Against All Odds / Guest blogs and bloggers / humor / marketing / writing

Now That I’m Published

An efriend writer originally published this as a guest post on their blog to help me launch Against All Odds August 2020. In case you missed it there, here’s a reprint (I’ve made a few updates):


K.M. Allen has a wonderful blog subtitled “Writing Advice From A YA Author Powered By Chocolate And Green Tea”. It’s hard-hitting, upbeat, and covers many of my musings as a writer. Months ago, she wrote a post called Thoughts That Run Through Your Head Now That You’re a Published Author. It’s a good read and spot-on (as are all of her posts). It sent me into a tizzy of what I thought about after my first book in the prehistoric fiction genre, and then after each subsequent ones. With Laws of Nature close to publication, my fifth in the Man vs. Nature series and second in the Dawn of Humanity trilogy, here are my thoughts on writing in a genre that few even know exists:

  • Ever since I started my prehistoric fiction series, it’s been like having one foot in quicksand and the other on a sheet of ice. I was told over and over it wouldn’t work–that I wasn’t Jean Auel (duh) so don’t waste my time. I guess I like wasting time.
  • There are times I feel that my keyboard might as well be a potted plant except it’s a lot more annoying.
  • I’m a Trekkie–long time Trekkie. I felt what the Starship captains might have felt when I started writing my first prehistoric fiction, boldly going where few have gone regardless of risk, reasonableness, or advice from those who know better. I can count successful prehistoric fiction writers on one hand. There’s probably a good reason for that. If I could stop, I would but passion isn’t something that can be controlled.
  • Wondering if my book will be a Blockbuster is like watching a long fuse burn on a stick of wet dynamite, pretty sure that the dynamite is a dud.
  • I hate when people replace facts with hyperbole. Let’s relate that to my books: Someone declares my latest novel the ‘best story since Jean Auel’ but doesn’t buy the book, as though calling it ‘best’ replaces the purchase.
  • A lot can happen between “I’m a writer” and “I finished my novel.” For example, I might never get there. That will happen some day but I guess I’ll keep writing until it does.
  • There seems to be no cure for writing in a genre that most people don’t read. I don’t care.
  • Writing about life a million years ago is like trying to put a jigsaw together without the picture. Almost no one knows what that world looked like.
  • If we are defined by the choices we make, what’s that say about my choice to write in a genre with arguably one of the smallest reading populations? Never mind. I’ll think about that tomorrow.

#amwriting #IndieAuthor

More on being a writer (humor)

Are you a Writer?

What Worries Me When I Write

Tricks of Being a Writer

11 Bits of Wisdom I Learned From a Computer

Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular prehistoric fiction saga, Man vs. Nature which explores seminal events in man’s evolution one trilogy at a time. She is also the author of the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers and Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. Her non-fiction includes over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, reviews as an Amazon Vine Voice,  a columnist for NEA Today, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, Laws of Nature, Summer 2021.

81 thoughts on “Now That I’m Published

  1. A lot can happen between “I’m a writer” and “I finished my novel.” For example, I might never get there. That will happen some day but I guess I’ll keep writing until it does. – could agree more. Great perspective. Keep writing 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. An interesting post and discussion, Jacqui. I’ve never really thought about a particular genre being unappealing in its entirety to readers. I would have thought people found prehistoric man very interesting. While the setting is historic in your books, the storylines are not really specific to a time period. The idea of people being displaced and searching for a new home is very relevant in our modern time and that is why there are so many refugees and discussions about refugees. Personally, I prefer your books to Jean Auel’s. She turned her books into a long and drawn out romance which, for me, became totally unrealistic and quite annoying. I couldn’t finish her last book.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I like what you said about passion. You have to go where it leads you, and I think your genre is so interesting! Before you, I’d never heard of books like yours. I think you are fantastic!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I think finding readers is a lot of work, Jacqui, and honestly finding thousands of readers and “making it” seems to have more to do with luck than anything else. You write in a niche genre, but I think that’s a good thing… less competition! And we must do what we love. Can you imagine putting all this time into something that didn’t excite you?! Happy Writing, my friend.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I got a new one with my gamer computer and it lights up, but then dims when not in use. Say for a few seconds. This is beyond annoying. I finally figured out how to keep it lit!


  5. I am so with you. I can only write what I have been given. I guess that’s true of all writers to an extent, but it becomes really obvious when you genre is one that almost doesn’t exist.

    For what it’s worth, I love this genre, and I do have a hard time finding it. The closest I can usually get is books featuring time travel or archaeologists.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. If only we could all just get interested in things that everyone else is interested in. Then we could spend our energy on popular pursuits. And we’d all be successful. ??? No, I don’t think that’s how that works.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I really enjoyed reading your post, Jacqui. I’ve always believed that a good writer writes about what he/she is passionate about, and to h ell with what is popular or trendy. Your prehistoric novels are unforgettable and excellent. They ring so true. You can hold your own with Jean Auel, I think!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I especially like your philosophy about writing in a genre that most people don’t read. I’m too much of a novice to be doling out advice, but if a writer is going to have any longevity, an author needs to be invested in the material. When we write about things that interest us, we’re more likely to keep going from finding pleasure in that pursuit.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Interesting thoughts. I especially liked this one: Writing about life a million years ago is like trying to put a jigsaw together without the picture. Almost no one knows what that world looked like.
    I suppose that means that you get to do your best and make up the rest! That sounds like fun. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. As to your last question I have always been advised to “Write for yourself.” This is an educational post for me, looking toward the future. I should have imagined, because I read some writer’s sites, that people would say things like, “You can’t write that, so and so has covered it” or “You’re so wonderful. No, I didn’t read your book, but I know it’s got to be wonderful. I might even check it out at the library.” Thanks for sharing this, it’s really insightful.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Jacqui, in-depth reflections and I agree with so many of the thoughtful comments. You are a gifted writer in this genre and you’ve opened up so many of our eyes to its existence and created a deep fascination for this unimaginable era.

    I like your point that ;:

    ‘Writing about life a million years ago is like trying to put a jigsaw together without the picture. Almost no one knows what that world looked like.”

    What freedom though! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  12. We must give ourselves permission to write what we enjoy writing. Had you not done so, we would have been denied the pleasure of visiting your wonderfully built prehistoric world. That would have been a great shame!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. You made me a fan of this genre, Jacqui! I kept thinking of the line from Field of Dreams, build and they will come,or something simlar. I think it’s the very same thing for writing.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I’m glad you write in this genre, Jacqui, and I love prehistoric fiction. Maybe Jean set the pace originally but you’ve taken up the gauntlet and thrown down a new one with your two series. I’m glad you nixed the naysayers. I prefer reading indie authors in most cases and my TBR list is ripe with fellow bloggers’ works.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Absolutely right! The other side of the coin is that when authors write for the market, the work just isn’t as good as writing that comes from the NEED to tell that story. This really came home to me when I read the complete collected works of William Faulkner’s short stories. I read the book straight through, and it was obvious which stories had been written just to pay the bills.


  15. I think most of us are called to write what’s in our hearts regardless of the size of the reading public for our genres. Yours is definitely smaller than most but your love for what you do is evident in this post. You had me laughing with some of those comments, too!

    Liked by 2 people

  16. You are indeed very brave but then so were our ancestors. I applaud you for persevering and doing a great job. What is fiction if it isn´t mostly imagination? those who write science fiction or fantasy have no material to work with except their imagination, so why should that be different from prehistoric fiction. We can´t all write the same stuff. Just keep doing what you are doing. xo

    Liked by 1 person

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