Friday, December 16, 2011

Guest Post with Author Faith Bicknell

Worth Every Penny

There’s a huge misconception about what it means to be an author.

Why do people believe writing is merely a hobby? Worse, why is it so many think authors have money falling out of their butts?

I wish it was that easy.

I’ve been writing professionally for twenty-five years. During all this time I still hear the same questions and get the same reactions. What I don’t understand is why there’s this misconception that authors don’t really work and once they’re published they supposedly make money hand over fist.

The other dilemma that irks me to no end—as it does many other authors, too, I’m sure!—is the fact that the surge in digital reading material and e-devices has created a huge glut of fiction. However, this does not mean all the books out there are readable or entertaining. The steady shift from print to e-books has made it incredibly easy for an aspiring writer to get h/her manuscripts published. The downside is that dedicated authors struggle a thousand times harder to gain attention from reputable publishers and agents.

I struggle just like any other author. The only difference is that I’m no longer a newb. Regardless, even well-known authors still battle the market. They deal with writer’s block, bad reviews, the fact the next movie to their book series bombed in the box office, and sometimes even crazy fans. The rest of us who are no longer novices strive to get our material out there amongst the masses. We’re slammed with bad reviews and float heavenward when we get a glowing one. We have books that sell well and books that barely make pennies. And if we write freelance material for magazines (something else I do) then we also battle to get our short stories and articles noticed. Once a piece catches an editor’s eye, we then hope and pray our submission beats out the others under consideration. Then if you add that fewer and fewer magazines pay decent rates because they’ve gone digital, the competition to make the sale increases ten fold.

So, why do authors put themselves through this?

Two reasons: love of writing and to pay the bills.

Yes, I know I said authors don’t typically have money falling out their back doors. Most authors don’t. Many of us earn a supplement income to help out the main breadwinner; whereas, others make a decent living. Sadly, more often than not authors fall in the starving-artist category. The other scenario is feast or famine. We’re much like struggling actors. We all pray for that big break. Even scarier is the worry the hot genre you’re writing in will fizzle and go cold. Writing is often like navigating a field full of land mines. Still, that sweet feeling of success is something indescribable. It’s that sensation of achievement and our desire to please the reader as well as our muse that keeps us marching onward in this business.

For me, writing is like breathing. I’m an artist, too, and although I love painting and drawing, the written word is essential to my wellbeing. I can’t imagine my life without my stories and novels—not to mention it keeps me sane. Writing is how I leave this world of problems and turmoil. Also, eighty percent of everything I write is speculative. The paranormal, lore, and history are three elements I love to thread through my books.

Ruby, the White King and Marilyn Monroe is such a novel. It takes off at break-neck speed and weaves a love story with a tale of friendship and a mystery of why my heroine is being pursued to Key West.

If you’re not a writer, stop and consider how much work truly goes into a book. From putting the idea and characters into a sound plot to revisions to correcting grammar and punctuation, more revisions with an editor, and then finally the horrors of promotion, a good book is worth every penny you pay for it. Hours upon hours of work and dedication goes into the worlds that sweep you away.

Each of the following links has an excerpt to my novel, but if you go to Amazon and click on the book cover, you’ll get to read up to chapter three. Here’s a bit of information about Ruby, the White King and Marilyn Monroe.

Paranormal romance that takes off full throttle as demonic motorcycles and their beautiful riders chase Ruby to the rocky shores of Key West for a battle of epic proportions.

Are they angels, demons, or something else entirely? Ruby must send them back to a hell unlike anything the world has ever imagined. But will she allow herself to love the White King who has found her again over one thousand years later?

Reincarnated over the centuries. Stuck with a ditzy Marilyn Monroe lookalike. Falling for a rich albino guy. It’s just Ruby’s luck for Hell’s “real” angels to ride into this life and screw it all up.

Kindle: (also in paperback)

I write under three main pen names, so I invite you to stop by my websites and check out the plethora of material available for the avid reader. and if you enjoy zany rants and hilarity join me at my shared blog Four Strong Women


  1. Wise words, my friend. For those of you who haven't read Ruby, you really need to... now *wink Happy Holidays!

  2. Hey there, Adelle! Thanks for popping in for a minute, and thank you, too, for the kind words. {{{HUGS}}}

  3. I agree with Adelle. If you haven't read Ruby, you need to read Ruby. (g) it's a fabulous book!


  4. Thank you, Marci. I have to say "Ruby" is probably my fave book I've written so far.

  5. Great post about why we write, Faith :)

  6. Great article and so true!

  7. Everything you write is great, Faith! And it's a testament to your talent (and drive) if you're still around after 25 years! I agree with all you've said here. Writing is a passion and a necessity for many authors. We just have to write!

  8. I swear, darn Blogger is being such a pain the last few days. Trying again...

    Hi Ruth and Trin! Thanks for stopping by.

    Valerie, thanks for the nice words. I've always thought anyone involved in the arts must like punishment, lolol. We take a beating and keep right on going. Where there's a will there's a way!

  9. Faith is a great writer and a terrific friend. Buy her book today!

  10. Everything you write is great, Faith and I treasure the knowledge you've shared with me over the last few years. Great words of wisdom flow through those fingers of yours!

  11. You hit all the points about the downfalls and joys of writing. I get the same questions and comments too. I always hate when someone will say how they wish they had the time to write. Sure, I have plenty of time with family demands (2 daughters with special needs plus a bipolar daughter - I'm her main support)and a part-time job. LOL Great post, Faith! Thanks for sharing.

  12. LOL, Janice you should be my PR person!

    Hi Kissa! Thank you so very, very much. :-)

    Writing is sorta like that prescription you have to remember to take, Diane. For us, writing is a necessity and we gotta find that perfect time of day to squeeze it in or remember to do it at that prescribed time. If we don't, the side effects aren't nice, lol.

  13. Faith,

    Chiming in late -- It's too true. Many don't understand, but there also are those of us who totally do ;-) Happy holidays to you!

  14. Hi Louisa! Thanks for chiming in, lol.

  15. Everything I've been thinking right here. Thanks for expressing a writer's dilemma so well. Jen

  16. Hi Jean! At least we know we're not alone in this.