Character Names and Other Vital Stuff

Ethereal – a short, red-headed and hot-tempered half-fey/half-human.  She can manipulate the elements, although doing so can send her into a coma for days on end.  She’s an orphan, she has a smart mouth, she’s perfectly happy being on her own and thinks she can do anything she sets her mind to.

Requiem – black-haired and blue-eyed vampire, tan skin, a smart-ass in his own right.  Arrogant to the point of being a complete asshole at times, he’s smart and wants others to know he is smart.  As the Prince of the City, he runs his household with an iron fist and takes advantage of his power whenever he thinks that doing so will give him an advantage of the situation or person.

Stealth – of Japanese descent, long black hair and eyes so dark they appear black and glittery.  He was trained at young age to be a warrior, later recruited by the Vampire Council to be an assassin.  His origins and subsequent embracing are shrouded in mystery.  Incredibly smart but distant, seemingly to be cold-hearted to those who have not gotten to know him.

***        ***        ***        ***        ***        ***        ***        ***        ***        ***       

When it comes to creating characters, everything about them, from their name right down to their personalities and dislikes, counts towards making them seem real and three-dimensional to your readers.  If you are going to introduce a character, even if he/she only has a short cameo spotlight in the story, then you are going to have to think about several things in order to make this character feel real.

1.  Feature Characteristics:  We all know that it is vital to know what your character is going to look like physically.  But try to go beyond the usual hair color, eye color, height and weight.  Is this person’s nose slightly too large for the face?  Are they lean, athletic looking, heavily muscled?  If the character is female, is she curvy with rounded hips or does she look more like a young tom-boy?  What about their skin?  Is it soft or coarse, light or dark, are there prominent scars or freckles? 

2.  Personality Characteristics:  How does this character think, act, and speak?  Is he/she intelligent, a bit dim-witted, careless, arrogant, happy, depressed?  Is he/she obsessive, avoids human contact, or likes being around people?  How does he/she speak?  Does he/she use complete sentences, run-on sentences, fragmented sentences?  Does he/she have a large vocabulary or does he/she use slang terms?  How would they act in a specific situation?  Would a specific situation make this character angry, cause him/her to have a melt-down, or would he/she just take it in stride?

3.  Biography:  One very important thing that a lot of authors do not think about when it comes to creating a character is the history behind the character’s life.  A biography is basically the “why” a character acts, speaks, and thinks the way that he/she does.  If the character is arrogant, there has to be some reason for this arrogance.  Perhaps the person was spoiled as a child.  If the character is depressed or withdrawn, maybe he/she was abused as a child.  Thinking about what happened to this character as he/she grew up will go a long way in helping to decide how he/she thinks, acts, speaks, and reacts in certain situations.

4.  Likes and Dislikes:  Another important concept that sometimes gets overlooked in character development is what the character likes and dislikes.  Thinking these things through will help determine how a character may react to specific situations and help the author avoid discrepancies in the storyline.

5.  Names:  Perhaps one of the most important things when it comes to character development is the names that the characters end up with.  Why?  Because a name is what gives the readers the very first impression of a character.  Whether you realize it or not, people have come to associate certain names with certain characteristics.  For instance, when you see the name “Lisa,” what immediately comes to mind?  Often people will think of a tall, shapely blonde-haired, blue-eyed woman with full breasts and rounded hips.  If you want to contradict what people automatically think about when they see a name, you are going to have to work very hard at either making your character have a memorial personality or come up with such a unique name that it does not have any type of stigmata already attached to it.

One of the main problems that I encounter as a writer is my choice of incredibly odd names for my characters.  Since I write in the erotic fantasy, science fiction, and Gothic genres, I have a tendency of giving my characters really over-the-top names such as those at the beginning of this article.

If you are going to take a gamble on giving your characters some really unusual names, then you are going to have to be prepared for the backlash of opinions that will no doubt come from your readers.  The best way to head off a bad rap for your creativity is to have a reason why your character(s) got saddled with his/her/their name(s).  For instance, with my vampires, I already had the reason behind the vampires’ names written into the storyline.  However, this reason was really only hinted at in the first novel.  I originally had planned to not fully disclose the reason behind their names until the second novel.  But I had such a huge backlash of people calling the names “stupid” and saying that I was “trying too hard” and using “clichéd” names that I went back and wrote in a section in the first book that explained how the vampires in my novel ended up with such over-the-top names. 

