Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Talk-Time Tuesday - Things You Shouldn't Say To A Writer

Pink Heart Society regular, Joss Wood, is discussing those things that you simply shouldn't say to writers...

The Easter school holidays are over, girl child is back at school, boy child will be going back to boarding school this afternoon (my fridge is grateful). Autumn is on its way and life settles down into a routine again which means, for me, solid, concentrated writing time. Which, hoo boy, I need since I have two books to complete by June and yes, I am starting to have concerns as to whether I’ve bitten off a great deal more than I can chew.

So when somebody asked me over the weekend whether I only wrote when “I was inspired” I had to swallow down my maniacal laugh. If I had to only write when I was feeling “inspired” then my word count would be that grand sum of zero. Inspiration comes to me when I sit down at the computer and bang out a scene which maybe be awful but then the second scene I write is better and the third scene is better than that because I’m now lost in the story. I, sadly, have to work for my inspiration… 
There are other questions non-writers ask me and while I am grateful and appreciative of their interest sometimes I have to sigh when I hear the question: ”Oh, so I heard that you are a writer. Of romance. Where do you get your ideas?”

One of these days I am going to reply that I, like all the other romance authors I know, have a special code that give us access to a website run by romantic fairies who provide us with internal and external motivations, conflicts, plots and a write-by-numbers formula. I don’t know where I get my inspiration; it can be a conversation, a movie, a newspaper articles, something you say. It’s fluid, its organic, it’s unexplainable. But, because I don’t want to be rude, I try and explain a writer’s mind. Which is like trying to explain how nuclear fission works.
We always have ideas, we are always running scenarios, it is just what we do. 
Then there are the comments that non-writers make that elevates my blood pressure. A perfect example is the statement “I’ve always wanted to write a book” usually said in a slightly wishful, I’ll-get-round-to-it-someday tone of voice. What are you, as a writer, supposed to say to that? “Well then, get off your ass and write!” tends to piss people off. 
But the best zinger I had about my career and my writing was recently when I was in a conversation with woman I’ve met a few times and who ended up having coffee with my mates and I one morning. She asked me, very kindly, how my writing was going and I replied that it was fine, hoping to change the subject. No such luck…she looked at me, cocked her head and said that she would like to write her family memoirs and could I give her some tips. She was pretty sure that an hour would suffice….

My options were to lean across the table and wrap my hands around her neck or to find a bathtub and chew my wrists off. I chose the third option which was to down my coffee like it was a tequila slammer, to remind myself that prison orange wasn’t my colour, and stutter “I’m really busy at the moment and non-fiction really isn’t my thing.’

An hour? Fourteen books later and a lifetime of learning to write reduced to an hour?

Go away. Go far, far away.

But really, for every insensitive comment there have been a million positive, career affirming comments and I am deeply grateful for those. And I so appreciate the love and support and the interest people show in what I do. Besides I’m doing what I love and the occasional misguided comment is a very small price to pay for such a privilege.

With love



In March, Joss's latest book book, Her Boss by Day, was released in the US under Harlequin Presents. It’s Book One of the continuity Sydney’s Most Eligible:
His accountant by day…

After a devastating breakup, Willa Moore-Fisher is determined to prove herself. With an honors degree, she's certainly got the talent. So when international fitness tycoon Rob Hanson needs a new accountant Willa can't believe her luck. There's just one problem: she already knows her new boss…intimately!

His mistress by night!

Brooding bachelor Rob doesn't do long-term—watching his stepfather destroy his family sealed that fate. Willa might have a head for numbers, but she has a body made for sin. Soon Rob finds himself wondering if he should make his new temp a more permanent fixture in his life!
The other books in the series are:

Book 2: The Millionaire’s Proposition by Avril Tremayne
Book 3: The Tycoon’s Stowaway by Stefanie London
Book 4: The Hotel Magnate’s Demand by Jennifer Rae

To find out more about Joss Wood, you can visit her website and follow her on Facebook or Twitter.  

1 comment:

  1. Love your post Joss. I had someone ask me to do her research for her memoirs, where I get my ideas, will I write the story for them if they just tell it to me. Of course to be published under their names. Mostly its funny but there are days ...
    Love your latest book's cover!