I am so, so, so thrilled to have Laura Griffin here with me today. She’s an amazing author and wonderful person and I am so excited that FAR GONE is on sale today! Please give her a big congrats on her debut hardcover romantic thriller! ~ Allison
It’s so fun to be back at Murder She Writes! Allison, thanks for the invitation.
I love to meet readers at book signings. I’m impressed by the number of people who come up to me and say something along the lines of, “I’ve always wanted to write a book.”
My response is always the same: “You should do it!”
Many writers I know got their start as voracious readers who couldn’t finish a book without thinking they could write something as good or better. To many writers that nagging inner voice is what prompts them to one day sit down at the computer and write the terrifying words CHAPTER ONE.
I got my start in newspaper journalism and have been writing fiction for eleven years. So basically I make up stories for a living. I love my job, even though it’s nothing like I imagined it years ago when I was an aspiring author.
What about you? Have you ever thought about writing a book?
Some people want to write a book for reasons that are deeply personal. Perhaps they’ve been through a harrowing experience and writing about it provides a catharsis. Other people want to write a book because they have a specific story to tell, and it’s burning inside of them. Still others don’t know what story they’d like to tell, exactly, but they know they want to put words on the page.
I fell into that last group. I entered into fiction writing without a specific story in mind. But I couldn’t shake this impulse to sit down at my computer and start writing words. Pretty soon the words became scenes and the scenes became chapters and the chapters became something resembling a book.
I remember the day, after many long months at my computer, that I finally wrote THE END. I stared at the screen, smiling. A feeling of pride filled my chest. It was quickly followed by panic as I thought, “Well, now what?”
Eleven years ago the publishing industry was a very different place. I followed what’s now known as the traditional path to publication, which basically means I spent many, many months trying to find an agent and then a publisher who would read my work and instantly fall in love. That didn’t happen for me. My first manuscript didn’t get picked up. And neither did my second. But the third time was the charm and that manuscript became my first published novel, ONE LAST BREATH.
If you’ve ever written a book and tried to find a home for it, you know how daunting the process can be. It is easy to become dejected and filled with self-doubt. But the important thing is to be tenacious. Don’t give up. Believe in your dream. Develop a thick skin and keep working. And the good news for aspiring writers today is that there are more roads to publication than ever before. So if you feel you have a story inside of you, write it. Then write another one. And another one. The successful writers I know have one thing in common—perseverance.
This week is an important milestone for me, the release of first hardcover book, FAR GONE. I’m excited and nervous and joyful all at once! Sometimes I’m giddy over it, like when I unpacked that first box of books from my publisher. The moment was a dream come true. It reminded me that despite the ups and downs, I love what I do and feel incredibly lucky to be a writer.
One of my favorite authors is Stephen King, who worked many odd jobs, including one at an industrial laundry, before selling his first novel, CARRIE. In his book ON WRITING, King shares some of the challenges he’s experienced over the years. He calls writing a hard and lonely job. But he also shares encouragement: “The scariest moment is always just before you start. After that, things can only get better.”
On a side note, I’m happy to tell you that FAR GONE received a starred review from Publishers Weekly. Yay! It hits book stores today.
“Bestseller Griffin delivers the goods with this perfectly gritty romantic thriller… Griffin sprinkles on just enough jargon to give the reader the feel of being in the middle of an investigation, easily merging high-stakes action and spicy romance with rhythmic pacing and smartly economic prose.” –Publishers Weekly starred review