|Author Linda B Myers|
Although I was married for many years, I'm not sure my mother ever believed I actually had sex. In fact, I had to wait until after she died to write bedroom scenes. Which brings me to a truth about authors: we must be able to grapple with subjects that are usually kept secret.
A writer has to be capable of diving deep within her characters if they are to be more than stick figures. This means telling it like it is. Maybe your protagonist is a nymphomaniac. Maybe she is a terrorist. Maybe she has incredibly bad flossing habits. Just because she does, doesn't mean you do. Right?
But! Some buttinsky said you should only write what you know. Consequently, a certain amount of readers will think if you write it, you've also done it. You've committed a murder or burgled a bank or omitted shaving your legs.
|Lessons of Evil by Linda B Myers|
Okay, maybe I exaggerate. But it is true that a writer needs to tackle the tough stuff. Some can do it through keeping a journal or writing a diary where they reveal their deepest and darkest. I learned to do it by blogging. Dozens of people might be reading my words, and I had to make those words worth sharing if I wanted them to matter to anyone, including myself.
So I blogged about sex. And fear of fatness. And being a widow. And bankruptcy. And cancer. Personal stuff like that. I got better at it with practice. Writing about things that hurt became a way to heal the wounds. I knew the audience was there, but I couldn't see them. Still, many connected with me and told me that what I was saying touched them. Made them laugh, cry, feel squeamish.
It took time to develop the ability not to flinch, but I believe my novels have benefited. If I could do it for myself, I could certainly make up characters who could. So my peeps are strong enough to face harrowing events and come out the other side intact. I have written scenes about the desolation of missing persons, the fury of rape, the terror of abuse, the grief of a nursing home. And I have found a way to do it with a certain amount of humor and poise.
All five of my novels are about keeping hope through dark times. They are all mysteries and suspense in one form or another. Lately, I have branched into fantasy with my Cascadian Ventures series. Even here, the protagonist is a spirit who has been tasked with driving out the rage that too many humans are feeling these days. Everything is available as Kindle Select ebooks, and the novel entitled Fun House Chronicles is also in paperback. Just search for Linda B. Myers on www.amazon.com.
It is my desire to be real with readers through the murky days of their own journeys. To do that, I had to learn to let loose and share my feelings all the way to the bottom of the well.