Do you write what you love writing or feel compelled to write? Or do you write what your publisher tells you to?
Those of you who’ve seen my books here will notice I write all kinds of things and I like doing that. I love trying new things and writing what interests me most of all. I’m also very much aware that publishers don’t like that approach to writing. If they find something that sells they want to stick with that, understandably.
My only hands-on experience with publishers has been as a co-author for three books written under a pen name and published by a US company. I wasn’t surprised by the restrictions put on us and I must admit it was a very worthwhile experience for me learning to discipline my thoughts in some way. But, although I certainly had some scope for creativity, it was work. Real work. Hardly digging ditches but very different to anything I’d done before. Not just the restrictions but also deadlines to think about.
The best thing about self-publishing is, of course, that you can write what you like. I think I’ve learnt some valuable lessons about self-discipline but the fact is whatever I choose to write next, some-one, somewhere in the world will read it! Some-one will hate it and some-one will love it. And I have no idea myself what it’ll be, but if it’s on Amazon, it will probably be something I enjoyed writing!
There’s also the compulsion, of course. My one and only non-fiction book, ‘Not Guilty’, was something I had to do. It evolved from a university thesis and I felt it was a story worth sharing with more people than just my lecturers! I also felt, after years of research and writing about Camellia McCluskey, that I needed to exorcise her from my head (and into yours, dear reader!).
Being a creative writer I was not satisfied with the factual version of the story though. I wanted to give her a life–try to make some sense of it all in a way and so I’ve written a fictionalized version of the story. I’ve included a lot of the facts but created a childhood and a life for her, before the drama that was to unfold later.
Thanks to everyone who suggested titles for me. I now have an artist working on the cover and will make a final decision when I see that. The current front-runners are ‘Hell Hath No Fury’ and ‘Retribution’.
PS On a totally unrelated note am I the only one who has trouble reading blogs with black backgrounds? Mine was originally black and when I started having migraines I eventually pinned it down to that. To everyone out there with a black background on your blog just be aware it may cause problems for some people.