(For the record, the Vampire Council names them and they get their names according to what job they held while they apprenticed with the Council.  Stealth, for instance, was an assassin and “Stealth” had been a nickname given to him by his fellow assassins because he was so quiet.  When he was embraced, the name stuck and became his name even after he was embraced.)

Thinking your characters through as completely as possible will go a long way in making them seem real and three dimensional to your readers.  Even those characters who are only making a cameo appearance needs to at least have definable feature characteristics and personality traits that will set him/her apart from the other characters in the book/novel/story.  Bottom line, the more real your character feels to you, the more information you can give your readers and ultimately the more real the character will feel to your readers.

Eloquence Versus Wordiness in Writing


As I have often pointed out, and am so fond of doing so, you are not the next Anne Rice or the next J. K. Rowling or J. R. R. Tolkien.  I have made it very clear throughout my articles that in order for you to be a really great writer, you are going to have to first, find your own writing style.  That means stop trying to write like Anne Rice or Rowling or Tolkien or King or Cook or any of the other writing ‘greats.’  Next, you are going to have to practice.

Now, for all those out there who seem to think that a book has to be a certain length and that you simply have to write several thousand, or even several hundred thousand, extra words of “filler” to make it a certain length, then I am afraid you are in for a very rude awakening.  Unless you are the world’s greatest writer, and trust me, you are not, and start filling your pages up with a bunch of “filler,” your book is doomed to be headed for the recycling bin.

In all my years as a bookworm, I have come across exactly ONE writer who wrote so eloquently that I gobbled up practically every word she ever wrote.  And despite this, even I have actually done the dreaded “skipped a few pages” (and in some cases, entire chapters) on some of her novels.  So if you are one of those who it takes 50,000 or so words (or heaven forbid, even more) to write a single chapter, then you stopped being eloquent in your writings about 40k words back and stepped over into just flat being wordy.  After all, not even Anne Rice managed to vomit up that much descriptive nonsense about Lestat, and that character has lived for centuries.   

You may wonder why being ‘wordy’ is so bad.  Remember in one of my articles when I said that as a writer, your job is to get your readers interested in your story and write in such a way that they actually want to read every word you write instead of skipping through whole chunks of text?  Well, I hate to break it to you, but I don’t care how great of a writer you actually are, if it takes you tens of thousands of words to explain an event that most others could tell in 1/4 that many words, then you have done the one thing that you NEVER want to do with your readers, and that is O-V-E-R-W-H-E-L-M them.

There’s a reason why writing teachers hammer the K.I.S.S. acronym into budding young authors.  That’s not to say that you have to dumb yourself down so much that even the 8th grade drop-out could read the text and have no problem following the storyline.  But as a writer, you have to remember that just because you speak two or three different languages and have a vocabulary to rival Merriam and Webster, not everyone out there is going to have that same education and intellectual level.  Now if you are writing for that very small, selective group like yourself, then feel free to take a few million words to tell a story that 99% of the other writers could have hammered out in 75k words or less.

However, if you are actually wanting to make it as a writer and want others to take your craft seriously, then you are going to have to curb your enthusiastic pounding of the keys and take a step back.  Like I said, if you are overwhelming your readers with the sheer number of words that don’t really -say- anything, then you are going to eventually alienate your readers.  After all, no one wants to pick up a book for entertainment purposes and have to carry a dictionary around with them to decipher half the words in the text.  Likewise, no one wants to be made to feel stupid because they didn’t understand 90% of what was going on in the storyline because all the words kept getting in the way.

