To be or not to be…a writer

I came to writing fiction at a later age. Granted, I’ve been writing academically for over 30 years, but to write for a living, and fiction writing at that, that is a whole different ballgame. Like lots of people around the world, I wondered if I had what it took to be a fiction writer. I think my first inspiration to write came from Diana Gabaldon, author of the Outlander series. I read her bio and learned that she was first a botany professor and, like me, wondered if she could write a novel.

I enjoy Diana Gabaldon’s novels. They are long, but I have enjoyed every story she has written. I began reading her books in the 1990s long before the series came out on Starz. I prayed to God that they would stay true to the series, because, like all devoted fans of her stories, it would kill me to my soul if they made a mockery of Claire and Jaime.

But not everyone is a big fan of DG like I am. I have talked with other historical fiction authors who don’t like the female protagonist, Claire. They say she comes across too demanding or pretentious. There will always be those who dislike stories just as much as those who love them. There are lovers and haters alike for the Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight series, JK Rowling’s Harry Potter series, or Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments series. Sometimes what is fan fiction is not loved in literary circles.

Personally, I’m a pulp fiction-aholic. I love all those series named above and more. I’m a big lover of all things Marvel. Since 2008, it has been a tradition to take my kids to the latest Marvel movie the first weekend of its release. I love seeing their reactions to the movie as much as I like watching it.

So, as a writer, I’m first an avid reader and fan of TV and movies. I believe that you must study great works of others before you can even begin to craft your own. Love it or hate it; it is a passion, born of blood, sweat, and tears. It’s not easy to be a fiction writer, but if you are determined enough and willing to hone the craft, it can be rewarding. Whether or not I ever become a best-selling author, there is satisfaction in writing stories born from dreams.

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