-- by Jams N. Roses
For most readers, choosing what to read next is a pleasure, and not a chore. You have the choice of reading the latest book from a favourite author, the next in a series maybe, or trying something new and reading a recommendation from a friend, perhaps in a genre that you’d otherwise not have given a chance.
As a writer, deciding what to write isn’t always as pleasant or as easy an experience.
Charts will tell you that romance novels and thrillers are always popular, people love them, but then with all the other writers in those genres, is there any more room for little old me? With all the other stories already told involving love affairs, broken hearts, and races to save the day, can I bring anything new to the table?
Maybe I should write about what I know? That’s age old advice for new writers so there must be some truth to it. But what is it that I know, that others need or want to read about? Why is my life or opinion so interesting?
I am a listener, a watcher, a thinker, and I notice things that others don’t because I see them through my own eyes, I’ve lived through situations that others haven’t. This is my skill; this is what I bring to the table.
I have friends who can walk into a bar, spark a conversation with anybody and talk absolute nonsense on any subject, whether they are clued up on it or just ‘blagging’ their way through. I’m the quiet guy who doesn’t speak until spoken to directly, and even then I stutter and grow red on the cheeks. Maybe after a couple of pints of ‘confidence’ I can stick my neck on the line and start a conversation with new friends or near-strangers, but only once the barriers have been broken down already. I believe the qualities that abandon me in social situations actually leave me better equipped in other ways.
I am a listener, a watcher and a thinker, but I am also shy and timid, which means I need a medium to express my views, my thoughts and my humor. Cue the pen and paper or the laptop… I’ve got something to say.
After completing two novels, I must admit that I still have trouble committing to a genre, other than contemporary fiction, which is such a large umbrella it would be hard not to stand under it.
I write about life.
It could be my life, the life of a friend or the man in front of me at the desk of the job office. I am a fiction writer, but my writing is always born from something I have seen, heard or read about. A seed has been planted and blossomed into a character or plot that can then be built upon, added to and grown into a delicate, multi-layered web of stories, situations and personalities.
I do write about what I know, subjects I’ve touched upon are deceit, failure, crime, fortune, violence, hate, fear, addiction and of course, love. Are these the ingredients to an interesting life? Yes, but it’s sometimes painful too, and sometimes extremely exciting, and very often funny. All of which would explain why my books contain romance and thrills and mystery and crime and drama.
I may not always be able to pigeon-hole my work, this may limit the number of people willing to give up their valuable time and read my books, but I have finally found my voice, even if it lay silent on a page or screen. Happily, reviews so far for both novels have been favorable, so I feel following my heart and writing what I feel has been the correct decision.
Now, where to start with book number three?
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