You remember the old saying, “I can’t see the forest for all the trees”?  Well, if it takes you a million plus words to tell a story, and I don’t care HOW intricate of a tale it is, then people will get “lost” in the words.  Sure, you want your audience to get lost in your book, but you want them to get lost in the story, not  bogged down by so many words that they forget what the story is actually about.  If it’s taking you more than a paragraph to get a character through the door because you think all those words sound good, then congratulations.  You just overwhelmed your reader, made them feel stupid, had them all give a collective groan, and then they promptly started skipping pages to get to ‘the good stuff.’  And if you are one of the really, really wordy types that it takes dozens and dozens of pages of useless words to get to ‘the good stuff’ then you just lost your audience completely.  They just tossed your book out with the other recyclables.  To make matters worse, they all got on their blogs and started blogging about this author who wrote this book that said absolutely NOTHING and it was so freaking long and boring that after the first few pages they gave up trying to read the stupid thing and just tossed it away.  By the way, they will suggest to others that they not bother wasting the time it takes to try to plow through the text.

On the flipside of using thousands upon thousands of words that do not say anything are those authors who write in such a way that the text reads more like poetry than a novel.  Words of poems are supposed to be wordy, even ethereal-sounding.  Words of a novel, however, simply are not.  Just as most people do not understand poetry because it does not follow conventional writing rules of subject, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs, using an excessive amount of adjectives and adverbs to make your sentences sound all “flowery” and “fluffy” is going to cause your readers to go, “Hugh?!” It should not take over a hundred words to write a simple sentence.  And if it does, then don’t be surprised if the majority of your readers get tired of trying to decode the storyline out of thousands of useless words and go on to the next story.  While it may sound good, if no one understands the meaning behind all those words, if it does not strengthen the storyline, if it actually hinders the average readers’ ability to follow along, then in all honesty, exactly what good are all those excessive, “fluffy” words really doing for you as a writer?

The thing to take away from this article is that you want to keep your readers interested in what you are writing.  Bottom line, just tell the tale.  Don’t think that the book has to be a certain word count.  Don’t add a bunch of words just to get the word count up.  And if you are one of those writers who likes the sound of your own voice on paper, then be advised that the vast majority of readers are not going to have the same appreciation for your wordiness that you do.  If you want people to actually read what you have written, then you need to cut out every unnecessary word.  It shouldn’t take any writer a few thousand words to get a character through a door.  No one wants to read thirty pages of ramblings about how a character feels.  There is absolutely no reason under the sun to recount a character’s entire life from conception to death in agonizing detail.  People are not going to be chomping at the bit to read it.  If you can’t recount a short story of two children playing in the front yard in under 25k words, then you might want to reconsider your ventures as a writer.  And if, heaven forbid, you are one of those who seems to think that “flowery” and “fluffery” makes for a great tale, then I sincerely hope you are ready for the vast disappoint that comes from thousands of people saying, “Well, it sounded pretty, but I gave up trying to read it because I don’t know what the hell you were trying to say!”

Remember to Keep It Simple Stupid!  Otherwise, your readers are going to use that massive chunk of bound text as a step-stool for their toddler.

House of Bondage: a Slave’s Tale

I had started writing on 2 BDSM stories a few years back.  I have wanted very much to finish them.  So I have decided to combine the 2 stories into a single book entitled The House of Bondage:  a Slave’s Tale.  The book is written from the first person perspective and follows a young teenager who is kidnapped and sold into slavery as a sex slave.  It chronicles a few of her sordid tales of what she went through over the years before finally finding the Master that she has always craved.  As always, I will put excerpts from the story on my personal website.  Once I get everything going smoothly, I will leave further updates and links once I post the first excerpt.



Is There Nothing Better on WordPress?

I am always scouring the internet for something interesting to read.  With me having my own blog, naturally one of the first places I look for interesting and unusual topics is blogs.  Of course, that means that I spend a lot of time checking out the “Freshly Pressed” page whenever I log into my WordPress account.

Which brings me to my own questions of concerns and personal rant.  I have read some of the most boring and mind-numbing (and I don’t mean that in a good way) blogs known to mankind that have been liked by dozens, if not hundreds, of apparently brain-dead readers who seem to think that whatever gets “Freshly Pressed” on WordPress amounts to interesting blog articles.  I have come across articles on people who want to have specific text fonts banned from use because they don’t like them, editors who seem to think that the entire educational system should be changed simply because using the proper two spaces after an end-of-the-sentence punctuation mark makes their editing jobs harder, articles on people who hate Facebook yet still have their own profiles up and running, new year’s resolutions from bloggers who seem to think that because they use e-mail to deliver bad news that everyone else out there does not know that is a major no-no in the business world…just to name a few. 

