First of all, I’d like to thank the wonderful and talented Babette James for hosting me on her blog today. It’s truly an honour to be here.
I’m not sure about other authors, but I had a hard time “coming out” to my friends and colleagues, and didn’t until just recently. For some reason, saying “I’m a writer,” felt and sounded so…deceitful. Like I tried to cover up a sham.
I’ve been writing since Elementary school. I remember being in Mrs. Matthews’ grade 7 class and getting those little hand held word processor things (might be dating myself a bit, here). No, I don’t mean iPads or laptops—their predecessor. I wrote about five stories on them within a week for no reason besides my own personal enjoyment. I went on to write more six-paged “books,” and started asking questions, like “how do you spell pregnant?” which made my dad a little nervous (fyi: I needed the word for my HEA closing sentence—apparently, at age thirteen, I decided HEA meant married and pregnant). In high school, obsessed with Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time series, I created a whole fantasy world with characters and started writing about a sorceress with untold powers. University sucked a bit of my creativity out of me and my writing went on hiatus, but a few years after graduating, I picked up the pen again—figuratively, since I work off my computer—and and madly started writing down the stories in my head. Now, I’m a published author.
So why do I feel so weird saying I’m a writer? Like I’m some sort of fraud and the “writing police” are going to swoop down and point their fingers at me, yelling, “liar, liar.”
I’m not sure.
Maybe there’s a social stigma around writing and being a writer. I never thought there was before. If someone else told me they were a writer, I’d say, “cool!”
Maybe this all stems from being a socially awkward teenager.
Maybe it’s because the road to publishing is paved with rejection letters and the idea of putting myself out there in a new way to get slammed puts me ill-at-ease.
Whatever the case, I didn’t feel like a writer until my book released on March 27th, 2014, and I don’t think I’ll truly feel comfortable with saying “I’m a writer” until I have the print copy IN MY HANDS in mid-July. And that’s completely silly; absolutely absurd, because I’ve been a writer my whole life. How could I not be a writer before I got published? I had to be, because my book didn’t write itself! Simple logic!
For all of you out there struggling with coming out of the writer’s closet, or struggling to decide whether you are a writer or not, here are a few tips to help you identify yourself. They’re part of my personal mantra to bolster my self-confidence.
You know you’re a writer when:
- You ask your husband/wife if he/she can read something, and he’s/she’s suddenly busy (in my case, with xbox)
- You have pen marks on your arms and clothes. If you have youngsters, possibly your face as well…or theirs
- You get up in the middle of the night to write something down because you HAVE to
- Something bad/good/funny happens and you think, “that would make a great story”
- Someone’s mean to you and you fantasize about how you’d kill them off if they were a character in your book
- Your mood depends on what’s happening in your story
- Deleting a scene in your book is the emotional equivalent to stabbing yourself in the heart
- You note passive verbs, POV shifts, telling instead of showing, and sentence fragments when you’re reading someone else’s work and wish you could’ve been their critique partner
- You even fantasize about how you’d phrase your comments to them
- You own a number of notebooks—some filled, some partially filled, most empty—yet you keep buying more.
- You like the smell of paper and stationary and may or may not have been banned from Staples by your spouse (or been issued a threat of banishment—true story).
- You get mad at yourself for sentencing a likeable character to a literary death
- You proofread your status updates for spelling and grammar before posting
If you’re a writer, when and/or how did you know you were a writer? When did you feel comfortable saying it?
If you’re a reader, do you agree with the above picture? What do you think writers do?
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Andy should be solving a mystery, but she’d rather play wolf. Can she get both jobs done?
Andrea McNeilly’s job as a government agent is not asking questions, but then a routine assignment turns into a botched assassination of a Master Vampire’s human servant. Answers become a priority. Her search to discover the truth is riddled with obstacles, the largest being an oversized Werewolf who resembles a Norse god. Andy can’t afford the distraction he offers, because if she fails, she faces eternal enslavement.
Wick’s job is to monitor Andy, but he prefers more intimate activities, none of them G-Rated. His choices, however, are often not his own. His ability to help Andy is limited by his bond to the Master Vampire.
Facing many trials and challenges along her path to redemption, Andy learns the value of her freedom might be set too high.
A large black wolf trotted into the clearing to confront me. He had a white-tipped snout, white boots and mitts and would have looked cute had he not been the most intimidating Werewolf I’d ever seen. Standing tall and solid, power rolled off of his body. His eyes bore into mine. I sniffed the air. The strong Werewolf scent of rosemary swirled around me, strong and seductive, laced with sugar. A weird fuzzy sensation spread out from my chest. Whoa.
My other form growled low, demanding release, straining against my skin. The energy of the wolves built—layers upon layers of excitement and impatience. The air pulsated with anticipation. They could sense the imminent kill.
Let me out! My other form repeated, throwing her power against my built up walls, howling in defiance.
When the energy of the Werewolves surged, I finally released her. My wolf form flowed out fast, wiping out the feline in little more than a heartbeat. Smaller, weaker and the size of a natural wolf, a Shifter in this form was no match for a Werewolf, especially a dominant one. I had time to meet the eyes of the Alpha for only an instant before the pack leapt forward. My limbs shook. It went against every instinct ingrained within me, but I rolled onto my back—submissive.
You can find Shift Happens at:
Available in print and all other electronic formats on July 16th, 2014
About the Author:
Born and raised on the Haida Gwaii, off the West Coast of Canada, J.C. McKenzie grew up in a pristine wilderness that inspired her to dream. She writes Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance.
You can find J.C. at: