Thursday, January 10, 2013

Why Do I Write What I Do?

Why do I write what I write?

I get asked this question at times and I suppose most every writer gets asked this question sometime during their career. So let me answer it as best as I can.

I didn't choose to write what I write. The private eye murder thrillers with hot women and blazing guns and a protagonist whose martial arts skills are as deadly as his gun...or the fantasy stories with a lone warrior wielding a black blade...

No, I didn't choose to write those particular genres. The genres chose me, I guess. I write them because that is what is inside me...the same reason that Clancy writes the military thrillers, Stevie King has his monsters, and Patterson cranks out Alex Cross books. We write what is inside us, those characters screaming to be heard, the worlds pleading to be let out and unfolded before your eyes like a magical tapestry.

I write about John Logan and his adventures in Coral Bay because he appeared in my head in college and refused to let me go. Cain, the Eastlander Blademaster, was born at my dining room table one afternoon in 1988 and has hung around waiting for me to get him out on paper. He is thankful that I eventually did although he's a little miffed that I waited so long.

Someone is always asking me if I'm going to write the next vampire thriller or the next Fifty Shades or even a memoir detailing my childhood and memories of my father.

Nope. No intention of doing it. Oh, I'd like to. I wouldn't mind selling 60 million ebooks as Fifty Shades has done (although for the life of me I can't figure out why it has) or get paid lots of money to have my book made into a movie or cable series (i.e. Snookey Stackhouse, or Twilight).

For me to attempt to write those genres would be a waste of my time writing it and your time reading it. Very few writers write well in multiple genres (Asimov, the damn genius being one of the rare exceptions). Parker wrote some westerns but they had rich overtones of Spenser and Hawk in them, just the change of setting from Boston to the Old West. My writing tends to be stripped down, hard-boiled, but good heavens that's what I loved growing up. My days of reading Pendelton's Executioner novels and Chandler taking me alongside Marlowe, that was heaven to me. Just like seeing a grade B horror movies was to Mr. King.

We write what we like and what turns us on. If you want to make it as a writer, write what you love. I may never sell 30 million copies but that's okay. First off, I never have written for the money and still don't. Secondly, I would rather write what is inside me and never sell anything than to whore my writing out to do a project that wouldn't be up to par in my eyes.

Sorry, got to go. More excitement, villains, and mayhem await in Coral Bay.

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