It makes me wonder why WordPress seems to think that blogs on recipes is up-and-coming news or that personal rants from teachers who hate their jobs and want to blame everything on the parents is Press-worthy enough to bypass an article on a major plagiarism account in order to plaster a blog about a guy who received a funny look from a security guard in a bank because the guy went into the bank with his face obscured behind massive goggles and a toboggan.  Are there seriously no more interesting articles or blogs on WordPress that such articles as these take precedent over  something of actual use, like how to become a better writer, how to get better rankings in a search engine, what to do when faced with an emergency?  Are we all seriously doomed to be bombarded by blog after blog from editors who seem to think that because they are editors they can actually write, or articles from moms who seem to think that the tale about the mashed peas in the sofa cushions is so hilarious that tens of thousands of readers will flock to read about something that has happened to them a dozen times with each child? 

What is even scarier is the amount of people on WordPress who not only flock to these dreary excuses for blogs, but who cannot seem to stop commenting about how right the blogger is, what a great article the blog is, what a great writer the blogger is, how much they agree with what the blogger said.

Perhaps I am in the minority.  If so, please pardon my unquenchable thirst for actual entertaining reading material that will stimulate my brain instead of my gag reflex.

Attention Whoring and Other Underhanded Writing Gimmicks

Attention Whoring and Other Underhanded Writing Gimmicks

As a writer, I will openly tell you that some authors will do just about anything and stoop to just about any level if it means getting their stories/novels/books read.  I have already covered the widely used marketing ruse of labeling a story “true” just to get more reads, even if a good chunk of it, or even all of it, is actually fabricated.  In this article, I will explore, and you might even say “reveal,” some of the many dirty and underhanded tricks that authors have been known to do all for the sake of squeezing a few more reads out of their work or creating a buzz about a book/novel/story they are writing.

1.  Attention Whoring:  This little ploy takes all kinds of shapes and forms.  Basically it is the equivalent of over-advertising.  It is when a writer is constantly bringing up their work.  On a public forum, they will create thread after thread and make post after post giving “updates” about the work in question.  Some may even go so far as to create multiple user accounts and carry on a conversation with themselves with the alternate account (known as a “sock” account) asking all sorts of questions about the book/story/novel.  Attention whoring authors are usually easy to spot.  They often cannot seem to stop once they start posting either.  I’ve seen them dig up their own threads that had fallen into oblivion just to make a post on them with a sock account.  They usually post on a regular basis, even if it is months in between posts.  But, as I said, once they start posting, they just can’t seem to stop.  If you see a post suddenly pop up out of nowhere, chances are you are going to start seeing zombie threads suddenly being revived as well.

If they have a Facebook, Twitter, or other social networking site, they will start posting statuses that will tell, in great detail, all about what is going on with their work.  They are not content to just say, “Finishing up the final draft” or “Manuscript in final proofreading stage.”  What you will get is extensive, in-depth reviews of how many words the final work  is, how many words have been cut, how many chapters it has, how many words the synopsis is, what all genres it falls under, how many and which publishers are considering it, etc.   And if they should have a blog somewhere, the readers of the blog can expect to get a play-by-play of what is happening along with excerpts and eager replies to any and all comments.

2.  Talking with Myself:  This is an extension of the attention whoring author.  Whether it be on a public forum, a writing forum, in a writing group, or their own website, some authors will make endless sock accounts for the sole purpose of “chatting up” their own work.  They will post comments on their own threads with praise, leave comments on their own works from “fans” who will be very quick to tell the author how much he/she just loved the story and how the author is the best writer of all time.  They have even been known to create sock accounts and “review” their own work, being sure to leave lots and lots of praise, toss in a few comparisons to some of the world’s greatest literary writers, and, if the site allows any type of rating, they will consistently vote up their own works.

