I recently received an email from a loyal fan named S.J. Francis who is releasing a debut novel this week. While I was perplexed by S.J.’s decision not to reveal his/her gender (see the author headshot below), I was also grateful to learn that S.J. had read all my books, so I decided to help out in the launch of the novel by offering S.J. the opportunity to write a guest post for this blog. I asked for some thoughts on what he/she had learned during the writing process that might be useful to other aspiring novelists. Here’s what S.J. had to say:
Go Ahead and Write That Book!
by S.J. Francis
So you want to write a book. Good for you! I’m behind you all the way. Lots of people talk about writing a book but many don’t do it. Perhaps, you’ve already written one. Now what? I never thought about writing a book until 1999. Even then I didn’t do it until much later. Learn from my mistakes. Keep writing! Don’t let life get in the way. As the late, great Jackie Collins once told me when I needed encouragement the most, “Keep your writing passion on fore.” Look for opportunities to write. Seek out opportunities to network with other writers, perhaps your favorite writer. Take chances. Don’t be afraid to ask for help or advice. Nothing ventured. Nothing gained.
Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t write or sell that book. Lots of writers before you have done it. As long as you believe you can, you can. Discouragement lurks behind every corner. Rejection does too. Naysayers will be a constant. You are going to want to quit. Don’t. Never give up. Never let fear win. For the day you do, you will give up. There are so many ways to get your work published now. Aside from traditional publishing houses, there’s self-publishing, and small presses that are always seeking new writers. There are many opportunities for the writer. I know. A small press has published my first novel and it is coming out at the end of this month. If I had listened to others that said I couldn’t write a book, I couldn’t have done so. If I didn’t take a chance, I wouldn’t have contacted Maria and been granted the opportunity to write this blog post. Learn from my achievement. If you want to write a book and publish it, stop talking about it and just do it. Remember, I’m cheering for you!
S.J.’s book, Shattered Lies, is the story of Kate Thayer’s search for answers that might be better left unknown. I wish him/her the best of luck with it!