Today I’m welcoming Karen Randau to my blog. She’s providing a guest post for today as part of the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour for her latest novel, Deadly Choices. Thank you, Karen, for being willing to do this! Purchase links and a link to Goodreads will be provided at the end of the post today instead of in the beginning.
A Writer’s Journey
Most writers I talk to say writing has been integral to their life from their earliest memories. That’s a good summary of my writing journey, with the added twist that I had no idea why I constantly had these disturbing thoughts bouncing around in my head.
As I shared troublesome ideas with a coworker one day, I asked if she thought I’d lost my mind. She posited that I had a novel begging to get out of me.
So I wrote a novel. After all, people have always complimented my writing. English was my favorite subject in school, and I earned a degree in journalism. I wrote marketing materials for a living. How hard can it be to write a novel, right?
When I pitched that first novel to a publisher, she kindly suggested I read a book on point of view (did you know you’re not supposed to tell what’s going on in every character’s head in every paragraph?). I rewrote the manuscript and sent it to an editor, who sent me her papers on structure and timing (who knew there were rules to writing a mystery?). By the time I’d taken everyone’s advice and rewritten that blasted book five times, I no longer liked it. It sound nothing like me, and I didn’t care about the topic or the characters.
So I set it aside and wrote something that was fun for me to write, using my own style and voice but living by the rules I’d learned by writing and rewriting that first disaster.
My first published book, DEADLY DECEIT, was ripped from the headlines, and I wanted to tell the story of those left behind rather than the motives of the criminal. I wrote the second book, DEADLY INHERITANCE, because I wanted to go to Scotland and my husband didn’t—so I researched it. DEADLY CHOICES, believe it or not, is yet another rework of the novel I’d abandoned.
But this time, I wrote it so it would be marketable, featured characters in a series, and sounded like me.
If you have a novel begging to get out of you, first learn how to write a novel by reading books like what you want to write and on the craft of novel writing. You should also attend conferences on the genre you enjoy reading. I highly recommend outlining (even though it’s a process that feels like barbs to my soul). If you join a writer’s critique group, take their advice as nothing more than opinion (if more than one person finds the same problem with your writing, it’s time to listen).
If you’re like me, writing feeds and nurtures you. Keep it that way. Don’t let it become something that saps your joy because you’re trying to “make it big” right out of the gate. That’s unlikely to happen, but no one can take away the fun and satisfaction you give yourself by writing the novel you have stored up inside yourself.
About the Author
Karen Randau works full-time as a content marketer for an international humanitarian aid organization that works in developing countries.
Her Rim Country Mysteries series currently has three novels: DEADLY DECEIT, about a woman whose husband was one of fourteen people killed in a movie theater shooting; DEADLY INHERITANCE, about the same women who has remarried and gets locked in a Viking burial cave with a lit stick of dynamite while honeymooning in Scotland; and DEADLY CHOICES, about the same woman finding the mother she hasn’t seen in twenty-five years only to discover a devastating secret.
Karen enjoys spending time with her grown children, playing with her dog, and hiking with her husband.
Once more, I’d like to thank Karen for providing a guest post for today’s tour stop! If you wish to visit other stops on the tour, please click on the banner below which will take you to the main tour page that has a list of all bloggers participating.