3.  Sabotaging the Competition:  in addition to “Talking with Myself,” some authors will use their countless sock accounts to systematically vote down other authors’ stories in an attempt to keep their own stories with a higher rating and subsequently a higher read count.  They will leave negative comments on other stories, give bad reviews, and tell other readers just how horrible so-and-so’s latest story/novel/book is.  They may or may not toss in something along the lines of, “Now if you want to read something really good, you should read such-and-such’s latest story.  It’s awesome!”

4.  Upstaging the Competition:  instead of, or even in addition to, using their countless sock accounts to vote down the competition, they will use their endless supply of sock accounts to vote positively on their own stories, giving their stories higher ratings than they normally receive and thus bumping up their own stories in the rankings.  Usually if you will start looking at the names of the accounts that have voted positive on the author’s stories, you will notice a lot of the same names appearing on their stories over and over again as having given a ‘positive’ vote.  It is usually very easy to tell who is doing this rather underhanded trick.  There are, unfortunately, a LOT of authors on the XNXX site who do this on a regular basis, giving their normally low ranking stories a very unethical advantage over those of us who actually earned our rankings by writing quality work that other readers actually wanted to read and enjoyed.

5.  Arguing with Myself:  a slight variation on the “Talkers,” some authors will create sock accounts with the sole intent of becoming their own arch nemesis on their stories.  They will leave hateful comments on their own stories.  They will post their stories on an open writing forum and then use their sock accounts to create an argument back and forth between the “members.”  One or two of the accounts will be used to leave insulting comments while several other sock accounts will come to the aid of the author in defense of how “awesome” the author is and how wrong they are for saying such horrible things.  It’s a way to create quite a buzz on a writing forum.  Soon people will go to the threads just to read what is going on and/or to find out “what all the fuss is about.”   People may discover themselves reading something that they would not normally care for just to see what is causing such a stir on the forum/site.

6.  The Blatant Thread Bump – in addition to carrying on conversations between sock accounts, authors have been known to blatantly bump up their own threads in open forums to keep the thread alive.  The difference between this and more subtle attention whoring is that the thread usually does not leave the front page of the forum in question.  Instead of allowing the thread to die out into obscurity only to be revived by a sock account a few months later (and usually from page 10), the Blatant Thread Bump authors will not let the thread drop off the front or second page in an effort to increase the exposure for the thread.  They will do anything to keep the thread alive, including, but not limited to, posting with sock accounts and under the primary account name in order to answer and thank every single post that has been made on the thread.  And, of course, there is always the pure Blatant Thread Bump where the author of the thread will go through and simply state ‘bump’ or ‘bumping this thread.’  Some authors make no pretenses at what they are doing. 

These are just a few of the devious little tricks that some writers have resorted to in order to keep interest in their stories/novels/books alive.  While these little tricks may create quite the buzz, once someone points out that the author is engaging in such activities, the once helpful buzz may very well become a buzz about how underhanded the author has become just to drive more traffic to their stories/novels/books.  Use at your own risk.  They say that even bad publicity is good publicity, but not when everyone is warning people to stay away from your work at all costs.

“Temptation” Gets an Overhaul

I have decided to do a little bit of an overhaul on the previously released novel Temptation.  For those who may not be in the know, Temptation is one of the first published novels of mine in the erotic fantasy genre.  It currently features 7 short erotic fantasy stories involving a variety of themes, including vampires, lycans, the BDSM lifestyle, the master/slave lifestyle, and one of which I’m not really sure WHAT the love-interest actually is – demon, ghost, something that has yet to be named?

Anyway, the stories are incredibly vulgar and rate right up there with hardcore porn stories.  I have decided to go back through the stories and make them less ‘vulgar,’ albeit no less ‘tame’ than what they already are.  I am not changing the storylines or anything major like that, just changing a few “cocks” to “engorged members” and a few “cunts” to a moist, tender flowers.  You know, less like porn and more like romantic smut.

Along with this overhaul will come the adding of a never-before-released short erotic story called “Seventeen” which is told from the view-point of a seventeen-year-old male named Nicholas whose fantasies about banging the MILF next door turn out to be far hotter than anything he ever imagined. 

I hope to have this new edition up for sale by the end of the week.

