I recently responded to a Facebook thread titled “Why do you write?”
My answer was truthful.
“I write because I love creating emotionally tortuous and heart wrenchingly devastating stories with damaged characters I can fix and make all better with a few strokes on my keyboard. That is, after I’ve had a multitude of panic attacks over plot twists, the kind only lots of wine can quell.”
Also…and this bit wasn’t part of my answer…as a full-time working mom of three young children, the creative outlet helps preserve my sanity. I channel angst into my work to add dimensionality and depth. So when I say my kids inspire me, I’m not exaggerating.
Simply put, it’s FUN to create seemingly insurmountable circumstances, characters you want to fall in love with and spicy relationships that make your insides sizzle. I’m rooting for the good guys, against the bad guys and the exciting part is, once I finally have the story in my head, I never really know how everything will unravel.
But my process is very open-ended. I don’t know how a scene will end when I begin typing. To say I go with the flow would be a gross understatement. Moving a story forward is my primary objective and without direction, I flounder, questioning and lamenting until inspiration strikes like a bolt of lightening. Then the ideas and scenarios pour out of me. At times, my fingers just can’t keep up and it positively elates me. When my writing process commences, I know I will eventually get to the point of enlightenment but the journey still throws me into a tailspin. What can I say? I suppose it’s part of my obsessive-compulsive nature.
Once the idea unfolds, I know what I’d like to see happen but I leave it up to my characters to determine their final path. And I love that. I developed them to have strong opinions and personalities so they should absolutely have a say in their destinies.
Of course, I still have my own objectives for the book, so I always get the last word.
I think there are a lot of things that make “Unlikely Venture,” the first book in The Venture Series, unique and appealing. I wanted to create a strong heroine, gritty almost - a woman who knows her own mind, has laser-focus and is unwilling to accept anything less than her perception of success. She doesn't shy away from seemingly no-win situations; she faces them head-on. I also tried to create a role model - someone who is undaunted by life's challenges and refuses to let her medical history compromise her dreams.
In addition, I wanted to weave my passion for innovation and entrepreneurship into the story. My heroes are not cowboys or firefighters; they are startup CEOs and venture capitalists - professions with their own brand of intrigue and allure. I applied my personal business experience and crafted a series of stories that will appeal to readers who not only love romance and the pursuit of happily ever afters but also the elements of real life business world obstacles and challenges that permeate the lives of the characters.
Entrepreneurs are all too familiar with the art of taking risks. Penning a novel is laden with risk. My stories and characters are all so close to the heart because I’ve spent countless hours developing them and getting to know them and their idiosyncrasies. I’ve experienced pain, disappointment and excitement right along with them. They are part of me…some more literally than others. I’ve poured myself into these books so of course any bit of rejection could be downright devastating.
But one thing I’ve learned form my professional experiences is objective and constructive criticism can help you tweak the very offering that can catapult you from “good” to “great.” It’s nerve-wracking to put yourself out there; your hopes, dreams and fantasies in the form of a book that may or may not be embraced by readers.
Perseverance is key. Do your best and opportunities will always find you. If you love writing, write! Focus on perfecting your craft and people will take note. Start with a goal. Identify what success means to you and figure out a plan that will guide you toward that objective.
Then, celebrate…because you’re officially on the path, a master of your own destiny.