Thank you for asking me to visit your blog. I love seeing families reading together. My reading gene came from my dad and his dad. Then I passed it on to one of my daughters. We keep hoping to bring the college student into the fold once she graduates. Then again, she’s a professional student. So we have no idea when that will happen. She has promised to read my book. Isn’t that sweet? But we do plan to have a defibrillator nearby when she does. She’s destined to have a heart attack when she reads certain scenes in “Mom’s” book.
Your question to me was how does it feel to compete with established writers?
Wow! That’s really a good question. I guess I’ve never really thought of my becoming published as a competition with other authors. Maybe because I’m aware of the vast opportunities to take one story and turn it into a hundred directions. Over the years, I’ve heard we basically have a certain number of plots to write. Seven to ten are the most common quantities given. A good link to go to that explains this is at http://www.ipl.org/div/farq/plotFARQ.html.
With those basic plots, we have an indefinite number of stories to tell. Since everyone has their own way of speaking, in this case, writing a story, we can have thousands, even millions of authors and never hear the same story, especially word for word. Plus each reader has their own special need inside that drives them to purchase certain type of stories. I personally love forced marriage plots, contemporary or historical, along with anything involving spies and assassins. The last two are why I wrote CIRCLE OF DESIRE. Most authors do write what they want to read. Makes sense, doesn’t it?
Then readers want their need fulfilled more than once a year. Some have a monthly, weekly, and for those fast readers, a daily addiction. My addiction can be seen in the stack of twenty novels waiting in my shelves to be read and the same number downloaded on my NookTM.
What I’m getting at is there’s room for many authors. Some who will be an instantaneous best-selling author (al la Stephenie Myer) and others who’ll take years to reach that same point of success (the fabulously talented Sherrilyn Kenyon). Of course, the publishing world has room for all of us in between authors.
I’m sure some authors feel they must compete by way of having a higher advance, more books sold, and larger perks from their publishers. The only place I will probably consider it as competition, and I might even have a chance, is by entering the RITA® Awards, the Romance Writers of America’s contest for published authors. That’s like trying for an Oscar® if you’re in the movie industry.
Oh, if you’re wondering how the established authors feel? I have to say most of those I speak with are happy for me and have been helpful in providing quotes for my books, advice on promotion, and encouragement in going forward. Authors have broad minds — thus why they write such great stories — and often see the big picture. What is good for one is good for all. You know those two authors I mentioned earlier? If not for Sherrilyn paving the way in making vampires cool, would Stephenie’s book have been as successful? I’m sure many people have different opinions about that, but since I’m the one writing this …
My advice for those writers who are working toward publication, keep writing, send your manuscripts to editors and agents, listen to those who’ve been in the trenches, and continue to learn your craft. But always follow your heart. Besides, there is plenty of room for you too. I’ll be waiting to read your book. If it is one with spies and assassins forced to marry, I’ll be in reader heaven. Wait! That’s a great idea. Got to go and jot some notes.
Always remember, be sure to make time for reading.