Wednesday, September 5, 2018

What do I think about When I write?

Make Mine Mystery

Sept 5, 2018

Linda Lee Kane


When I write, I don’t consider my readers likes and dislikes: I approach writing as if it’s a treasure hunt and the treasure I’m searching for is the truth—what choices would these characters truly make in these situations? What would these characters honestly feel?
I want my characters to be as real and as honest as possible, and since they ultimately drive my stories, my books don’t always turn out how I initially envisioned them—or in ways that I think readers might want. For example, I chose a new narrator for Death on the Vine. Daisy, my new narrator, was not universally liked and many of my readers were unsure about my choice to make her the main character. But I actually think their dislike of Daisy made the book stronger. Since Daisy was not a beloved character, I knew I’d have to work really hard to win readers over to her side. I knew I couldn’t just throw her on the page and assume readers would follow her—I had to fight to make readers fall in love with her.

When I write I don’t consider book sales, I write because I enjoy the process and every day I learn something new: When I first started writing, before I actually sold anything, I used to think about sales all the time. I stalked agents and continuously read their tweets and blog posts about the market. I studied the books that everyone was buzzing about. But my studies never led to selling a book. In fact, they almost held me back from writing The Black Madonna.
When I first drafted The Black MadonnaI was told by more than one person that books with a historical perspective were hard sells—no one was looking for that—and the creative historical market was saturated. The Black Madonna didn’t feel like a safe book to write, but I’d tried to write safe books, which hadn’t sold much, and I was obsessed with the idea of the Knights Templar and the Cathars, a religious group that Pope Innocent wanted to be destroyed. The Black Madonna was the book I wanted to read. So despite the appearance of the market and various agent wish lists, I liked to believe that if I wanted to read it, others would want to read it as well.
I still think it’s good to be aware of what’s selling, but I don’t usually consider it when choosing what I write. Instead, I try to find the idea that I’m obsessed with because I believe that if I’m passionate about something, I’ll find readers who feel the same way.

1 comment:

Linda Thorne said...

I know I enjoyed your book and I'm not much for historical fiction. The Black Madonna caught my interest because the current-day mystery was fast-paced and fun. The reflections back into history just fed my curiosity on how this was going to tie into the mystery. It worked.