I’ve been musing about the publishing industry, first about the entertainment value of novels and then about author income. I was asked by one reader what makes me keep writing, so I thought I’d muse on that topic today.
First, you should know that I’ve been writing since I learned how to spell and make sentences as a child. My older sisters taught me the alphabet before I even started going to school. In first grade, the teacher asked me to read The Little Red Hen to my class. I also remember sitting at my dad’s desk, typing on his manual typewriter the weather report. Which of course I wrote based on looking out the window of his studio office. He was a master photographer and I loved to sit at his desk and pretend to be his secretary or someone else who worked with words, like the weather person.
One of the reasons for this is a love of language that my dad instilled in me by playing word games while we drove around town for him to take portrait photos of children. He’d give me a word from a billboard we’d pass and ask me to spell it. Which I would do while searching out the word on the billboard before we passed it. I had to be quick sometimes to see it!
My parents bought a set of encyclopedias that they proudly displayed in our living room. I would pull out one that had a particular animal in it, like a horse or dog. Then I’d compile my own report, including drawing and labeling the parts of the animal. You know, ears, neck, tail, paw, etc. I used tracing paper to trace the picture in the book and include it in my report.
I also wrote short stories that featured a girl and her horse. I loved horses and actually still do. I’ve written some—probably pretty bad—poetry, too. When it came time to get a college education, I naturally chose an English degree. I’ve earned both a bachelor’s and a master’s in English. I’ve put that degree to work for my writing/editing career, too.
Mainly I’ve written and published over my lifetime a lot of nonfiction types of pieces: articles, sidebars, essays, newspaper columns. I’ve also edited a ton of nonfiction: self-help books, technical manuals and reports, an insurance underwriters guide. Once I even proofread a Civil War diary for the Friends of Ft. Ward, Virginia. Plus all the highly technical documentation while working for SAIC and supporting NASA Marshall Space Flight Center and the Space Launch System (SLS) Program Office. I didn’t even try to count the number of documents let alone pages! So I did my small part to help get this massive rocket off the launch pad this year by editing the manuals, specifications, and guidance documentation.
But now I write fiction for the love of it. I love to write a great story with a bit of history woven into it. I believe we need to understand our past in order to appreciate—really appreciate—where we are today. Or to avoid repeating past mistakes today. Not every novel I’ve written is set in the past. My contemporary series, Secrets of Roseville, is set in a small town in Tennessee in the present but there are some historical facts mentioned here and there.
Despite all the negatives surrounding writing and publishing in today’s market, I keep writing my stories. Why? Because the stories keep coming and I have fans who are waiting for the next book(s) from me. I don’t think I will stop writing for some time yet, although I am starting to think about when that might be. Years from now, not days though. I mean, writing is a big part of who I am. I’ve been writing all my life, essentially. It’s not the writing that wears me down but the marketing and publicity efforts required.
I appreciate every single person who reads my books. I write them for my readers after all.
Thanks for reading!
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Visit www.bettybolte.com for more on my books and upcoming events.
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Fury Falls Inn in 1821 Alabama. A place for ghosts, witches, and magic.
A place of secrets and hidden dangers.