Why I’m a Writer! By Terry Spear
Oh, sure, you can say it’s because you love to create stories and want to share them with the world. That you want to do the thing you love best in all the world and make enough of an income to support yourself. That you want to share something that you wouldn’t otherwise be able to express. That you want to dig into that inner need to be creative. That the voices keep talking to you and they won’t go away until you put them down on paper. That someone else is coaxing you to write so he or she can retire and enjoy the proceeds from your writing. That your parents, siblings, significant other, friends, and more distant relatives are all sitting on the edge of their seat waiting for that moment when you PUBLISH.
You can say it’s because you took all these writing classes and have to show something for it. That you spent a lot of money branding yourself and have to prove to the IRS that this is really a business and not a hobby. That you have to prove to everyone ELSE that this is your business and not just a hobby.
You can say it’s because it’s a great excuse to get out of doing the mundane—laundry, dishes, cleaning the house, because, hey, you are a WRITER and if you were at a day job, all day long, you wouldn’t be doing the laundry, dishes, cleaning the house until after you finished your 8 hour + writing day. Right?
You can say it’s because you have this muse that hassles you, moody as the devil and picks his or her own time to let you in on the story so you can write it—but that muse is right at the edge of your conscious all the time, intruding on your shower, trip into town, while you’re trying to sleep, and the only way to get rid of its nagging is to… WRITE.
You can say that you were born to write. It’s in your blood. It’s a calling.
But the truth of the matter is this:
Okay, so now we’re getting to the truth of the matter.
Don’t you love fact and fiction? Braiding them together can be the best of two worlds, don’t you agree?
I write for all the the reasons above. But most of all? I write because I LOVE to.
I love to create new worlds and add on to established ones. I love to share them with the world. I love to make characters act a certain way—but I’ll warn you—they do have a mind of their own, and often they will do things I never expected them to do.
Sure, we want to make a million dollars off our writing. To become mega writing stars like James Crichton and Nora Roberts. That ohmigosh, our books are turned into movies. That we make bestselling status. That when we get on a plane, the stewardesses know who you are and fall all over themselves to give you first-class seating. (This did happen to an author, only they thought she was a famous actress, then realized she wasn’t after they moved her to first class.) That we are NY Times bestsellers and that we have won the RITA numerous times. That when we talk, everyone listens. That we’re often quoted for our words of wisdom. That everyone wants to be like us. To reach that pinnacle where we’re at now.
And you know what? It can happen. Anything can happen. But the key is to:
That’s it. The key to success. I wrote over twenty books before I got a contract for two YA books, advances, the works. And then the line closed right before the first book was published and I had no published work… again. I spent years trying to sell to a publisher. To an agent. Then finally published with a couple of small presses. And what I learned was that readers loved my books and were willing to buy them!
Now to some, that might seem kind of a given. But we never know if the book we write will be a bestseller or just… sit there.
I sold a Highland medieval book to a publisher, who did only print books at the time. Ebooks just weren’t that popular. Can you believe it??? No advance, nothing. And this is how I had to sell: Out of my car. Yep.
It did well for selling out of my car. I took it to women’s groups, was asked to even talk at a book club, and this was in front of a bunch of Baylor professors, and so I was really nervous about it. But they loved the way I had discovered all kinds of interesting historical facts and presented it. Still, when it’s not mass marketed, and it’s not in any stores, and only online, print trade paperbacks are expensive.
And yet, I was selling. Much better than I was selling my epub only books.
Then I sold my first werewolf romance to a bigger publisher and then I was into being mass marketed. My publisher for the Highland book started selling through ebook sites. And I was beginning to pick up readers in both areas.
Which, by the way, if publishers are telling you that you can ONLY brand yourself in one arena, it’s not true. I’ve been writing both the wolf series, working on book 16, jaguar shifter series, book 4 and a brand new cougar shifter series, and the highly successful Highland series, working on book 6, and a YA fae series, book 6.
The key is to:
Keep on writing!
I flip around from one genre to another because it helps me keep my storylines different. If I wrote only the wolf series, it would stagnate me. But remember, for every writer, we each have our own process. What works for one, won’t for another.
So experiment. Try some other techniques: plotting/outlining vs. pants of the seat writer—like I am. Try writing/brainstorming, turning off the emails/FB. Try writing by hand. Whatever works for you, do it!
I used to say: Keep writing, revising and submitting. But now with the self-publishing avenue, we don’t have to submit to agents and editors.
So the key is to:
Keep on writing!
And love it!
About the Author
Bestselling and award-winning author Terry Spear has written over fifty paranormal romance novels and five medieval Highland historical romances. Her first werewolf romance, Heart of the Wolf, was named a 2008 Publishers Weekly’s Best Book of the Year, and her subsequent titles have garnered high praise and hit the USA Today bestseller list. A retired officer of the U.S. Army Reserves, Terry lives in Crawford, Texas, where she is working on her next werewolf romance and continuing her new series about shapeshifting jaguars, cougar shifters, and more. For more information, please visit www.terryspear.com, or follow her on Twitter, @TerrySpear. She is also on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/terry.spear. And on WordPress at:
Terry Spear’s Shifters
Cougar’s Mate: Instinct told her to run…
Shannon Rafferty learns that hanging out with the bad boys could be a dangerous business, but hooking up with a cop is even worse. Now she’s on the run, trying to avoid being murdered by his cougar shifter brothers and uncle. If that isn’t bad enough, a deputy sheriff hunts her down while she’s running as a cougar and trying to survive in the Colorado wilderness. He vows to protect her no matter what she’s done. With three dead boyfriends to her name, she’s sure she will be the death of Chase Buchanan before either of them can prevent it. No matter how much she knows she has to run again, he soon holds her heart hostage. But will that be enough to keep them both alive?
Chase Buchanan—as wilderness cabin resort owner, former US Army Special Forces, and part time deputy of the small town of Yuma, Colorado that boasts a love of cougars—is tasked to track down a cougar reported to be hunting human prey. Chase soon learns she’s a shifter, not a full-time cougar, and she’s on the run. When he takes her in, he vows to protect her. After losing his wife and baby to the human kind of predator years earlier, he’s not letting Shannon’s hunters kill her, too. But how is he going to hold onto the wild-cat woman, who is unpredictable at every turn, without losing his heart to her, and then losing her as well?