believe it is possible to write without a background of reading, though I’ve met people who think it is. Aside from building vocabulary and learning how stories are constructed (in a fun way), reading is a wonderful pastime and maybe even, at times, an escape. I personally read several genres. When I want adventure, I read Clive Cussler or Andy McDermott, and who knows, maybe one day I’ll even tackle an adventure novel. Of course, I read romances, both historical and contemporary, time travel novels, fantasy, and mysteries.
Acquire a Thick Skin
You can’t please everybody. No matter what genre you read or write, you’re going to get criticism, raised eyebrows, and maybe even lectures. I have one answer for anyone who disapproves of the type of books I read or write. Don’t read them.
I could go on and on, but these are, to me, the most important. I’m sure that once this article is out there, I’ll think of many more that are equally as important.
Murder By Mistake, book 1 in the Mollie Fenwick Mystery Series, available as an ebook from Red Rose Publishing, B&N, Fictionwise and Amazon. Available in paperback from Amazon.
Murder For Kicks, book 2 in the Mollie Fenwick Mystery Series, available as an ebook from Red Rose Publishing, Fictionwise and Amazon.
Framed In Fear, romantic suspense, available from Red Rose Publishing, Fictionwise and Amazon.
Flight of the Hawk, shapeshifter paranormal novella written under the name Jaye Leyel.
Murder By Spook, book 3 in the Mollie Fenwick Mystery Series, in progress.
I wish to thank Leila for hosting my virtual book tour and also to encourage visitors to follow me on the next day of my tour.
It was my pleasure to host J.K. Maze and look forward to reading her books! And a special thank you to J.K. Maze for her guest contribution!
I’m also having a contest on my blog, sleuthingwithmollie.wordpress.com. I’ve posted an excerpt on the blog and a list of 5 questions, one for each day. Once the tour is finished, I will name the winner, who will receive either a B&N gift certificate or an Amazon gift certificate.