This post was prompted by two people -
Steph Campbell and Courtney Stevens Potter. Courtney blogs like, almost never, but you can find her on twitter @quartland
They have taken two very different roads to publication, but my guess is that their books will be on the same lists in about five years or so...
Steph and I were talking about writing romance for the self-pub industry (because who are we kidding - that's what sells in the Indie market) and writing books that fill up our soul, tear us apart, and force us to tell their story. I'm sure Steph said this a little less dorkily than I did, but you get the point. And I think that Steph's books do both.
(Steph also wrote a post this week about publishing that I think everyone should read)
I've read a few books for Courtney Stevens on her way to finding an agent, and I KNEW she would get picked up huge. And she did. I believe her first book comes out Spring 2014 (at which point her and I will pull out the boxing gloves to fight for sales - KIDDING - we'll be totally cheering each other on, because the writing community is awesome like that).
She said she was at a writer's conference and she got the best advice from an agent she was pitching to there - "Write the book you HAVE to write."
In my mind, it means that we need to write those stories that tear us apart and won't let us go.
It made me think of a book I wrote called The Happiness of Joy, and Used to Be (Aw Teen) and Love Blind (with Christa Desir) and two books I'm working on now.
It made me think of my good friend, Nyrae, and her tweets about crying at Barnes and Noble while writing because she was that invested in the story.
It made me think of the books that have changed me while I read them, and books that stayed with me for years after reading.
This is why I write. I want to write the stories that won't let me go - not the stories I think I SHOULD write, or the stories I think will sell well... (Even though that's OH-SO tempting...)
So. Yes. I'm passing on maybe some of the best advice on writing I've ever gotten, and the next books I work on will the books I have to write.
Wanna share some writing advice?
Or tell me what's up in your writing world?
P.S. My disclaimer is that I have friends who are BRILLIANT romance writers, and I LOVE that. And friends who are HUMOR writers and I'm always a bit amazed by them, and some people who have to write picture books, or MG novels, or Fantasy. I think my point was that - again - write what you HAVE to write. It'll be different for everyone...