It’s My Favorite – #MFRWauthor Week 1

Happy New Year and welcome to a whole new blogging challenge. We had so much fun participating in the Marketing for Romance Writers 52-Week Blogging Challenge in 2017, a bunch of us wanted to keep going. So here we are at the start of a brand-new year. This week’s prompt: Favorite Thing I’ve Written — and Why.

One of the things I enjoyed about last year’s blogging challenge was that s many of the prompts were challenging. I had to dig a bit to find the answers, and that’s true of this week’s prompt, as well.

Books 03 Unsplash smallI’ve been at this writing thing for a very long time. I sold my first mystery in September 1993. and my first romance just a few months later (February 1994.) That second sale made it onto bookshelves first, in January of 1995, with the first sale following that July. In 1996, I quit my full-time job to become a full-time writer. No matter which point you use to start counting, it’s been a while 🙂

There are more prolific authors than me out there, so my body of work isn’t as big as some, but in 24 years, I’ve written quite a few books. Each one of them is my favorite for some reason, probably because I find it impossible t write the kind of book I want to write unless I can find a personal connection to the story. That personal connection is different for every cast of characters and every plot I’ve devised.

Books Old 03I’ve written a whole lot of extra words over the years, trying to figure out what the story is, trying to dig deep enough to find that connection. It’s not unusual for me to write twice as many words as I need in a book, and one particularly difficult book racked up somewhere near 500,000 words for what ultimately became a 90,000 word manuscript.

Sometimes I wish I could turn out a book based on someone else’s idea (particularly an editor’s) but even books that sound terrific in theory turn into brick walls if I can’t find the connection I need to the characters. That makes it really hard to pick one book as my favorite.

Some books were really fun to write Some books were tortuous Some books made me cry, some didn’t. Most books made me laugh. A few didn’t. I much prefer the books that make me laugh, at least once in a while, and those in which the characters surprise me more than those in which I have the characters pretty much figured out.

no-place-for-secrets-small

After a lot of thought, I’ve decided to pick the very first book I wrote to the end as my favorite. The book is No Place for Secrets the first book in the Fred Vickery mystery series. I’m choosing it because (a) I finished it after not finishing a number of other manuscripts over the years, (b) my protagonist surprised me more than once during the writing of the book, including the huge surprise of finding out that he was the protagonist at all., (c) the protagonist made me laugh, especially in his scenes with Sheriff Enos Asay and Doc Huggins, and (d) Fred’s memories of his late-wife, Phoebe, are sweet and poignant, and my favorite of all the love stories I’ve written over the years.

And because I hadn’t sold the book as I wrote it, and so felt no pressure to generate sales, meet a deadline, or any of the other things that go along with the business of writing, the experience of writing it was a lot of fun.That hasn’t always been the case, so I think often of how much fun it was to write when I didn’t have to.

Books 07 UnsplashThat sounds awful, doesn’t it? I don’t mean it to. I love being a writer, and even on the tough days, I’m well aware that I have the best job on the planet. But to me, writing eels different when you’re doing it because you love it and when you’re doing it to pay the bills. I prefer the first, that’s all I’m guessing most writers do.

This is a blog hop, so make sure you check out what the other participating authors have to say on the subject. Their links are below.


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8 thoughts on “It’s My Favorite – #MFRWauthor Week 1

  1. Linda McLaughlin says:

    It is nice to write without pressure or expectations. Excellent point that some books are easier and more fun to write than others. Sometimes it feels like pulling teeth, and other times it’s a joy.

  2. RaineBalkera says:

    When I read “…but even books that sound terrific in theory turn into brick walls if I can’t find the connection I need to the characters.” I sighed, then nodded in sad agreement. Investment is one thing, but that darned brick wall is something entirely different. Thanks for sharing, and welcome back!

  3. Meka James says:

    The first book is a special one. And I understand the writing without the pressure. Being Indie, I put all the pressures for deadlines and such on myself, but still I get it. Congrats on a wonderfully long career and best wishes for 2018 and years to come.

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