Authors Answer 19 – Writing Beginnings

Another week, another question to ponder. This week’s one is pretty straightforward: How did you get into writing and how did you select your genre of choice?

It is probably a subject I have touched on at some point in some of my early blog posts, but maybe not comprehensively. That said, the answer to both aspects of the question is pretty similar – it kind of just happened.

I would also say that both aspects of this question are closely linked for me. I have previously waxed lyrical about the books I read as a child by Paul Biegel, which were always strange, fantastical, slightly odd and – to me – extremely compelling. I’m still convinced that my love for all things Fantasy originates in his books.

Where my love for Romance comes from is a little harder to pinpoint, but I think it stems from the myriad of Mills & Boons romances I read in my teenage years. I don’t really know where they came from, but there would always be a few of them lying around. Back in the day they were the kind of romances where the heroine was a virgin of barely eighteen and the hero was a thirty-five-year-old brute, and even though they hated each other from the start, by about chapter six they would magically realise that actually, it was love. Nowadays I’ll roll my eyes at those kinds of stories (even if I’ll still finish reading them), but as a teenager I devoured them.

Given the two things above, I suppose it was inevitable that I’d end up writing Fantasy Romance.

As to what made me start writing, I think my very first stories were the ones I set around the characters in my Fantasy play-by-mail game. I also dabbled with a collaborative piece that I wrote together with a few of my fellow students. I cannot really recall anything I did before then. However, looking back at some of that stuff (insofar as I still have it), it’s quite amazing how much of it has ended up in my published work. The dark-eyed, dark & long-haired hero is almost a given with me (and owes much to Michael Praed from Robin of Sherwood). Fiery, feisty heroines also crop up a lot, and yes, I do like redheaded girls. My very first hero was an acrobat/juggler. His girlfriend was a thief. And so on, and so forth.

Can I pinpoint what exactly made me pick up a pen and start writing? No. I just had a bunch of characters and they had stories to tell. At my best, they nag at me so much that I have no choice but to write them down, because it’s the only thing that will give me peace. At my worst? Well, that’s sort of where I am at the moment. I have stories brewing in my head, but they’ve yet to reach that point where the itch is too annoying to ignore.

I’m sure I’ll get there again, but I’m in no rush.

Original post can be found here.


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