Please welcome C. Hope
Clark back to the blog today…
An Author’s Focus in
the Chaos of Publishing
by C. Hope Clark
Somewhere along the way, probably with the onset of indie
publishing, authors lost sight of why they became writers. Not everyone, but a
good many, with a chunk of the new entrants never having understood to start
The why we write used to be to create a deeply satisfying
book. No matter how long it took. It had to be written, rewritten, edited and
re-edited. It had to ferment and distill over time to become a book someone
wished to retain in a permanent library to be read again and again.
Now sales rule. The situation is not the author’s fault,
necessarily, but instead has evolved with the industry. Books sell for less,
are easier to produce, easier to distribute, and easier for more people to
become authors. But the number of readers (demand) hasn’t increased with the
number of books published (supply). Simple economics means you have to sell a
higher quantity to earn the same income one would have made even three years
ago, not to mention five or ten.
So authors write faster. Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, etc.
abounds with groups bragging about daily word count and goals of three to even
twelve books a year. While authors can be prolific (which used to mean a book a
year), one has to wonder if the writers are more focused on production than the
But many would argue that an author has to eat, which means
more sales, more writing, faster writing. It’s painfully true. This pace also
leads to burnout and anxiety. Just read comments in Facebook groups where
writers are freaking about how to do more, get their name out, best the Amazon
algorithms, and advertise yet a new way on Facebook.
A writer has to write. But even more so, writers need to
write for themselves. We miss the concept that we can stroll to our notebooks
with coffee or tea in hand and immerse ourselves into our worlds, reappearing
at the end of the day with whatever creation came about. Just writing. Just
storytelling. No emails, social media, word count per hour, or hourly ranking
checks on Amazon.
Becoming the characters, living amongst the players in a
setting so beautifully displayed that the reader doesn’t want to leave. A world
the writer cannot wait to return to the next morning. A story the writer never
wants to end. A journey.
Personally, I don’t believe in writer’s block. But if a
writer struggles with putting words to paper, my solution is simply this.
Unplug from the computer. Remove goals, all goals. Remember how in your youth
you envisioned how a writer was supposed to create? How magical it was supposed
to be? The study. The cup. The right type of pen. Nothing more.
There you go. Write for the fun of it. Go back to when all
you wanted was to tell a story.
C. Hope Clark ©2019
C. Hope Clark’s latest release is Dying on Edisto,
Book 5 of the Edisto Island Mysteries. She has also authored one other
award-winning mystery series and is working on another. She founded
FundsforWriters.com, selected by Writer’s Digest for its 101 Best Websites for
Writers for 18 years. Her newsletter reaches 35,000 readers. www.fundsforwriters.com
One death. Two detectives. And
A Callie Morgan and Carolina Slade crossover, standalone mystery!
When a renowned—and now dead—travel blogger
washes ashore on the banks of Indigo Plantation, Edisto Beach Police Chief
Callie Morgan agrees to head the investigation as a favor to the county
sheriff, whose reasons are as questionable as the death itself. When death
turns to murder and a watchdog from the county makes her investigation
difficult, Callie reluctantly turns to Carolina Slade and Wayne Largo,
vacationing agents with the Department of Agriculture.
Because poison is growing on this plantation and
someone knows how to use it well.
Murder, corruption, and page-turning
intrigue are usually the elements that shine the brightest in mysteries like
Hope Clark’s latest Dying on Edisto. But it’s the characters that bring a vivid
literary element to Clark’s prose and create a strong emotional response to
their tangled lives. The scenic town of Edisto Beach is peopled with a
modern-day pirate claiming to be a descendent of Blackbeard, a degenerate
travel blogger, a yoga teacher who drives a baby blue vintage Benz convertible,
a mixed race waitress and her matriarchal grandmother, and a whole slew of
wealthy and crooked good ole boys. Leading the cast are two strong female
protagonists—a police chief and an investigator with the Department of
Agriculture. Did someone say hemlock? —Susan Cushman, author of Cherry Bomb and editor of
Southern Writers on Writing
"In a plot as complicated as the
numerous waterways that create Edisto Island in South Carolina, C. Hope Clark
has combined the characters from her two series to solve the murder of a
renowned travel blogger. They mystery requires all of their detective skills
and blends the two mystery worlds in a page-turning standalone. The story opens
with a floater and progresses with edge-of-your-seat action. Prepare to be
absorbed by Clark's crisp writing and compelling storytelling. This is one you
don't want to miss!"---
Carolyn Haines is the USA Today bestselling author of three mystery series. She
is the author of over 80 books and has received numerous writing awards.
Hope Clark converges her sleuths, Carolina
and Callie Jean, on Edisto Island for the finale, Dying on Edisto, concluding
her two murder mystery series. Slews of fans always awaited these highly
addictive and superbly penned novels - grabbing you from the first page and not
letting go until the last. A pristine, sleeper sea island, two determined masters
of law who butt heads, a mystery corpse from Atlantic waters, a few
idiosyncrasies along the way - the absolute best cast and plot for an intense
coastal thriller. ~Karen
Carter, Owner, Edisto Bookstore