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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Wednesday Spotlight: Carolyn Brown

Advice to Aspiring Authors

Good morning! Today I’ve decided to give some advice to aspiring authors. Just a minute while I polish up my soap box and get a good long drink because I’m about to do some serious speechifying. Okay, I’ve wet my whistle and I’m on top of the soap box so either run or sit down and listen to my oration titled “Write! Don’t Whine!”

Write and Whine are both five letter words with only one difference. Write has a “t” in the fourth letter slot and Whine has an “n” in that place.

Write: T stands for today! Not tomorrow or next week. Not when the spring cleaning is done or the snow is shoveled or the leaves are all raked up in the yard. If you want to be a writer you have to write! Stories that are not written can not be sold. They can’t be read. They do not exist except in your head and that can’t be sold in a bookstore. So adopt the WRITE schedule and write today!

Whine: N stands for not today. Poor baby, let’s whine! The idea is there and it’s a wonderful one but if I write the story no one will buy it or I’ll get another depressing rejection slip. Hey, when I started writing I had a sharpened pencil and a spiral back notebook. The day my husband bought me an old Underwood manual typewriter I thought I’d died and gone to heaven. When I got my first computer and didn’t have to buy typewriter ribbons and WhiteOut in a bottle, I named it and told it bedtime stories.

But just so you won’t think I’m being too hard on you, I’ll let you whine a little bit because you really want to write but it’s such a hard job to get the story on paper and get it published. So put on the coffee pot and stand by the kitchen counter and whine until it gets done. That should take fifteen minutes or less so enjoy it! Pour a cup. Whining is over. Go WRITE! And if the mail man or the e-mail gives you a rejection slip that day, you are entitled to fifteen more minutes to whine about that. Then go WRITE!

Maybe you are a five hundred a word day person. That means writing five days a week, taking Saturday and Sunday off for family, errands, long baths and yoga, you will finish a book in less than a year. And after the first day you will be so excited about the next five hundred words you will most likely forget to whine while the coffee is making.

Now you have a book in your hands. Study the market and send out the query letters: one page, your credits (awards, previous books, etc.) and a one paragraph hook that would make the editor wish they had the book in their hands right then. And while you are waiting for the editors or agents to contact you, what do you do?

You got it, darlin’! You WRITE another book. And don’t give up. Persevere until you sell! I’ve stomped a hole in my soap box and the two ladies on the front row have slipped outside. They are my hope for a new author next year because I’m sure they have both gone home to WRITE!

About the Author
Carolyn Brown is an award-winning author who has published 36 historical and western romance novels for the library market, many of them bestsellers in that market. Born in Texas and raised in southern Oklahoma, Carolyn and her husband now make their home in the town of Davis, Oklahoma. For more information please visit


Carolyn Brown said...

I'm glad to be here again today. It's been fun to sit in one spot for a whole week. I'm off my soapbox and ready to answer questions! Anyone?

Nancy J. Parra said...

Okay- love this!! Sing it, sistah!
I read somewhere that if you set the timer and give yourself 15 minutes to whine, you actually bore yourself to tears before the buzzer goes off.

P.S. I'm tweeting this link. :D

Carolyn Brown said...

Nancy: You are so right!!! Cheers backatcha! Thanks for tweeting!

Wolf Bear said...

Wonderful soap box speech!

You hit the nail on the head with this one. What an excellent piece of advice.

I think, maybe tomorrow, I might look up a timer and see if I can't get around to writing the next great romance novel.

Carolyn Brown said...

Wolf Bear: Thank you! Glad you agree with me.
Good luck with the writing! Remember you only get to whine fifteen minutes and then you have to write at least a thousand words before you get to whine about your back being tired and your brain feeling fried! LOL