The True Life of a Writer with Paula Quinn
You know those writers you see portrayed in movies who sell their first book in week one and by week two they are jet-setting to exotic locations, tanning by the pool beneath a canopy of palm tree fronds and sipping drinks poked by tiny umbrellas? Unless you are J.K. Rowling, Stephanie Meyer, or Stephen King it’s not going to happen. (And it didn’t happen overnight for Harry Potter or Edward Cullen either.) It can take years to sell your first book and more years for people to take notice—and even then you probably won’t make enough to quit your day job. Life doesn’t change too much for a writer after publication.
But, as any writer will tell you, writing is not about the money. It’s about the obsession, the addiction. It’s like a drug we can’t stop. Not that we want to. We simply can’t. Not all Hollywood movies portray writers as wealthy, overnight socialites. Take the movie Quills for example. The Marquis de Sade was imprisoned for his writing, sadistic for the time though it was, and even after his quills were taken from him, he continued to write with his blood. When his parchment was absconded, he wrote on his bedsheets, and finally on his walls. That’s closer to the truth. Writing is a need, a desire that takes control of an author and doesn’t let go. It’s satisfying, gratifying, and sometimes torturous. Needless to say, it doesn’t leave much time for other things, like cleaning house or doing the laundry. But those mundane things must still get done, even after you have a bestseller. Of course, if you’re the authors mentioned above, you can hire a couple of maids.
I was the kid in school who raced to get to English class, especially on Poetry day. There just wasn’t anything better than standing in the front of an audience and reading moving prose. Of course, Sister Mary Elizabeth didn’t consider Bad Company lyrics stunning verse, but I made sure to toss some Edgar Allen Poe into the pot for balance. The true thrill came from reading my own work. I still have every journal, and there were many, stashed away in my closet, each page filled with my careful script, i’s dotted with hearts.
I typed my very first novel on an Adam computer. Yes, that’s Adam, not Apple. A paranormal romance (the first one of it’s kind in the early eighties) but no one was interested, much to my shock and amazement. Will I admit it was a cheesy novel? Never! I still have it, dot matrix as black as the day it was first printed up.
Putting away my trusty Adam, I went on to bigger and better things, like marrying my childhood sweetheart and having three children. But I once read that authors don’t choose to write; writing chooses them, and there were an endless store of characters in my head to prove it. So we traded in the Adam for an Apple. I promised my husband that I wouldn’t be gone long, and off to Camelot I went. Most of me returned home, but there’s a part that remained in the medieval world of knights, castles, and chivalry. I’ve since brought my family there and they love it as much as I do, although I suspect my husband was a crusader knight long before I envisioned him in a red cross tabard. But that’s another story entirely. I think I’ll write it in pen and dot my I’s with hearts.
I’m a disgustingly sappy romantic moved by music, beautiful words, and the sight of a really nice pen. I live in Manhattan with my knight in shining armor. We have three beautiful children, two dogs and too many reptiles to count. I love to read romance and science fiction and have been writing since I was eleven. I’m a faithful believer in God and thank Him daily for all the blessings in my life. I love all things medieval, but it’s my love for Scotland that pulls at my heartstrings.
Favorite web sites
Author Article “I Didn’t Choose to Write Scotland, Scotland Chose to Write Me”
Follow @Paula_Quinn on Twitter
Friend Paula on MySpace
*Thanks to the great Anna at Grand Central, I’m thrilled to offer readers a chance to win 1 of 5 copies of SEDUCED BY A HIGHLANDER by Paula Quinn. If you’d like to win you must comment here, and do more than say “enjoyed the post, enter me” entries with just that will NOT be counted. You must comment here and at the review post. If you do NOT you will NOT be counted. Giveaway is open from today August 24th until September 3rd. Giveaway is open to US and Canadian residents only. No PO Boxes please. I am not responsible for late or lost prizes. Good luck to everyone!