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.
More on being a writer (humor)
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.