Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Identity as a Writer

Over the years I’ve had many identities, but today I want to share my self as a writer. The life of a writer sounds glamorous, but in fact is lonely and difficult. Even those of us who are social do not have time to socialize unless it’s through e-mail, which is not the same as face to face.

I started writing at the age of forty-three while I still worked for a major airline. After thirty-six years in the airline industry I retired to write full time. Once, I started down this path to publication there was no turning back. The art of learning to write stories grips you around the neck and will not let you escape its’ clutches. Unformed ideas swarm into your mind like bees, and they keep coming until you choose one and focus on it.

I write mystery romance with a women’s fiction bent because I like to read stories that deal with real issues, but mine also have mystery and romance in them. These are the types of stories I like to read, and so I write them. I grew up on Nancy Drew mysteries and others of that age group graduated to Victoria Holt, and then on to Sidney Sheldon and numerous others. It was only natural to want to combine romance with mystery.

There is so much to learn as a writer of fiction. You have to learn the rules before you can break them are a saying among authors and publishers. One of the things I had difficulty with was point of view. We’re supposed to stay in one view during a scene, never matter that someone like Nora Roberts can get away with going into the viewpoint of a cat if she wants to. For new authors that is not an option if you want to get published.

Other things beginning authors need to learn is how to weave the romance and the mystery together, or in other cases, sci-fi, romance and mystery, or paranormal and mystery, or whatever you are writing. You have to add description of characters, clothing and setting, then there is the introspection by your characters; these are just some of the things that have to be woven together.

Before you become a published author you need a website to build a name for yourself and to start promoting the image you want. After you finish the book (after many revisions) and have it published the job doesn’t end there. Next you have to promote your book, which is very time consuming and you wonder if you’ll ever have time to write again. Of course, you do because you can’t stop writing, or you become very moody. Grin. Would I have become an author if I knew what I know now? The answer is a simple “no.” Too late, I’m hooked.

In October 2008, my first book, The Catalyst, was released from Forbidden Publications an e-publisher. The Catalyst is the first book in a trilogy set in the Mid-West along the Missouri River amongst the riverboat community. It’s about the Madison dynasty, owners of riverboat casinos, and their trials within their family and their business.

In December 2008, the second book in the trilogy, Addiction was released. This story is about one of the daughter’s in the Madison/Dubois dynasty, and her fight against addictions and for her very survival when she learns someone is stalking her.

The third book is not finished yet, but I’m working on it, a short story, and revising a book that is finished, which never sold in spite of all the interest in it. This book is very important to me, and I will see it get published. We writers have trouble letting go of our babies whether they sell or not. As a writer my work is never perfect. I tend to revise and revise up until the day it is released by the publisher, and I find fault with my stories even after they’re in print.

This is my life as a writer. I am author, Sandra K. Marshall. My books, The Catalyst and Addiction can be bought as a download at and will soon be in print at


Diana Castilleja said...

What a wild and curvy road we travel on this writing adventure.

Chiron said...

Being a writer is like being the person who has to build the plane piece by piece, the pilot who gets to soar through the clouds, and the skydiver screaming as she leaps from the plane! *laughs*

I loved reading about your life as a writer, Sandy... Bravo!

Sandy said...

Diana, you're so right about he curvy road.

Thanks, Chiron. I can depend on you to be my cheerleader. Grin.

Tracey H. Kitts said...

I can relate to a lot of this myself. Especially the part about the stories buzzing around in your head like bees. I tell people I am a slave to the voices in my head. LOL

I'll probably start a new book soon:)

Z(Aasiyah/Nolwynn) said...

Very well said, Sandy! The road we travel as writers is one that's full of struggles, but we never want to leave it once we start this journey.



Sandy said...


Thanks for stopping by.

I probably should have said ideas keep popping in my head. Grin. More than I could ever begin to write.


Sandy said...

Hey, Z, sweetie, you're so right we never want to leave once we've started.