Tuesday, October 20, 2015

What would I change....?

By R.J. Harlick

If you could go back five years and change something about your writing life, what would it be?

The answer to this question is very simple, there isn’t anything in my writing life I would want to change.

Sure, it would be nice to be with a big publisher. But you know what? After seeing the hoops friends go through with their big publishers so that their books will continue to be published, I'm very happy with my independent Canadian publisher. Not bound by a tight writing schedule, I can write at my own pace that includes plenty of time for holidays and leisure time with my husband and two dogs. I can write what I want to write about and explore contentious issues, which isn’t always this case with the big publisher, particularly when it comes to Canadian settings. 

I’m not bound by a 3-book deal or a 5-book deal, which usually results in the demise of the series once the contracted number of books are published. So I have the freedom to continued my Meg Harris series. After seven books, with the eighth in process, I have become thoroughly involved in her life and love watching her and her friends evolve from book to book. Plus I get to travel with Meg to some pretty interesting places as she explores different wildernesses in Canada. 

The Meg Harris series is written in the first person. At one point, I realized writing in the first person can be restrictive and thought perhaps I had made a mistake. But it was only a fleeting concern. I like the closeness the first person POV brings to my relationship with Meg. If I need to bring in another point of view, I do it, as I did in Silver Totem of Shame.

As for the writing life itself, I love it. By now I have established a writing routine that fits nicely into all facets of my life.  I have my favourite spot for writing where the muse, so to speak, comes more easily and that is my log cabin in the woods. In warm weather I sit outside in my screened-in porch and listen to the sounds of nature while I plunk away on my computer. And when it is too cold, I retreat inside to sit on a comfy couch in front of a blazing fire. 

But I can see I am running out of time. It's Election Day in Canada and I've been caught up in getting out the vote, so I'm needed elsewhere. Once the polls close I'll be glued to the TV watching the results.


Paul D. Marks said...

It seems you've found your niche, R.J. And it's a good place to be, not looking over the fence and thinking the grass is greener somewhere else...because it usually isn't, even if it appears so at first.

RJ Harlick said...

Paul, I've done enough looking over the fence to the greener grass and realized it doesn't get you anywhere. It's much better to be content with what you have.

Susan C Shea said...

If you're with the same publisher, and can count on having your books published on your schedule, you have, indeed, landed in a special writer's heaven!

RJ Harlick said...

Susan, I am essentially with the same publisher. The one I started with was bought out by my current one. It's been and still is a good relationship.

Robin Spano said...

Yeah I hear you on the big press/small press issue. I love working with ECW. Even if I can't let my husband retire on my earnings!