The Divining Wand

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Back to Our Authors’ Present

November 17, 2009 By: larramiefg Category: Profiles

With the theme/trend of time travel becoming popular in books, movies, TV shows, etc., authors might wonder “what if” on their journey to publication. Yet how did the following writers respond when asked, If you knew then, what you know now about writing as an art and business, what might you have done differently?

Melanie Benjamin (Alice I Have Been coming January 12, 2010):

“I’m not sure I’d do anything differently; I honestly believe that I wouldn’t be where I am now without previous, even painful, experiences. No regrets, in other words. We are who we are because of what we’ve endured and the lessons we’ve learned.”

Meredith Cole (Posed for Murder, Dead in the Water coming May 11, 2010):

“I wouldn’t have done anything differently. I’ve been very lucky, with one book published this year and another coming out next year. In my opinion, each “‘failure'” or piece that isn’t published or made into a film is actually part of my learning process. If you tie your creativity too close to the market (writing with the idea of catching a trend), I think you run the risk of inhibiting your creativity.”

Therese Fowler (Souvenir, Reunion):

“I don’t know that I’d do anything differently. I’ve had a few hard knocks because of enthusiasm and/or naivete, but the outcome has been so positive that I consider even those knocks as a necessary and maybe even desirable part of the process.”

Kristina Riggle (Real Life & Liars):

“Lucky for me, I fell in with a group of talented up-and-coming authors (via The Debutante Ball and Backspace and other online venues) early, so I understood publishing as a business by watching their careers ahead of me. I don’t think I’d change anything (yet) about how I’ve conducted my fledgling career.”

Allison Winn Scotch (The Department of Lost and Found, Time of My Life and The One That I Want coming June 1, 2010):

“Hmmm, probably not much to be honest. I always understood, from the very get-go, that writing is just as much a business endeavor as an artistic one. I think writers TOO often forget that, but writing is like any other job: you have to be your biggest champion AND you have to present yourself in the best possible light by meeting deadlines, proving your competency, etc. If you don’t remember that, you truly can’t succeed in this business.”

5 Comments to “Back to Our Authors’ Present”


  1. Kristina Riggle says:

    How interesting that we wouldn’t change anything! Going through the rough spots at the time, we couldn’t have had that perspective. Ask us again in five years…

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  2. Okay, in the spirit of the upcoming Christmas season, I’m going to be the voice of bah-humbug…

    Really? Wouldn’t change a thing? Somehow me thinks it’s easier to say that once the goal has been achieved…I’m willing to bet if obtaining the goal was full of tears and years of frustrated waiting, one would be willing to shave a year or a manuscript off the learning curve.

    Now, I’m going to take my sour grapes and go make some wine! 😉

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  3. Kristina Riggle says:

    Hello Suzanne,

    Oh yes, absolutely easier to say now. And believe me, I had plenty of tears and years of frustrated waiting. That’s why I said in my comment above that we wouldn’t have had this same perspective in the thick of it.

    Kristina

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  4. Hi Kristina,

    Thank you for your good spirited reply to my snarky comment! Since I’m still on the other side of the wishful thinking fence, snark (and green eyed monsters) sometimes get the better of me!

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  5. Suzanne, I don’t blame you at all for being disgruntled! We make it sound all moonlight and harpsong, don’t we? What you need is more context. 🙂

    Trust me, none of us who have made it through the gate, so to speak, did it quickly or without plenty of wounds. What you realize later, though, is that those experiences turned out to be valuable. It’s not a lot easier on the inside, so anything that thickens your skin is, in retrospect, a “good” experience.

    Best of luck to you!

    5


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