We can all be picky readers. We know what we like, what genres we prefer, and are often cautious when picking up a new book outside the realm of our usual pages. I know what kinds of plots I love or what sort of romances drive me up the wall.
Four years ago, I set out to read a story that would stick with me.
I wanted to read a story about a strong girl who didn’t need to be rescued, who put logic ahead of emotion and thought things through. I wanted to read about a supernatural group of misfits who weren’t necessarily vampires or werewolves. I wanted a story full of mystery, one that would confuse and worry me as much as the main character when she discovers the information. And I wanted a little bit of romance, but not so much that it takes away from the plot or consumes the heroine’s thoughts.
I couldn’t find a story like that, not one that I truly thought had all those parts. So you know what I did?
I wrote it.
When I wanted to read a story with witches and murder and raise the hairs on the back of my neck, I bet you can guess what I did.
Yep. I wrote it.
One of the best pieces of writing advice I ever read was to write what you want to read. I know – it sounds simple. But really, isn’t that why we set out to write the story we did?
With my stories, I knew that these were the kinds of books that I would pick up in a bookstore for a closer look at the cover, that the back cover blurb would be enough to draw me in and at least make me give it a chance. And right now you’re probably rolling your eyes and thinking I’m only saying these things because I’m the author, but hand to heaven, these are the kind of books I’d read. But since they’re not out there, I took matters into my own hands.
If you think you’ve got a story full of interesting characters and a dynamic plot, WRITE IT. Short story, flash fiction, full on novel, whatever – readers who are tired of the same old thing will want to read it. A few of my key compliments to GIFTED was that it was “a breath of fresh air” and a “unique story” because it’s unlike anything else on the market.
Turns out, other people are looking for those kinds of stories too. They’re giving me a chance because I wrote what I wanted to read. I’m proud to be an author of that kind of story. I think you will be, too.