Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Love It!

I graduated college with a degree in psychology and a double minor in history and sociology. So, yeah, I think it's safe to say that I'm one of those crazy individuals who actually enjoys doing research. I actually sometimes miss the days of getting lost in the library, books and silence surrounding me, before finding a quiet spot and pecking away at my laptop for hours. Good grief, what I wouldn't give to have just an hour of that in my day now!

My first two books, A Bump in the Road and Not Ready for Mom Jeans, didn't require much research, except for the occasional, "How many weeks into a pregnancy is a woman supposed to get a glucose test?" But the book I'm outlining right now, has required a bit more research into paranormal things like hauntings, research methods for finding family ancestry and midwives in the 1800s. Sounds pretty wild, huh? It is, in the best way possible!

As a writer, I continually like to challenge myself. I'd rather attempt to do a Big Book, and do the authorial equivalent of biting off more than I can chew (write?), than to just keep writing the same kinds of books year after year. I hope to have a varied career, with lots of different kinds of tomes in my bibliography. I guess what I'm trying to get across is that I'd rather attempt and fail than sit comfortably and be slightly bored.

I've mentioned before that the business side of publishing, the idea of being an "author" and not just a "writer," can be difficult to manage. That's why it's so important that a writer enjoys writing. We have to love our stories, really LOVE them, before we can send them out into the world. For me, in this current manuscript, this means finding a small historical detail that makes me go, "Ooooh!" and furiously fitting it into my outline. I absolutely adore the spark of inspiration that comes with connecting historical realities with my imaginary book world.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have some dusty old books with cracked spines that are calling to me!


Tracy Madison said...

Great post, Maureen! I especially love the part about inspiration from historical details connecting to your story. It's so true! And...um...can I say I am chomping at the bit to learn more about this next story of yours?

Jillian Cantor said...

I had no idea that's what you majored/minored in in college! You must have a vast store of book ideas from all that info. you collected over those 4 years!

Lesley Livingston said...

I'm with you, Maureen - total research junkie! :-)