Lauren Carr is the international best-selling author of the Mac Faraday and Lovers in Crime Mysteries. Her upcoming new series, The Thorny Rose Mysteries, will be released Spring/Summer 2015.
The owner of Acorn Book Services, Lauren is also a publishing manager, consultant, editor, cover and layout designer, and marketing agent for independent authors. This year, several books, over a variety of genres written by independent authors will be released through the management of Acorn Book Services, which is currently accepting submissions. Visit Acorn Book Services website for more information.
Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. She also passes on what she has learned in her years of writing and publishing by conducting workshops and teaching in community education classes.
She lives with her husband, son, and three dogs on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.
Gnarly’s Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/GnarlyofMacFaradayMysteries
Lovers in Crime Facebook Page:
Acorn Book Services Facebook Page:
It is probably hard to believe that I once suffered from writer’s block. I mean, I just released my thirteenth book, Three Days to Forever. Last year, I wrote and released four books and this year I am aiming for five.
Writer’s block? Seriously? Me? Lauren Carr who has been rivaling Agatha Christie for most fictional people slain in one year?
Yep, I’ve had it. For a full year, I stared at my computer monitor without writing one worthwhile word.
It struck between drafts of It’s Murder, My Son, my third book and the first Mac Faraday Mystery. My father-in-law had passed away. I was looking for a new publisher because my traditional publisher for A Reunion to Die For did not do paperback at that time. They were willing to take It’s Murder, My Son, but I knew my next book had to come out in paperback. It is very hard to sell a $26 hardback when you’re an unknown.
After a year of penning nothing, I decided to quit writing. I walked away. I did volunteer work. I cooked. I exercised. Within a month, I was back at the computer. Then, I had an uh-huh moment and realized with all of my professional experience editing, layout design, journalism, why could I not publish my own books? I decided to forget about making best sellers lists or impressing literary agents or publishers. I was going to write what I wanted and if others wanted to read it, fine. If not, so what?
I started writing for myself.
One month later, I received an offer from a traditional publisher for It’s Murder, My Son. I turned them down.
Since that time, I have never had any trouble writing—except for that time Gnarly drooled all over my laptop and it shorted out. I can churn out a chapter a night after my family goes to bed and it is not unusual for me to start a new project the day after sending a manuscript off to the editor.
What was the secret to getting over my writers block?
American poet William Stafford offers this advice to poets who suffer from Writer’s Block: “There is no such thing as writer’s block for writers whose standards are low enough.”
This sounds terrible at first. “What? I’m supposed to write junk? I need to write the great American Novel! I’m better than that!” No, Stafford is not encouraging writers to produce garbage. He is suggesting, however, that it’s easy to take yourself too seriously.
When I walked away, when I stopped trying to impress literary agents and publishers and decided to write what I want for myself, my writers block went away and I am now the happiest writer in the world.
Now, ten books later, I am still writing for myself. Yes, I do check out reviews and I love to read emails from readers about how they love Gnarly and how much they are looking for to the new series, or asking what is next for Mac Faraday and Archie.
When that rare reader takes offense by a certain turn I have taken in a plot or how they perceived a certain character, or an unintended message written between the lines, I may listen to their opinion, but in the end I make the final decision based on what I want to write, because—
Recently, while teaching a class about writing your bucket list novel, I opened and closed with a warning to the writers attending to not give into the temptation to rewrite the latest best seller in hopes of cashing in on the latest trend—like all those 50 Shades of Grey books that hit the market in the last few years.
As tempting as it may be, even if you self-publish, then once again, you find yourself writing for someone other than yourself—stretching and straining to meet someone else’s standards.
The truth is … gradually readers have been discovering the previously undiscovered treasures produced by independent authors. It’s a huge library in cyberspace. So, even when an author’s writings don’t meet the desires of the most popular marketing demographic, he or she can still find a niche audience who will appreciate his or her story on his or her terms.
And, believe me, it is much more fun writing what you want and love to write.