A little while ago, I took part in the blog tour for T. A. Williams’ timeswitch novel, Chasing Shadows, so I was delighted to participate again for his latest book, Dreaming of Venice. This time, the book is a contemporary romance which I’ll be reviewing later on.
For today, Trevor has generously written a piece on his favourite things about being an author – and it’s not at all envy-inducing for those of us who would like to make writing a career (haha!)…
First of all, it means I’ve got a job. You see, I’m very old and I retired quite a few years ago and it has always grated with me to have to indicate my occupation on legal documents and the like as “retired”. Since my first book, “Dirty Minds” was picked up by Carina UK (now morphed into HQ Digital – part of the giant that is Harper Collins) back in 2013, I realise I actually do qualify as an author. Since then, I have had another ten books published and number twelve is already written, although still at the fighting with my editor stage. So I think, by anybody’s standards, that qualifies me to call myself an author, not just a wrinkly pensioner.
The second thing is that it gives me an occupation. I had a pretty full on day job when I was working, and the onset of retirement promised to be crushingly boring. At first, I did a bit of property development, which was fun, but then I knackered my back, so something more sedentary was called for. I have written three books a year since becoming an author and that adds up to a quarter of a million words a year. Add on all the tweets and Facebook posts I’ve been doing and you’ll see that I no longer have the time to be bored. My writing gives me a reason to get up in the morning with a smile on my face and you can’t put a price on that.
Thirdly, and probably most importantly, writing gives me the chance to let my imagination run riot. On a cold, damp, grey winter’s day, I can be mentally lying on a beach in Italy, the sun beating down on my suntanned, muscular body, with a full head of hair, admiring the gorgeous girls around me. Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not really complaining about being bald – as handicaps go, it’s about the best. But to be able to escape and English winter and drop forty years in the process is really rather good.
Fourthly, it has brought me into contact with some wonderful people. Via Facebook and Twitter, I have got to know loads of other writers, bloggers, editors and, of course, readers. I regularly correspond with people in the US as well as the UK, and as far afield as Australia and New Zealand. I have even discovered, to my surprise, I have quite a following of readers in Germany. Once every few months I meet up with a bunch of bloggers and authors and it is wonderful to exchange experiences and tips with them.
Finally, and I know this is going to sound cheesy, but I’m going to say it anyway, through writing, I have achieved an unexpected degree of fulfilment in the latter days of my life. My writing has given me tremendous satisfaction. I’m immensely grateful to have been given this chance, and I consider myself honoured every time somebody actually buys and reads something I’ve written. If they enjoy it enough to stick a good review on Amazon, even better, but the main thing is that they have read it. I’ve always believed that the best kind of immortality is for those left behind to think of the dear departed and say to themselves, ‘he was a nice guy’. While I still hope that will be the case when I, too, shuffle off this mortal coil, I realise that I will leave my books behind me. I’ll never be a Shakespeare or a JRR Tolkien, but it’s rather good to think that somebody, long after I’m gone, may pick up one of my books and enjoy it.
Yes, I rather like being an author.
Many thanks Trevor – yes, I think those are all definitely the perks of being an author, expecially giving your imagination free rein – that’ll keep you young for a start!!
The blog tour for Dreaming of Venice is ongoing – check out some of the other contributions here: