Today's Darklight On is ... Keri Arthur
Every. Single. Book.
Seriously, I don’t think there’s an author out there who doesn’t experience this at some point (well, maybe not Nora Roberts—that woman is a writing machine!) For me, it usually hits about 2/3rds of the way through the book and feels like it’d be easier to pull my teeth out than to get words onto the page.
When this happens, I usually start by going back a couple of chapters and doing a read-through, editing along the way. This will often boot the muse into gear. But if it doesn’t, then I slash my daily word count and just tell myself it’s all about getting some words on the page, and it doesn’t matter how few or how bad they are.
There are plenty of other options that may help if you get stuck. Though I tend not to do it myself (too many tight deadlines), switching to another book will often clear the blockage. Or you could try my famous last resort—when all else fails, kill somebody. In a book sense, of course. J Think of the worst possible thing that could happen to your hero/heroine at that point, and do it. Sometimes the lack of words is the muse silently trying to tell you the story is slow/going in the wrong direction/needs something to happen.
If there is one bit of advice you could give new writers, what would it be?
Only one? Seriously, that’s not going to happen.
1—first and foremost, write what you love! Don’t chase trends. Don’t write something just because you think it’ll be the best way to make money. You have to love what you’re doing if you’re going to survive in this business for any length of time.
2—writing is a business. Treat it as such. Be professional in every aspect.
3—if you’re self-publishing, take the time and effort to put out the best product you absolutely can. Yes, it’s expensive to get good covers, and editors/copy editors/proof readers aren’t cheap, but trust me, it’s worth it in the long run.
4—this may be somewhat controversial to some, but don’t switch and change genres book to book. Not when you’re trying to build your career. Readers like knowing they’re going to get a certain type of read from an author, so if you’re constantly chopping and changing, it’ll take far longer to build a good following.
5—if you’re going the traditional route, read that contract carefully! Or, better yet, get an agent or literary lawyer to go through it for you. Understand every clause. Understand what those clauses could mean for you not just for this book, but also for future books. There are some horrendous clauses sneaking into contracts these days—and I’m not kidding when I say they could destroy your career in the far distant future. One such clause helped bring down my trad career.
What’s next for Keri Arthur?
I’ve just sent Burn—book 3 of the Kingdoms of Earth & Air series—to my editor, and I’m currently writing Wicked Wings, the 5th book in the Lizzie Grace series.
My next release is Demon’s Dance, book 4 of the Lizzie Grace series, which comes out Feb 12th.
After dealing with human hunters killing werewolves for their pelts and a heretic witch determined toclaim the wild magic for his own, the last thing either Lizzie Grace or Belle Kent need is a new evil burning into town.
When Lizzie’s asked to find a missing woman, she’s well aware death awaits. What she doesn’t expect to find is a very human pile of skin next to the woman’s body. Nor does she expect to be called to a murder scene that has the classic hallmarks of a vampire attack… except the bite marks don’t match any recorded vampire bite.
As the body count grows, Lizzie, Belle, and Aiden struggle to find—and stop—whoever or whatever is behind the atrocities. But there’s an even greater danger on the horizon.
The newly appointed reservation witch has arrived… and it’s someone Lizzie knows.
Bio: Keri Arthur, the author of the New York Times bestselling Riley Jenson Guardian series, has now written more than forty-five novels. She’s received several nominations in the Best Contemporary Paranormal category of the Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Awards, won several ARRA Awards, and has been awarded an RT Career Achievement Award for urban fantasy. She’s also something of a wanna-be photographer, so when she’s not at her computer writing the next book, she can be found somewhere in the Australian countryside taking random photos.