Write what you know?
There have been times in my life when the literal interpretation of that phrase caused me to temporarily give up on my dream of becoming a published author.
When I was a teenager living with an alcoholic father in a series of rundown rental houses, for instance. Write what you know? Believe me, I was writing about anything and everything but what I knew! (I think that was my “glittering fairytale castle” stage:>)
Later, when I was much, much happier but smack dab in the middle of caring for baby twin boys…diapers, sleepless nights, colic x 2 and struggling to find time to shower? No, I didn’t spend much time writing about that! It was then that I discovered my dark & dangerous vampires, werewolves and shape shifters. It was then that I escaped from sweet baby powder-scented exhaustion into the spicy shadows of paranormal romance.
Write what you know?
The truth is, we, all of us, do write what we know every time we put words on the page. Joy, heartache, love, loss, excitement, tenderness, heat…all of the things we have experienced and felt fuel our visions and infuse our stories with life…or they should if we’re doing it right!
But, like any good actor or actress, we have to infer, translate and empathize. I’ve never been on the run from a pack of werewolves like my hero & heroine in CAPTURED, but I have experienced the desperation of moving from place to place to place all the while longing for a forever home. My mother was never kidnapped by a vampire like the heroine’s mother in HUNGER, but there were so many times I ached to save my own mother from a seemingly hopeless situation.
Write what you know…well, yes, it’s fine advice as long as we interpret it the right way. As for the literal interpretation? The world is at our fingertips. There’s nothing we can’t research, explore, investigate and discover!
And, oh, btw, I’ve never met a seductive vampire with a whisky-kissed drawl who just might tempt me to take a walk on the walk on the wild side, but there was this wicked cowboy once…;)