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Friday, April 29, 2011

Identity as a Writer

Over the years, I've had many identities, but today I want to share myself as a writer. The life of a writer sounds glamorous, but in fact is lonely and difficult. Even those of us who are social do not have time to socialize unless it's through e-mail and medias like Facebook, Twitter and MySpace, which is not the same as face to face.

The first story I remember writing was a skit I performed while in the third grade. All my life, I wrote letters to family members, friends and soldiers overseas. At the age of forty-three, while I still worked for a major airline, I started writing for publication. After that there was no turning back. The art of learning to write stories grips you around the neck and will not let you escape its' clutches. Unformed ideas swarm into your mind like bees, and they keep coming until you choose one and focus on it.

I write mystery romance with a women's fiction bent because I like to read stories that deal with real issues. These are the types of stories I like to read, and so I write them. I grew up on Nancy Drew mysteries and others of that age group graduated to Victoria Holt, Sidney Shelden, Sandra Brown and numerous others.

There is so much to learn as a writer of fiction. You have to learn the rules before you can break them is a saying among authors and publishers. One of the things I had difficulty with was point of view. We're supposed to stay in one view during a scene, never matter that someone like Nora Roberts can get away with going into the viewpoint of a cat if she wants to. For new authors that is not an option if you want to get published.

Other things beginning authors need to learn is how to weave the different threads of the story together. For instance, romance and the suspense cannot be kept seperated but must be woven together.

Before you become a published author you need a website to build a name for yourself and to start promoting the image you want. I wanted something dark and mysterious because I wrote romantic suspense. Once you are published, you used this site to help promote your books by putting your bookcovers, blurbs and excerpts at your website and hook them to your publisher.

Promoting is a huge part of publishing. It's time consuming and takes time away from writing your next book. Would I have become an author if I knew what I know now? The answer is a simple 'no.' But, it's too late, I'm hooked.

My books, The Catalyst, Addiction and The Deceived can be found at
Also, they can be found at Barnes and Noble, Amazon and Smashwords along with the anthology, Fool Me Twice, written by myself and Sandra Sookoo.

I hope you have enjoyed reading about the life of a writer.

Have a great day.

Sandra K. Marshall


Sharon Hamilton said...

Well, Sandy, loved your post.
I started writing (believe it or not) prayers in my sunday school class that made my teacher cry and the class groan. My parents told me she wasn't "all there" but she was my first fan. I always knew I'd be a writer some day, and hopefully, that day is now.

Molly Daniels said...

I can remember wanting to write and star in a play when I was in the 3rd grade. Nothing ever came of it, but two years later, I wrote my first story and was excited when my mom wanted to submit it to a magazine. I don't know if she didn't do it, or just didn't tell me if it had been rejected. I wonder if she remembers that> Think I'll ask her next week when I see her...

And since I now have two pen names, hubby says he's legitimately married to three women:)

Linda Kage said...

Promoting really is time consuming, and it takes some of our time away from writing, which is why we're promoting in the first place. But you gotta promote to sell that stories, so it makes you feel like a dog constantly chasing your tail.

Nice post.

Katalina Leon said...

Great post Sandy. Like you, I think my earliest attempts at writing were probably skits. I remember some sort of hybrid puppet show between Barbie dolls and sack puppets that turned into a soap opera and got out of hand. My mother put a stop to it. Censors...

Cynthia Arsuaga said...

Sandy, I didn't start writing seriously until about two years ago. I wrote in school and enjoyed it but never thought I'd be doing this in my retirement years! The promo is the hardest part for me too. I just want to write! LOL

Great piece.

Paris said...

Sandy, I can't remember a time when I wasn't writing. I even re-wrote the endings to movies and books when I was a kid because even then I liked happy endings:)

Thanks for sharing!

Sandy said...

I never thought about writing prayers down, Sharon. What a good idea. Thanks.

LOL It must make it interesting for your husband, Molly, to be married to three women. I'm glad I brought back some memories of the third grade.

Thank you, Linda. Yes, I feel like a dog chasing its' tail most of the time. Grin.

Sandy said...

LOL Oh, our mother's are the greatest, Kat.

Cynthia, I didn't get serious about writing until my later years either. Promo is the necessary evil. lol

Paris, I bet you were one of those who read the ending before you started the book. Wink!

Linda LaRoque said...

Before I became a writer I wrote many long letters to friends and family. What a shame hand writtern letters are a forgotten art. Of course, there were the required papers in school and college, but writing novels began as an emotional outlet for me and morphed into a creative need.

jean hart stewart said...

Does anyone like promo. If so please e-mail me off line and tell me why. I must be missing something as I hate it. Still, can't help but write...Now have my heroine hopelessly endangered and have to get her out..

Sandy said...

Thanks for coming by Linda L. I used to write letters all the time to family and the guys during the Viet Nam war.

I knew how to write really newsy letters to the guys letting them know what was going on at home.

Sandy said...

LOL No one likes to promo, Jean. Only if they're getting paid for it. Grin.

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