Friday, August 12, 2011
Guest Post By Jaz Primo
Guest Blog Posting by Jaz Primo
For "I Love Books"
For Friday, August 12, 2011
I'm proud to be here with you today on I Love Books! I was honored to have the opportunity to appear on I Love Books last month to take part in an interview with Dawn and a giveaway of my debut novel, Sunrise at Sunset. So, you can only imagine my pleasure at taking part in a guest posting this month.
*rubbing my hands together and then loudly cracking my knuckles*
Um, sorry. *blush*
One of the most intimidating experiences for an author is the occasional pang of worry from wondering if what we're writing will be of interest to someone to read. For authors, our imaginations are geared towards notions, ideas, and fantasies that either flash into existence when we least expect them or that we mull around and ruminate over for days or weeks upon end. For those reasons, authors are impassioned by storyline concepts or character developments to the point that they string them together into a gradually more cohesive series of paragraphs. Eventually, they end up with (hopefully!) some cogent prose that is meaningful, linear, and well-crafted. But ultimately one important question remains: Is the novel of interest to anyone else?
Well, there's the rub, isn't it?
A number of experienced and successful authors have passed along an important nugget of wisdom to the rest of us in interviews over the years: Don't write about what you believe will be the most popular topic or genre, write about what you're impassioned about the most. By doing so, readers will key into that energy and be drawn into your story.
To me, that's excellent advice. My Sunset Vampire Series was written during the early tidal wave of vampire popularity ushered in by the likes of Twilight, The Vampire Diaries, and True Blood. Vampires were all the vogue, and seemingly nobody could do wrong to write a novel about them. During that time, and even since then, marketing specialists would advise an author to avoid territory that was so well-trodden . . . no, rather, ablaze! . . . in the marketplace. In fact, a number of prospective literary agents told me that very thing: "You're a sound, competent writer but I just don't think that I could sell your manuscript at this time and in this market."
I assure you, I felt like the depressed clowns depicted in the dramatic opera, "Pagliacci." (I say "felt" because there's no way that I could "sing" the lamentation as well as anyone who's performed the classic masterpiece. For those who don't know me, I simply can't carry a tune in a bucket with two big handles! But I digress . . .) The negative feedback from literary agents was depressing to say the least. Given that, why did I persist in bringing my series to the light of day as an independent author? Passion . . . pure and simple.
So, if passion is the magical key ingredient, then how does passion convert to a finished novel? Here's how it happened for me. I fervently believed in my story and characters. Each character's dialogue was an individual instrument in a symphony of unique voices that resonated in my mind. Each character was as tangibly real to me as the history students who fill my college classroom each semester. The events that transpired in my novels were as multi-dimensional and substantive as the memories of real events that I had experienced throughout my life. If "reality" is nothing less than the perception of sensory input by the human brain that is given tangibility by the mere engram in which it resides, then the events in my novels seemed no less plausible to me. In short, the story and characters compelled themselves into existence by the power of my mind and imagination alone. And that, I believe, is what is required for anyone who seeks to make their dreams and fantasies into the reality of a published novel.
Many of you who are reading this blog post have wondered what it might take to become an author. You may have toyed with fanciful ideas of being the next great author, but hesitated, pondering if you had what it takes to be successful. Well, there are a number of important supporting skill sets that you'll need to complete the journey, such as: basic writing skills, a flair for description and dialogue, patience, self-discipline, and a sense of dedication. However, a command of each of those skills and qualities is insufficient if you don't have the glue that holds them together and focuses them: passion.
I hope that you've found today's blog posting to be beneficial. Being an author isn't easy, but it can be equally rewarding and gratifying. Are you the next great author to grace bookstore shelves and eBook retail databases? Here's an idea . . . harness your passion and find out. My sincere thanks to Dawn for the opportunity to appear on I Love Books once again. It's been such a pleasure! Peace. -- Jaz