Mystery Author: Strong Women, Great Stories

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I write three series: The Loser Mysteries, The Dead Detective Mysteries & the Simon & Elizabeth (Tudor) Mysteries as well as stand-alones that offer readers "Strong Women, Great Stories."
These days I also answer to Maggie Pill, who writes a cozy sleuth series. Maggie is a lot like Peg, just younger, cooler, and funnier.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Writers Are Nice People

Newcomers to writing often comment on how nice everyone is. Writers give each other advice. We share successes and failures. We explain the piece we're presently working on (sometimes in too much detail) with little thought that someone will "steal" our ideas. (You can try, but it will still be a ton of work for you.)
In a field where every new book adds to the dizzying amount of competing works, one might think that writers would hide their secrets, keep the means of success to themselves when (if) they stumble on it, and perhaps even mislead naive newbies in order to send them in the wrong direction.
That doesn't happen. Maybe because of how difficult it is to get published, most writers feel an empathy with others that causes them to ignore the prospective competition and give advice that's as helpful as possible.
Have a question for an author? Just ask. It's likely she will share what she knows (unless she has a deadline looming). Why are we so nice? Why don't we care that you might write a blockbuster novel and someday draw readers away from us?
For one thing, misery loves company. It's difficult, sometimes it seems impossible, to find success in writing. Writers share their experiences as a form of catharsis. Besides, my advice to you isn't likely to magically turn you into a writing success. No matter how many secrets I divulge, you still have to do the work, and it's not going to be easy. (If writing feels easy, you're probably doing it wrong.)
There isn't any "right" way to write, and there isn't any "right" way to get published. I can't tell you how it will happen for you or when or how much success you'll have. I can only tell you what I know, and that changes almost daily.

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