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Saturday, July 3, 2021

Things I Wish I Knew About Being an Author I Didn’t Know Before by M K Scott

My mother taught me to read and write at age four. She joked she did it to get some peace and be allowed to go about her tasks without me following her around asking questions. This resulted in me being a major pain in first grade. I read the reader in one day and told all the struggling readers how it ended. This didn’t make me popular with the teacher.

 

I redeemed myself, at least in my eyes, by writing alternative endings to the deadly dull reader. My classmates had to conquer reading to read my tales. You’d think my teacher would be grateful, but she disliked the action tales filled with bank robbers, train crashes and cowboys.

 

The first truth I learned at the tender age of six was not everyone will be a fan of my work.

 

Whenever I had time, I wrote and shared my efforts with classmates. Every one of them had ideas for character names, plot lines, and even settings. Often their suggestions came from popular television shows. This taught me my second lesson: everyone will tell you how and what to write, but keep your own voice.

 

In middle school, I developed a gossipy tabloid, but I switched out the name of students and teachers with animals. Only a few knew who was giraffe or kangaroo. The rest guessed, including the teachers who picked up copies of the forbidden newspaper. As hard as it is to believe, I didn’t have access to a printer, which forced me and my friends to hand copy the paper to have several copies. It was never enough, especially with teachers ripping up copies. Third lesson was to have stock on hand.

 

Be positive. This sounds simple, but not all authors do it. I’ve read rants about other authors, publishers, even politicians on social media. A reader put it in perspective by saying she didn’t want to know what an author didn’t like. She wanted to know what they were working on, influences, and what the writer was currently reading. Not one person wished for a long tale of a woe about a publisher who had done the author wrong.

 


One pen name only if possible. I have four pen names, which sometimes make it seem like there are large blocks between books. I’m writing four series currently. The pen names are Morgan K Wyatt (Romance and Romantic Suspense), M K Scott (Cozy Mysteries written with my husband), Morgan Kay (Romantic Comedies) and Rayna Noire (Time Travel, Coming of Age, Fantasy)

 

Write the entire series or trilogy before publishing the first one. I wish I had done this! Things happen from job, family, to a computer crashing that slows down the series.

 

These are some of the things I wish I knew at the start. Not every author will have the same opinion or experiences. As a reader, what can you tell me? I learn a great deal from the readers. One gentleman asked me to make the chapters shorter, which I have.

 

 

The Writing Team of M K Scott and Celebrity Pals.

7 comments:

Jim Jackson said...

Too bad pen names can't be like corporations where you can merge them and come up with one name. (Although I guess that's kind of what famous authors do when they use both names -- Nora Roberts writing as J.D. Robb).

Annette said...

I love this! I had similar experiences and lessons in grade school and high school, although I never wrote a tabloid. Kinda wishing I had!

And I haven't (yet) had to deal with pen names. I agree with Jim on those!

Margaret S. Hamilton said...

Interesting thoughts!

Kait said...

In high school a group of friends and I published an underground paper, The Naked Grape. We were fortunate. One of our group provided transcription and copy services courtesy of her father’s legal assistant. Endless copies – they may have been mimeos – were a boon.

Susan said...

Very clever!

Debra H. Goldstein said...

Bet re-reading some of those early publications gives you ideas for the present -- good and bad....

KM Rockwood said...

Great comments from someone who's "been there."