A week or so ago I received the first copies of “Unusual Suspects: Four Stories of Suspicion, Suspense and Murder.” The book is already available as a Kindle, and now has a three-dimensional version as well. But the real work is just beginning: moving books from my office to your house, or from Amazon.com to your Kindle or mailbox. That will be work.
I’m not complaining. I enjoy going out and meeting book people in book stores and libraries and at book fairs and such. I like answering questions about my work, about writing in general, and of course, about the understory in every book I write. But it takes time.
About the time I have a new manuscript ready for publication, I start thinking, “Well, that’s it. I’m finished. I don’t want to go through this again. I’m too old, there are too many things I haven’t done, too much that needs to be taken care of. I’m written out.” Except, of course, I’m not. I see something that triggers an idea, a storyline develops, characters begin to populate the story and pretty soon I’m outlining, fleshing out characters and background and scene settings and so on. That comes from writing films, I guess, but I don’t do that anymore; haven’t for some years. But seeing the story in my mind isn’t something I can expunge from my thinking process.
Writing, it turns out, is more than a craft for the writer. It is a way of life. Internal, mostly. not something you can do as a team or a group. I write for me, and I hope that the ‘me” for whom I write is essentially like you, the difference being that I have a story to tell, and you want to hear or read it. But regardless of what happens once the story is written, I am compelled to share it, to hear your response, to try to make the next one better so you will keep coming back. If you do, my accountant is happy, but if you don’t, I’m not that unhappy, as long as you remain there. I believe that there is something in the DNA of every writer, especially a fiction writer.
For writers there is no “The End,” as long as there is a “Thee.”