Sunday, October 9, 2011

My failures

Vicki here, whishing everyone Happy Thanksgiving. I'm off to my mom's to eat turkey!

But first, the question,

What’s the story I just haven’t been able to write?

Fortunately for the reading public it's an unnamed fantasy novel.

I am a mystery reader most of all so when I decided to try my hand at writing a book it was naturally enough a mystery. A gothic suspense actually.

To my surprise the literary world didn’t knock down my door and the hundred thousand dollar contract didn’t appear. After some time, I decided to try another tack.
And so I began a romance novel. Its title, if you have any interest at all, is Green Fire. I am a firm believer that if you want to write you have to read (I think Stephen King got that from me) and so I set about reading romance novels. It’s true: one is exactly the same as the other. I ploughed my way through a stack of these, wrote my book to the formula. And turned out something that I am not at all surprised no one wanted to publish.

Being a determined sort, I decided that fantasy would be next. One of my daughters is a big fantasy lover and she has all these fat tomes that are something like the fifteenth volume in the saga, so I began reading fantasy while plotting my own saga. Hated them.

Now there are some good fantasy novels out there, don’t get me wrong, and some really good writing. But I just can’t enter make-believe worlds. Nevertheless I wrote about 100 pages of the next Lord of the Rings. Then I just couldn’t write any more. What’s the point of writing something even you don’t want to read?

So I went back to crime novels, and the rest, as they say is history.

I tried to find the aforementioned fantasy novel but it must be stored on a 5 ¼ inch floppy disk somewhere. The romantic epic is likewise assigned to where bits and bytes go do die, but I did find a letter I sent to an agent (isn’t that cute!).

Green Fire takes place during a July heat wave in the fabulous Ontario cottage country of Muskoka. It is the story of Ingrid D’Angelo, on the run from a relentless stalker who takes refuge in the home of her great-aunt, the formidable Miss Eve Bradshaw. Ingrid has never met her great-aunt because of an irreparable rift in her family long before she was born.
Unknown to Ingrid, the RCMP, in the person of the handsome and extremely sexy Sergeant Alan Greenhand, are watching the house as a result of information received from the FBI - a gang of international art thieves are believed to be after Aunt Eve’s valuable collection.

Ingrid and Alan are powerfully attracted, but they have good reason to mistrust each other’s intentions: He believes that she is part of the art theft gang; she thinks he is a friend of her stalker. Can the beautiful woman with the fabulous green eyes and matching satin dress in the portrait painted so long ago - now hanging on Ingrid’s bedroom wall - bring them together?

No prizes for answering that question.

And the moral of the story, I think, is that you can only write what you want to write. Don't bother trying to catch the next best wave, or wander through the stacks to see what's popular this month. If you write what you want to write, and what you yourself want to read, then you have a chance of producing something good.

After those failed attempted, I did managed to write soemthing publishable. My first book with Poisoned Pen Press is titled Scare the Light Away, and it's a gothic suspense.

1 comment:

Bikerhen said...

That's great advice Vicki! If a subject doesn't interest, it's work to write it... and sometimes work to read it afterwards. Good post!