There now. I’ve posted excerpts from my presentation at the writers’ retreat on Mt. Sequoyah, Fayetteville, AR–per the request of many who were in the class. No, I didn’t post every word. One reason is that the publishing industry is changing rapidly, and a few ideas we discussed only a couple of months ago are already wobbling off exact truth. (Don’t say I didn’t warn you. Remember the lesson: Research! Research! Research before you choose a method of publishing or a publisher.)
Taking advantage of the research I did for Mt. Sequoyah, I’ll be working with noted author L. C. Hayden at Great Manhattan Mystery Conclave on Halloween weekend to discuss the topic: “To publish, and where to publish–that is the question.” Our panel will cover advantages, disadvantages, and peculiarities of working with large, middle, and small-sized presses; of self-publishing, POD (Print-on-Demand) publishing, vanity press publishing, e-publishing, and more. (http://www.manhattanmysteries.com A terrific mid-sized convention in Manhattan, Kansas, (Kansas State University) for all mystery lovers and general writers. JoAnna Carl (Chocoholic Mysteries) is guest of honor.
Now, to those questions:
1. Why do I write? I love working with words. It’s fun to discover which words work better than others for transmitting ideas and emotions. It’s an honor to be able to take a leap of faith into words that communicate ideas worth reading or listening to…to trust that the end result will be worth the hours, weeks, and months of time I invested in choosing them.
2. Why write mysteries? Partly because I enjoy reading mystery novels and have since I opened my first Nancy Drew many years ago. But, I also wanted my central character, Carrie McCrite, to have a worthy adversary, a challenge that would force her to prove her strengths and make her triumphs worth while. Mystery novels are superb for providing strong adversaries and challenges, as well as affording the people who inhabit their pages and the readers who join them there opportunities for growth.
3. What would you like your readers to gain from one of your novels? Hmm, that’s difficult, because we’re all so different. Maybe at least one or two of the following: Entertainment. Cleansing emotion. An adventure enjoyed. Satisfaction. More knowledge about Arkansas, its history, its best places. A sense of well-being, and a feeling that all is, or can be, right with the world. A liking for the characters readers spend several hours with. Maybe even a new and perhaps helpful outlook on some aspect of the reader’s own life and situation. Is that too much to wish for?
Whether it is or not…that’s all for now. What do YOU look for when you read a work of fiction?