To Be (or not to be) a Mercenary

The first thing that might pop into your head is, ‘Um, what’s a mercenary writer?’  Good question.  A mercenary writer is basically a writer who “writes where the money is.”  That is to say, the writer writes about whatever the hot topic is at the moment.  If vampires are hot, they write about that.  If the wild west is hot, that’s what they write about.  If televisions coming to life and taking over the world is where the money is, then they churn out as many stories/novels on the subject as possible.  They have their publishers dictating what they write about, they write as many stories on the subject as possible to up their chances of making money off of one of them, and they have hard deadlines to meet.  The opposite of a mercenary writer is the artist who writes what they want to write about, regardless of whether or not it is “hot” at the time, and spends a considerable amount of time honing and fine-tuning their work instead of rushing through to get the novel out to the masses.

A lot can be said about mercenary writers; some of it good, some of it bad.  Likewise, there are pros and cons of being a mercenary writer.  Some of the pros are simple enough.  If you are writing all the time and churning out monumental amounts of novels, then your chances of getting published are much better.  Getting published ups your chances of actually making money off of your craft. 

However, a lot can be said for the ‘bleeding heart’ artist as well.  Since money is not a motivation behind their creativity and they are seldom on a deadline, their work is often of much higher quality as far as writing goes.  The stories are often more intricate, sometimes spanning entire series of novels to tell the tale.  The story very seldom feels rushed as the case can be when a writer is put under a stout deadline.   The characters are usually much more rounded, well developed, and often feel more ‘real’ to the reader.  It’s very easy for the reader to get sucked into the story, to have a lot of time and emotion invested in the characters and plotline.  Often the characters are so well defined that readers may even feel a kinship with the characters. 

It has been debated on whether or not a mercenary writer is actually any good.  As I have often said, a good story is in the mind’s eye of the reader.  But it is certainly a valid point that a writer who is churning out a book a month is sacrificing quality for quantity.  Getting that much material out in such a short amount of time often leaves little, if any, time to fine tune the story, to develop characters properly, to wrap up loose ends, or even tell the story properly.  A wise writer once said, “If you are not going to spend the time that is required to properly develop your ideas and your characters, then why are you wasting the readers’ time giving them mediocre material?  Why even bother to write if you can’t be bothered to give your ideas the proper nurturing that they deserve? ”  That is not to say that a mercenary cannot have good ideas or even be a good writer;  the argument is that the stories could be a thousand times better if the writer spent the amount of time it takes to fine tune their stories and the characters within them.

First off, you will need to decide if you are a mercenary writer, if you could become a mercenary writer, or if you even want to be a mercenary writer.  The first question you have to ask yourself is, ‘Do I write what I know others are going to read, or do I write what I like to write about, regardless of how ‘hot’ a topic it is at the time?’  This is, perhaps, one of the most important things about a mercenary writer.  They do not usually write for the sheer joy of creating something and often do not have any emotions tied up in the stories that they write.  They write about whatever will make them a paycheck.  So if you have a tendency to hate writing about things that do not interest you, if you hate having someone tell you what your next story is going to be about, and/or if you cannot stand for anyone to change up your storyline because you have an enormous amount of emotions invested in the plot, you will not be able to make it as a mercenary writer.

The second question you have to ask yourself is, ‘Which is more important to me, making money off of my craft, or being known for being a really excellent writer.’  One of the main differences between a mercenary writer and an artist writer is that mercenaries do make money, although it can be argued that someone having to crank out a book a month to keep the publishers interested in them is not making very good money.  An artist, however, may write fewer works but are often very well-known as a ‘good’ writer because they spent the necessary time fine tuning their work before they submitted it for publication.  It’s the difference between Anne Rice and a romance/erotic writer who has fifteen novels out there but no one knows who that writer actually is.  Money is not usually the driving force behind an artist’s writing.  With that taken out of the equation, it frees them up to put their heart and soul into their craft.  If you would rather be known for being good instead of making money, or if you would not be willing to sacrifice the quality of your work in order to crank out a large quantity of work, then you would not make it as a mercenary writer.

