More Than One Hat

Fiction writers wear many hats. We wear a costume everyday. When we create a story, we create worlds, and people in those worlds, characters to whom we give life through challenges and the emotions we try to convey through them. Sometimes, readers might mistake a character for its writer or believe that the writer shares its attributes. Although I believe that there is a bit of the writer in between the lines, fictional characters are fiction. We rely on our mind, imagination, observation, and life experience to give life to our characters, but many times, we rely on research, on learning a particular subject to present a character and a story in a better light. Depending on our writing style, we might become poets, song writers, prophets, and even preachers. I have done a little bit of those jobs when writing my books. I’ve written a poem, a prophecy, and pages of an imaginary book, as I did in The Book of Sharon and in Sunrise Souls, books two and three of The Dinorah Chronicles trilogy. I’ve written riddles on Moonlit Valley, and a song in Sunrise Souls. On my work in progress – The Five-dollar Miracle, I had to write an entire sermon.

My point is, we sometimes have to become our characters and see the world through their eyes for a little while, to be able to write the story. Sometimes, the writing feels effortless, and at other times, it is more challenging, but always with levels of engagement. We are separate from our characters but we step inside their world, their minds, and their feelings/emotions to be able to convey a story to the readers as best as we can. In that regard, we wear many hats. We become the heroine, the villain, the priest, the prophet, and even an inanimate object, such as a book of prophecies and teachings.

I write stories, I create worlds, I give life to characters and become one with them, and then, disengage. I put on a costume everyday. I write fiction and love it.




How did you fall into writing? The inevitable question. I’ve been asked the question many times. Other times, followed by, “I never knew you were into that?”

How do you answer it? I fell into a pile of books while going downstairs half asleep. No seriously, have you thought of the moment when you became interested in writing? Not when you felt “a writer,” because that moment might never come. The usual answer people give is, “I’ve written since I can remember.”  If I go back in time, I can see a child who read everything she got her hands on, a child who amassed a large quantity of pens and pencils, a child who thought that a typewriter was the greatest invention on the planet, and also loved the scent of new notebooks and old books (I still do). I also see a child who followed members of the family, while holding a notebook and pen, and wrote in it everything they did. I see a child who kept diaries, and then, burned them. How many stories do I have from my early years, my teenage years, and the years until I decided to become a writer? None. Not even one. Why? For some inexplicable reason, I had a habit; I burned everything I wrote or broke it into tiny pieces. I never kept one story. It puzzles me today. Although I had the desire to become a writer, I never pursued it. I went into many different careers, pretty much anything that I fancied at the time, but always kept that secret desire well-kept inside me. I had an image of writers that didn’t fit who I thought I was. I saw writers as old people with money. Where did that image came from? I don’t know.

Well, to answer the question – How did I fall into writing? When I resigned from my last job, I felt a strong urge to write, and I did. Almost as a long-lost calling, too loud to keep ignoring. At that same job, in one of our meetings my former boss asked an exercise question to start the meeting. It was, “If you were not here, what would you rather be doing; what is your ideal job?” Each one of us was urged to answer, and we did. Some of us answered honestly, including her, who’d rather be a detective. I answered, “I see myself writing at a cottage near the sea.” Of course, I got the weird looks, but not from her. She said, “I can see you doing exactly that.” Going back to that memory, I think that was the moment when I fell into writing.

Writer’s Wisdom 56

Writing for profit

We can all agree that freelance writing is not glamorous and you will not become a millionaire .  Unless you are a published author, or best-selling author and novelist, your chances of making a lot of money writing are slim.  You can make a decent income, but forget the millions, at least at the beginning.  Despite this crude reality, you can learn to prioritize your projects to make the most of your money.  Learn to pick the assignments that give you the most income while enjoying the craft.  Spending more time on these projects, and less on the ones that take more time and pay less is a way to help your pocket.  However, that does not mean that you can’t write for the pure love of it.  Leave some time available for those writing projects that you love to do but that do not generate much income.  Balance is key.

Writer’s Wisdom 17

Pen Names

A pen name is as significant as an author’s style.  Wether you use a pen name or your own name, it will identify you with your genre.  Some authors write under different pen names for different genres.  A good example of this is Jayne Ann Krentz, who also writes under the pen names of Jayne Castle, and Amanda Quick.  Some of her books are:  Running Hot (Jayne Ann Krentz), Dark Light (Jayne Castle), and The Perfect Poison (Amanda Quick).

Another good example is Lori Foster or L.L. Foster.  Some of her work:  Servant The Kindred (L.L. Foster) and Jude’s Law (Lori Foster).  In 2007 she launched a new urban fantasy series under the name of L.L. Foster (her darker pen name).

These are good examples of best-selling authors, using different pen names for different genres.  Some authors will stick with a genre and a pen name, others will shake things up between genres and pen names.