I’m welcoming mystery writer Amy Reade to the eBook Review Gal blog today. Amy is the author of eight published mystery novels, with two more novels in the works. Amy was kind enough to stop by the blog to chat about why she writes and why it matters. Take it away Amy!
I thought I’d tell you a little bit today about why I write. In a nutshell, it’s because practicing law made my eyes bleed. Metaphorically, of course.
After I graduated from law school I practiced in Manhattan for several years (this was before I had children) at a litigation firm. It was awful.
Once my first child was born, I stopped practicing to stay home with her. Two more kids followed, and my husband and I agreed that, for our family, it would be best if I stayed at home with the kids.
Fast-forward five years, and we had moved to southern New Jersey. I felt it was time for me to dip my toe back into the practice of law, and so I dabbled part-time in the thrilling world of municipal utilities law. In all seriousness, I challenge you to find something more boring than that.
It wasn’t long before I realized that wasn’t the way I wanted to spend the rest of my life. One day on a trip to a local library for children’s story time, I spied a flyer for an upcoming program on writing and publishing hosted by an author who spent her summers in town.
It was a three-night workshop and my in-laws very graciously offered to watch the kids for me while I checked it out.
That workshop changed my life *cue the angel chorus in praise of libraries* and I’ve never looked back.
The first night of the workshop, the instructor gave us homework. It was a fun assignment: write down all the words we could think of that reminded us of summer.
I am not a fan of writing prompts and I almost never participate in them. But that list of summer words took me on a circuitous route that eventually turned into my first novel. When I was driving to the library for the second night of the workshop, I was thinking about a story that I could weave out of the words on the list.
I was so wrapped up in my story that I ran a red light. I never run red lights. And that’s when I knew I had something worth pursuing.
It took me a long time to write that first book—over a year when all was said and done. But now I have a total of eight books under my belt and they’re only getting more fun to write. Harder to write, certainly, but more fun. Why harder? Because I expect more of myself from every book.
Why do I tell you all this?
It’s because if I can do it, you can do it. Is it your dream to write a book? Do you have a story inside bursting to get out? Then sit down and start writing. If you only have ten minutes a day, use that time to write. Take courses on how to write if you’re rusty or need some focus or direction. Look for books on the craft of writing.
Write something every day. Read something every day.
Reach out to authors in the genres you love. You’ll likely find that they’re generous and supportive, because they had to start somewhere, too. Very few authors are overnight successes.
Read blogs by authors you like, and follow reviewers (like Susan Barton!) who can introduce you to new genres and new authors. Don’t be afraid to comment on the posts that move you or that interest you. Follow writers and readers on social media—that’s how you become part of this wonderful community of writers.
Many thanks are due to Susan for hosting me on her blog. It has been a privilege.
Amy M. Reade is a recovering attorney who discovered, quite by accident, a passion for fiction writing. She has penned eight mysteries and is working on two more, plus a Cape May County historical mystery series. She writes in the Gothic, traditional, contemporary, and cozy mystery subgenres and looks forward to continuing the two series she has begun since December, 2018. She also loves to read, cook, and travel.
She is the USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of Secrets of Hallstead House, The Ghosts of Peppernell Manor, House of the Hanging Jade, the Malice series, the Juniper Junction Holiday Mystery series, and the Libraries of the World Mystery series.
You can connect with her online at the following places: