WHAT BOOK TO WRITE

I get asked this one a lot. What book should I write? It’s usually followed by dithering about what’s selling in the marketplace right now, and what type of book spouses, relatives and friends are telling that person to write, and then…heaven forbid…the dithering devolves into rambling descriptions of three or four partially thought out premises for possible stories.

To all of which, I say, WHATEVER.

At the end of the day, you need to write the book that’s burning a hole in your gut demanding to be let out.

I don’t care if the market is saturated with exactly the type of story you’ve always been jonesing to write or if all the experts are saying that the kind of book you want to write is dead and never coming back.

Where great books come from is the heart. Great books are written with passion. And here’s another secret…great books sell, no matter what the market is or isn’t doing in that genre.

My writing partner and I wrote a 700 page epic fantasy novel at a time when the epic fantasy a la Lord of the Rings had been declared officially defunct. The editor who bought that book and two sequels even said she hadn’t bought one in a decade and never expected to buy another one. And then along came ours. And voila. A book of the heart sold. (And to forestall a lot of queries, it’s called THE SLEEPING KING, due out in hardback from Tor in Fall of 2015.)

Above and beyond the fact that books you write with love will sing to readers, they’re fun to write. They nourish your soul. They cleanse you. Heal you. Make you reach deeper inside yourself and learn more about yourself.

With the advent of self-publishing and ebooks, market trends are going to shift monthly or even weekly in the future. As for chasing trends, down that path lies madness. They’ll will come back around to whatever you’re writing soon enough if you just wait a few months.

Screw chasing market trends or following anyone else’s advice. Find the story you WANT to tell. That you’re dying to read for yourself. That’s shouting at you to put it to paper. THAT’s the book you ought to be writing.

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