Tuesday, 10 January 2017
Readers and Authors: Salieri to Mozart?
Ever see the movie or play Amadeus? In it, Mozart is supposedly murdered by a musician rival, Salieri who, knowing Mozart is ill, still commissions him to write a requiem. The effort required to compose this work added further strain on Mozart's already weakened body, and he dies as a result.
Far fetched, you reckon?
Maybe, maybe not.
The point I'm making is that sometimes readers, in their voracious hunger for new material to read (especially from their favourite authors), don't realise the strain they're placing on authors to complete that next book in the series, to finish their current WIP (Word in Progress) or to hurry up with that next novella, short story ....
Authors are crumbling beneath the strain, worried they'll lose their reader following if they don't feed the monster.
We, the authors, have become Mozart to our Salieris.
Now I'm not saying I don't appreciate and value my readers. Heaven knows I do, and I thank goodness for each and every one, and if I could write faster and produce more books - 2-3 per year - I would, just to satisfy my wonderful readers.
But, alas, I can't.
My ideas flow at a slower pace than some (whom I envy) and my books are larger. On average, my novels range from 114K to 95K words. Those are no small numbers. It takes me approximately 10 months to complete the first draft before it goes to my editor who then picks it apart until it's perfect. The next month I'm editing and re-editing before the manuscript is shipped off to my Beta readers whose job is to spot every typo, every blooper, every gremlin that can wreck a smooth read.
Twelve months later, taa-daa *drum roll* a new book is ready to be launched.
In the meanwhile, I've neglected my family, postponed social engagements (some of my friends have given up talking to me, and I don't blame them), and scrimped together enough money from my meager royalties for a professional cover design, formatting, editing and proofreading just to get another book out there.
Then I take a deep breath and sit back - for at least a good half hour - at another job done.
The alcoholic drink in my hand is mandatory.
Ah! But it's not over. Now I need to spend the next three months marketing and promoting my latest release while starting on my next WIP.
Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining. I'm simply showing the reality in being an author in the digital age, and it's a pace few can maintain.
I'm hoping I can, as there are a lot more stories inside my head clamouring to get out.
So please readers, when you're inquiring about the next installment in my series, also ask me if I've had a holiday.
As for freebies .... that's for another post, and it won't be pretty.
PS BloodWish is due for release this coming Easter 😊