The last question you have to ask yourself is if you really want to be a mercenary writer, or are you happy with where you are at as a writer.  Please don’t misunderstand the point of this article.  I am not saying that one is better than the other.   I know which one I am, and I am perfectly content with who I am as a writer.  The question is, are you happy with where you are as a writer?  If you already are a mercenary writer, are you still willing to continue writing what others dictate, are you still willing to sacrifice quality over quantity, and are you happy being a mercenary writer?  If you answered ‘yes’ to these questions, then embrace your inner mercenary and carry on. 

If you are an artist, are you happy with the stories you have created?   Do you enjoy the process of fine tuning your craft?  Would you rather be known as a good writer or is it more important to get as much of your work out there as possible and make money off of them?  And, perhaps most importantly, are you happy being an artistic writer?  If you answered yes, then embrace your inner artist and set out to create something fantastic.

As I said earlier, I know which type of writer that I am.  I am a die-hard ‘bleeding heart’ artist.  Most importantly, I am perfectly content being an artistic writer because, for me, being known as a ‘good’ writer overrules my desire to make any money off of my craft.  I already have a career, but writing is my passion.  I do not do it for the money, but for the simple joy of creating something really wonderful, a feat that my hundreds of thousands of fans can attest to.  I continue to write knowing that people really enjoy my intricate tales and get caught up in the storylines.  For me, having my name known is more important than the paycheck that it brings in.

Whichever you are, I would never, ever suggest that you give up your dream of getting published.  Even if you are a hopeless artist when it comes to being a writer, never stop trying to get published.  But don’t sit around and wait for ‘the big’ book deal to come your way.  It doesn’t matter how good you are, you are not going to be the next Anne Rice, so don’t sit on your manuscripts holding out for a huge traditional publishing house to come along and make you an unbelievable offer on your work.  It. Is. Not. Going. To. Happen.  What can happen, however, is you can be your own biggest advocate and get the word out.  If money is not a driving force but you still very much want your work out there being read, then you may want to try alternative methods such as blogging and self-publishing. 

Another thing that I would like to point out is that not all writers are going to be supportive of or even accepting of you as a writer.  It is not uncommon to come across mercenaries who will state that anyone who does not write full-time is not really a writer.  Excuse me, but anyone who consistently puts pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) is a writer.  It’s like saying that someone stops being a mom once the kids get grown.  It doesn’t matter if you write in your spare time or if writing is your full-time job.  So long as you are writing something, anything, then You. Are. A. Writer.  You may come across writers who will tell you that if you are not going to try to make money off of your work then you should move aside and make room for those who do want to make a living off of their efforts.  To these people I say that there are plenty of readers out there for everyone, and if you are so insecure about your ability as a writer as to try to scare off the competition, then I suggest you become a better writer.

Whether you a mercenary or a bleeding heart artist, regardless of which choices and directions you choose to explore as a writer, remember to always keep your eye on the goals that you have set for yourself.  Be the best that you can be at what you do.  But whatever you do, never give up, never give in.  Because at the end of the day, all that matters is that you are satisfied with the work that you have produced.  After all, a good story is in the mind’s eye of the reader.

N. C. Matthews

Last Day! Book Sale: 5% Off “Vindictus” & 10% Off “Temptation”

Alright all you Nicola Matthews fans, today is the LAST DAY to enjoy 5% off your very own paperback copy of Vindictus, The Dark Lord.  In celebration of the release of Vindictus, we are also offering 10% off paperback copies of Nicola’s previously released book of erotic tales called Temptation.

Click here to visit the bookstore.

Don’t forget to snatch up your own Get Nicolarized! Official Fan Gear at the CafePress shop.  Offering customized promo tee shirts, mugs, hats, hoodies, and more.

Click here to visit CafePress Shop & Get Nicolarized!

Book Discount: 5% Off “Vindictus” & 10% off “Temptation”

As a special promotion to celebrate the release of my latest novella, now until Monday, I am offering a 5%* discount off of Vindictus, The Dark Lord  and a 10%* discount off of Temptation.  Remember, this sale is only available through my Author’s Store and will end at 6 p.m. central time on 1/10/11.  Hurry in for best selection.

Click here to go directly to my Author’s Store

*discount only available for paperback editions