Saturday 5 August 2017

A perception of fiction writers

Sounds like a collective noun, doesn’t it? Many people often voice their perceptions of us scribblers. 

Most prevalent is that we are all millionaires. The blunt truth is well over 90% of us, whose sole occupation is writing, don’t pay tax because we don’t earn enough. Most writers have a day-job and fit their writing around that because they need to pay for luxuries like food and rent. I once added up what I have had to spend in order to write. Currently, and taking into account all my earnings from writing, my ‘business’ owes me over £7000. That includes computers, research trips, membership of writing organisations, buying books and the rest.

Another perception is that we lie around - usually by swimming pools in the sun  - fabricating stories from the aether without any preparation at all. I will state categorically that ALL writers need to do research and some, historical writers for example, possibly a great deal more than most. We have to, otherwise we would not know how to create the world in which our books are set and make it accurate. I know a science fiction writer who spent months reading all manner of papers and books in order to write his book set on another planet and his main problem was that the science is being updated almost daily. Crime writers need to know the current state of police procedure. Historical novelists need to know what people ate, how they dressed etc. for the period in which their books are set. So, by no means is the business of writing merely sitting and spinning yarns with no prior research.

Later this month, I will start writing the first of a new series set in the time of the Wars of the Roses. On my blog this week, I have given a few insights into how this series started in my head and where I am in the preparation process. Click the link below and have a read. You never know, it might just change your perception of what we do, how hard we work and how little is our reward. But then, virtually every writer will tell you that their need to write is compelling and the rewards are much bigger than just money.

Part of the preparation of course, is choosing titles and characters. And playing about with concepts for book covers. At this moment, my new hero is called Gethyn Wilde and the recurring symbol will encapsulate the Wars of the Roses:

The initial recurring symbol for the Gethyn Wilde Chronicles

You can read the blog here: 

You can read more about April Taylor here:

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