This week I read a book by E.J. Copperman titled Written Off. It’s the first in a new series called “A Mysterious Detective Mystery.” I loved the book. The protagonist is a mystery writer, which wouldn’t be that earthshaking, but she has something out of the ordinary to deal with, and… Okay, I don’t want to give the story away. Let me just say that the premise is fairly unique.
However, in the process of writing this book, Copperman let the fictional author discuss some of her experiences as a writer – and I could relate – which made it a fun read.
For instance, Rachel Goldman (the fictional writer) does a book launch at her friendly bookstore. You never know how many people will show up at a book signing or a book launch, or how it’ll end up. You might twiddle your thumbs all day or you might run out of ink while signing books.
I recall once when I did a book signing at an RV park. Several people showed up, and when I began to give my presentation, they looked at me like I was nuts. As it turned out, the woman who set it up invited everyone to the recreation room for free ice cream. She forgot to mention there’d be an author doing a presentation. Oh, well, that’s the life of a writer.
Another time I was set to do a presentation at a library in a town that consisted of mostly Asians. I had to wonder when, on my way to the library, I saw that most of the advertising signs were in Asian script, but I shook my head and forgot about it. Only one person showed up – a young Chinese man who attended a local college. I gave my presentation to him and the librarian. His only question at the end? Would I please explain what humor is? Interesting day.
What about a bookstore owner “hand selling” your books? I’ve had a couple of people do that, and I can’t tell you how thankful I was. Imagine someone liking your books enough to recommend them to readers. Amazing!
The fictional mystery writer also talks about revisions and how they made her feel. Need I say more? Sometimes the revisions are more difficult than writing the book.
As I said, I don’t want to give the story away, so I’ll switch to a few things I’ve been through and things other writers have talked about.
How about when a fan tells you they looooved your book, but it turns out you’re not the person they thought you were. They actually looooved someone else’s book. Uh…
What do authors do in their “down time?” Yes, there are occasional moments of free time, although it’s not often. My down time is spent cleaning the house I’ve let go for too long. I’ve got to think of something more entertaining.
The age old question: What if, as a mystery writer, you were asked to help solve a real life crime? We’ve seen it done over and over again on “Murder She Wrote” and enjoyed watching the way her thought processes worked, and it happened in “Written Off.” (I’m still not giving away the unique part of this storyline.) What would you do if this actually came to pass?
Research is another issue for many of us. It can be time-consuming, especially if the research turns out to be interesting. There are rare occasions when the research may cause you to head in a new direction instead of what you’d planned on writing.
What if someone said they didn’t like the way you ended your story, and went on to tell you how it should have ended? Thankfully, that hasn’t happened to me – yet.
Anyway, as I read this book there were parts where I found myself thinking, Yes. That’s just how I feel. It was refreshing to read about another mystery writer’s thoughts, even though the story was one of fiction. Or was it? Maybe the author’s writing experiences and thoughts were real. Ya think?
Until next time, I hope the things you experience this week are all positive, and if they’re not, I hope you can find a funny side to them.
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