Yesterday, I visited Magic Kingdom at Disney World in Orlando. At Test Track, a Chevrolet themed ride, you exit into a sea of new Chevy cars and trucks. I sat down in a new truck and practically disappeared below the windshield. “What’s up with this?” I asked my husband and told him I felt like one of the lollipop guild characters from The Wizard of Oz, trying to see over the steering wheel.
“They’re making the seats so that it feels more like driving a sports car.”
Wha wha what? Why would they do that? If I’m in a truck, I want to sit tall and see out. I want to look down on the world around me, feeling like I’ve got a slightly better vantage point. If I want to feel like I’m driving a sports car…perhaps I should buy a sports car, not a truck! In a sports car, you can hug the road, settle into the corners. Sure, there’s appeal to that, but I don’t want to do it in my truck!
And this got me to thinking. How often do we as authors do that same thing? Begin to change our voice, our very passion because sports cars are suddenly in and trucks are out?
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not talking about diversifying. If you love writing in multiple markets, go for it. I’ve done that myself and I couldn’t be happier. But I’m talking about chasing the trends, here. Or trying to change your voice to suit what you think the market wants.
As an author, you’ll never have more freedom than when you do in that glorious time before you begin selling books. Think I’m crazy? I would have thought so a few years ago, but now, with seven published novels to my credit, I realize. Once you sell, there are demands on you. Publishers, editors, your agent. And most of all, your readers. They trust you. They don’t want a slasher book from you when your last one was a sweet happily-ever-after.
Demands. Lots of them.
But as authors, we have have have to be true to ourselves. Is it possible? Yes! When I took the plunge and decided to write in two genres, I had to decide how to brand myself. Well, I decided what was most important to me was the “soul-mate” factor. No matter what, if you read a Heather Burch novel, you’re going to get a happily-ever-after. Beyond that, the sky’s the limit. I have the freedom to move and stretch and grow and experiment—all within the realms of my brand—Soul-mates finding one another.
Whether you’re published or unpublished, someone (possibly yourself) is trying to make demands. Be true to yourself. Don’t be a sports car if your heart is to be a truck! People need trucks. People love trucks. Be you. And eventually, the publishing contracts will come!
I write full time and love being involved with groups that promote books! Writing young adult and romantic fiction has been the most exciting writing journey of my life! Before novels, I wrote teen curriculum published in both the U.S. and Asia Pacific.
I’ve had a blast the last several months traveling the country and meeting fans! From Missouri to Miami, I’ve gotten to meet awesome enthusiasts at book stores throughout the U.S. I’ve taught in the U.S. and Mexico at women’s and teen conferences. Teen conferences … sooo fun!
I’ve always been drawn to epic stories about love and loss. Though I have a wide range of tales, from sagas of love lost then rekindled to high adventure young adult novels. In all, you will find a common thread. I call it the soul-mate factor. Enjoy the journey as we dive into characters who–whether saving the world or just their own lives–find their inner strength and risk it all for that elusive thing called love.
Find Heather online at http://www.heatherburchbooks.com/