Whether you realize it or not, when you start out on the road of fiction writing, you're in for a journey of self-discovery. The path can be a bumpy one, filled with surprises, bitter disappointments, intense joys. For most of us, it's a voyage we wouldn't trade for anything.
We start out with nothing more than the burning desire to write. As we pursue our dreams and learn our craft better, we get to know ourselves better as well -- what advice works best for us and what doesn't, how we handle rejection and success, how we can hone our processes, our style, our voice. With every new book we take on, we discover more about ourselves.
I've had to learn to accept some things about myself. I don't like rules. I don't do well with fixed schedules. I know that I write to feed my passion to create. I've learned that my favorite stories are suspense and mystery, and that I love an author with a smart-alec voice.
Most important of all, I’ve learned that no matter what the ups and downs of this pursuit might be, writing makes me happy.
* * *
We had a lot of fun coming up with the name for our group. Our creative bunch of writers suggested some great ideas. We had no less than three votes and a lot of lively discussion about it. And now here we are - Petit Fours and Hot Tamales... and everything in between.
What I like best about our name is that it symbolizes the endless spectrum of possibilities in our genre of romance.
In my writing, I started out as a petit four - sweet, sentimental, traditional. But as I mentioned, over the last few years, I’ve swung more toward darker romantic suspense. Spicy, but probably not quite enough to call a hot tamale.
Right now, I’d say I’m an "everything in between." Gooey dark chocolate with a touch of cayenne.
* * *
So which are you? Petit Four? Hot Tamale? Or something in between?
How well do you know yourself as a writer? What have you learned about yourself so far on your journey? Have you discovered more about your strengths and special gifts? Have you switched the subgenre you write?
Have you known from the beginning who you are as a writer? Or have you grown into something different from what you set out to be?
What are you like as a reader? Do you stick to one subgenre, such as women’s fiction or romantic suspense? Or do you prefer a smorgasbord? Maybe a particular Harlequin line?
I can't wait to read your answers. Like I said, PFHT members -- and our readers -- are lively, creative group.
As you ponder your answers and look out on the coming year, remember, no matter how well you know yourself, there’s always more to learn.
Happy writing, happy discovering.