Saturday, August 22, 2009

Dog Days of Summer: Deborah Blake's Advice to Authors

As writers we often get advice and are asked to give some advice back based on our personal journey. Dog Days of Summer guest author Deborah Blake was kind enough to share a little advice with fellow authors and aspiring authors. The three most important things for aspiring authors to do sound pretty simple:

Write. Read. Write some more.

Straightforward, right? And I'm guessing most blog visitors here do write (or try to write) pretty frequently. But do you read (and what)? Most artists study art before and as they create their works, crafters get hands-on with their chosen medium often learning from other crafters. What are our aspiring authors out there gleaning from what has come before (because, if it's currently on the market, it's "before")?

Deb also suggests aspiring authors:

"Don’t give up your day job? No, really—don’t assume, as most of us do when we get started, that you are going to be able to make a living at writing, at least right away.

"Write a lot. Write as much as you can, even when you don’t feel like it. Don’t wait until you have enough time (you never will) or a brilliant idea (although they’re good).

"Read a lot, especially in the area you are interested in writing. Pick the authors you like and figure out what they’re doing right. Have people you respect critique your work so you can figure out what you’re doing wrong. (Although don’t take criticism too seriously, either.) Take classes and workshops if you can, but don’t worry too much about getting a degree in writing. Just do it. And don’t forget to enjoy the journey. Getting published can be (is usually) a major struggle. But there is an element of treasure hunt/challenge/puzzle solving in there that can be fun, too. Enjoy the people you meet along the way, the things you learn, and the growing you do as a writer. Because once you are published, it becomes a job and not a hobby, and then it is REAL WORK. :-) "

Great advice from author Deborah Blake--learn more about her at . Deb can also be found on Twitter and Facebook. Her books (through Llewellyn) are available through and many book stores.

Also don't forget she'll be teaching a class through Lowcountry Romance Writers in October. Here's a little info on that...

The Real Witch: Witchcraft Basics for the Paranormal Author
Presented by Deborah Blake
Dates: October 6-29
registration Deadline: October 4

And the course description:

Have you ever wondered about the differences between historical witches and modern-day Wiccans? Are you curious about familiars? How do you create a witch character for fiction? Deborah Blake can answer these questions and many more with her class about witchcraft and creating a character practicing the magical arts. You will learn how to create witch characters for different genres including Chick Lit and Paranormal. You will learn how to create a witch with real strengths and weaknesses. You will learn the basics of Wicca and spell casting. You will learn some of the historical views on familiars. You will learn how to write scenes in which your character practices magic and how the character would create a spell. You may not be allowed to turn an agent into a toad, but you are allowed to create a great character for your book!

I hope you all enjoyed the Dog Days of Summer BlogTour--we've had some amazing and intriguing guests (at least in my opinion) and although it's been a lot of work, I hope it's given all my blog visitors, followers and fans some helpful information and insight.

Keep writing (and reading)!

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