The Joy (but Mostly Agony) of Choice: the Hidden Plight of an Author.
By Kerry A Waight
What is great about being an author? It’s a question that people ask—and a question I ask myself. The resounding answer is the power of choice. I choose what I am going to write. I choose the characters I use. Often, I choose their names—and where they live, what they do for a living, who they know, what happens to them. The list is endless. No-one but me gets to choose the words I put on the page. I choose when and where I write. I choose whether I plan my writing, or I just write as it comes. You get the drift. All. My. Choice.
But therein also lies the agony of being an author—so much choice! Too much choice. So much choice that it can take days or weeks to make a just one choice.
For example, I decided that I wanted to branch out from writing historical fiction and write paranormal too. Do I use the same name for everything I write? Or do I use one name for historical fiction, and one for paranormal? If I only use one name, will it confuse people who only read one genre? Or will it possibly get them to try the other genre I write? Or will they not read either because the first story they saw was not their preferred genre? Arrrgh!
After deciding that I wanted to write historical fiction as Kerry A Waight, and paranormal as Kerriann Waight, I had even more choices to make. Do I need two Facebook pages, or can I just use my original one? If I start a new one, can I link the two? Will it confuse the followers I already have? What about Twitter? Same or different account?
And then there is the blog. Do I need two blogs as well? I have enough trouble keeping on top of one blog, one Facebook page and one Twitter account—how will I manage two?
If I have two Facebook pages, two Twitter accounts and two blog posts, will I need two web pages? Or do I expand my current page? And two email accounts—because my current author email uses kerryawaight.
Decision unmade. I think I just want to be Kerry A Waight – author of Historical Fiction and Paranormal. Phew, that’s done. Now, when do I make those changes to the pages that I have: now, or when my first paranormal is published. Suggestions welcome!
Alright, so I have decided that I am now an author of historical fiction AND paranormal. I have a historical novel with alpha readers. I also have a historical short story and a paranormal short story submitted and being workshopped for the next Authors’ Tale anthology. So, while waiting for critiques, what do I do? I can do nothing until I get feedback, so that I am fully focussed and available for the pieces I have in the works. OR I can start another project. Surprisingly, I’m good here. I’m going to start getting a paranormal set up for NaNoWriMo (for the uninitiated, that is national Novel Writing Month).
The dilemma is—do I plan it to the nth degree, or just do a general plan? I’m usually a pantser, and research as I go. But I can’t do that with NaNo, especially since I will be away for part of November. And 50,000 words in a month is a lot. Maybe I can just start the plan and make those choices as I go—you know, be a pantser on a plan …
Of course, we have the ultimate dilemma of all dilemmas for all new authors: to self-publish or try desperately to find a publisher? And if I decide to try for a publisher, do I need an agent or advocate for myself? And how do I know if I have a good agent and/or publisher? When do I need to approach an agent?
My head hurts. For now, I choose chardonnay.
Heart of a Child
Whether you want to take a trip through time, go on an adventure in your back yard, or feel a burst of excitement only to return to an adult reality, each story has something for every reader who wants to feel like a child or be part of a life many children have led before.
Take a trip down memory lane or pull your child into your lap and see the world through their eyes. In this second anthology written by members of Authors’ Tale, both light and heavy themes bring out the child in almost every genre.
This anthology features many stories about young hearts and some written for young-at-hearts. These tales will make any reader feel nostalgic or even open their eyes to something they never considered—something that will challenge their view of what childhood can really be like.
Kerry A Waight
Married with two grown children, Kerry is a retired History and Legal Studies teacher. She is also a genealogist, with the material for the novel in progress (New Life Across the Ocean) coming from her own family records. Published for the first time in 2018, in the anthology Heart of a Child, Kerry has, up to now, been primarily a writer of historical fiction, with some non-fiction thrown in around research written in her blogs. With an interest in not only history but the paranormal, Kerry is now branching out into writing paranormal.