It’s my pleasure to welcome Elizabeth Spann Craig to the blog today. Her new book, DELICIOUS AND SUSPICIOUS was released July 6, and it looks positively yummy. Her blog, Mystery Writing Is Murder, was named one of Writer’s Digest 101 Best Websites for Writers, and she’s a Twitter goddess. Plus, she’s one of the nicest people around.
I have very little interest in transportation except as a means to an end.
But when my now-thirteen-year-old son was two, he was obsessed with trains, trucks, and airplanes.
And, wanting to keep him occupied (he was a really busy little guy), I made it a point to connect him with the objects of his affection.
We hung out at the airport (this was pre-9/11, and he’d stick his nose against the glass at the gate and watch the planes fly in and out), train stations, and even parked outside construction sites. His favorite site was the construction of the hospital’s new breezeway where he could watch the big crane working.
And the twice-a-week, don’t-miss event was the arrival of the garbage truck. He loved the garbage truck. I’d hear that thing’s engine roaring down the street and I’d grab Riley and hold him right up to the window so he could wave at the garbage men. If he was napping when they came, the sanitation workers looked disappointed and kept looking for the towheaded baby.
What did I get out of this? Well, I didn’t get any direct gratification, since I’m not a transportation nut. But my son was so excited, so delighted, so happy that it rubbed off on me.
Plus, Riley wasn’t at home trying to stick his finger in electrical outlets, drink Clorox, or climb the bookshelves. :)
To me, this is like writing to a market. I think we all have stories of our hearts—the book we’ve been thinking about or mulling over or kicking around in our heads. Some of these stories? They’re probably not that marketable.
But I think we can get just as much gratification by entertaining our readers with a good story…whatever these readers are interested in. We may not have as much of an interest in the subject as the readers do, but we can get just as excited by it because they’re excited by it.
It doesn’t have to be an all or nothing thing, either. No one says we can’t write the story of our hearts and try submitting it while pleasing readers (and ultimately, ourselves) by writing entertaining, marketable novels.
What are your thoughts on writing for the market? Could you get just as passionate about a story you’ve crafted for the market as a story of your heart?
Elizabeth writes the Memphis Barbeque series for Penguin as Riley Adams, the Myrtle Clover series for Midnight Ink (under her own name), and, in addition to blogging daily at Mystery Writing Is Murder, she blogs on Thursdays at Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen.