Why do I write?

Autumn woodsWhy do I write? I write because I like to tell a story. Isn’t that supposed to be the answer? It certainly isn’t because I expect to get rich.

Some days I write because I really want to kill somebody! You’d be amazed how gratifying it can be to mercilessly slaughter someone on paper with no worries about cleaning up the blood or hiding the body.

Some days I write erotica because I live alone and well … you get my drift. Writing about sex can almost be as gratifying as actually having it. When you’re writing about it, your partner can be anything you want him to be and if he’s not satisfying, you can always kill him. I keep coming back to that.

Some days I write because I miss the green summer days on the farm, the golden autumns of my youth, and winters with snow. I can have all of those things when I write about them. The imagination is always better than the memory. I write a lot about the Old West, but I was never there. I watched a lot of westerns as a child. Those nights around the old DuPont were great and filled my dreams with cowboys, Indians, and wild saloons. I like going back to that in my writing. Sometimes we refer to those as simpler times, but they really weren’t. Cooking a meal involved stoking up a wood fire, killing and gutting your protein, and hoping you actually had some ripe produce in the garden. Not really that simple. Water had to be drawn from a well, carried into the house and then heated on the stove in order to wash your dishes or yourself.

I enjoy writing about how life was back then for the average person. I enjoy the research. I write to expand my own knowledge. Before writing The Ruby Queen, I had to do a good bit of research about riverboats and the railroads. I tried to put as much of that acquired knowledge into my story. I’m a great fan of history and assume others are as well. Why would a person read Historical Fiction if they weren’t interested in the history?

I write because it fills my days. I enjoy telling stories and painting pictures for the mind. I spend a good deal of time setting my scenes and always learning more about it. Since attending The Central Phoenix Writers’ Workshop, I’ve learned to add things like smell and taste to my scenes to bring my reader deeper into the setting. Adding phrases like the’ sting of tobacco smoke in the busy saloon’ or ‘the heady, rich scent of orange blossoms’ adds a depth to a scene I hadn’t considered before.

Writing is an ongoing learning process. I write because I enjoy learning. I also enjoy teaching. if a reader takes away only one nugget of knowledge from one of my books, I would be happy. I write fiction, but it’s Historical Fiction. There are grains of truth and knowledge woven throughout the fabric of my stories.

I suppose the real reason I write is to satisfy myself.

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