As a relatively unknown writer, I’m often asked what drives me to spend months and even years of my precious spare time writing stories when there is no guarantee that readers will want to spend their hard-earned cash on buying them? What’s my motive for working so hard – and it really is hard work writing, editing, re-writing, editing again, and again, and again, until finally I’m satisfied my books are as good as I can possibly get them? I will never recoup my outlay in time, nor may I recoup any cash I spend on services such as cover art, editing, printing, publishing and giving away free copies for marketing purposes.
‘You must be crazy,’ I’ve been told by some. ‘You must be rich,’ say others, assuming that writing and publishing a book myself means copies will be flying off bookshop or supermarket shelves or onto Kindles world-wide the minute my book is released and a small fortune will be flowing into my bank account. There are even people who say ‘You’re greedy, wanting to publish and keep all that money for yourself, when ‘real writers’, published by ‘real publishers’ only get a small percentage of the cover price of their books.’
Unless you are a writer or part of the publishing world, you’ll probably never know how terribly difficult it is for an unknown writer, who wants only to write stories, to force herself into a confusing world of blogs, tweets, websites, formatting, artwork e-publishing and print-on-demand publishing – everything indie writers have to be able to do these days in order to get their stories read. Had I known, before the writing bug bit me and writing became part of my DNA, what writing in the fast-moving world of e-publishing entailed, I may never have started. I could have carried on for ever enjoying books by other writers, wondering from time to time whether I could do it myself but then picking up my next selection and becoming lost in a world another person had created for me.
So, why do I do it? It has taken me a long time to come up with an answer I’m happy with, but I think I’m finally there.
I do it for Plain Old Love.
I write about love in all its guises. I use my characters to explore different kinds of love and its closest counterpart, hate, and every facet in between. I want to find out what my characters will do when placed in unusual or difficult circumstances. I want them to fight for what they believe in. I want to inspire my readers to love my characters and the way they behave. I want to promote love as a way for us all to live our lives and I want to drag it, kicking and screaming from the darkest recesses of the darkest souls until it sees the light.
That is why I write.