So a work colleague said to me the other day, ‘I hope you don’t mind my asking, but I heard you write books. I’ve wanted to write one for years and I’ve got some ideas. Do you have any tips?’
After some questioning, I discovered she wants to write romantic fiction, a genre I personally have no interest in. Well, I say that; apart from children and young adult literature, I’m well into my Liverpool sagas, which often have some romantic angle. They’re formulaic and usually set during significant times like World War One or Two. I read them because they take me back to my beloved home city and I love the references to a world oh so familiar. The Liverpool sagas are a great form of escapism for me.
I asked if she’d read much and she admitted she hadn’t. ‘Well,’ I said, ‘if you want to write romantic fiction and don’t know how to go about it, you have to do your research, and in order to do that, the best way to start is by reading the type of books in the genre you’re aiming for. You need to research styles and what sells. You can join a library and borrow some books, or buy them. Kindle is cheaper.’
‘Right,’ she said. ‘Only I don’t have a Kindle.’
‘Do you have a tablet?’
‘You can download the Kindle app, then, and read the books that way.’
I’ve found a few books given to me by a friend who’s well into her romantic fiction, mostly which I’ve never read, to get her started, and I’ll give them to her this week.
She’s grateful for the advice and realises that it’s going to be a long process because I emphasised this on her: writing, editing, marketing, finding an agent, a publisher, deciding to go indie, it ain’t easy! I wish her all the luck in the world. She’s gonna need it!
But she’s grateful for my advice and I’m happy I’ve acquired enough knowledge over the years to help a newbie on her way!