Wednesday, September 24, 2014


by Clare O'Donohue

Q: Is there a novel you're afraid to write?

Like Robin, there aren't any novels I'm afraid to write, though there are several that I am not ready to write, mulling up there in the dark parts of my brain where ideas hide from me.

There are other things I'm afraid of as a writer, though.

Since I write series, I'm afraid someone will say, "Oh I love Clare's Someday books... but the early ones. After a while they got repetitive." I've heard that about more than a few authors - the characters essentially ran out of things to do and say and learn. The author, probably having forgotten the plot twist of book 3, used it again in book 11. Or the romantic triangle that was so fresh at the beginning, just looks like indecision and selfishness after years of reading about it.

I'm afraid of getting something really wrong in a book. I like research but I'm not perfect about it. I know I'm occasionally going to get some of the small details wrong, and I figure most people won't notice or care. But I do get nervous that something I get wrong will ruin the book for someone, or make me look like an idiot. I reassure myself that plenty of successful writers don't give a hoot about stuff like that... but I still worry.

I like to write cozies, and I like to write sarcastic darker books. I'm writing a thriller now, and I have a spy series in the works. I'm all over the place. I just go where my interests lie, and I worry that people won't know what to expect from me or bother to follow me as I meander.

And mostly, I'm afraid of not having time for all the ideas to become books. With all the avenues available to writers these days, it's less about "will this get published" and more about writing what I want and finding the right place for it. But because writing books isn't my full time job, I can't imagine when or how I'll ever have time to write everything.


Susan C Shea said...

Clare, YI'm guessing you'll never run out of ideas. Question: Does your day job feed your story bank? Your last worry (time to write all your ideas) seems especially believable given what you do all day!

Robin Spano said...

My guess is that if you have that fear (of not being fresh) it will keep you from ever having it realized.

I think that rocks that you're exploring lots of genres. And following the path that appeals to you is exactly what WILL keep your writing fresh, book after book.

As for time, yeah. I fear that too.