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Write What You Know . . . But What if You Don’t Know Anything?

I started writing fiction when I was in middle school. Since then, I’ve consistently heard one piece of advice, often stated from those who don’t even write: write what you know. Well, if you’ve read any of my fiction, as in my debut novel, The Next Victim (wink, wink), you’re most likely praying that I don’t write what I know, as I tend to kill off a lot of people in my stories, and in a lot of grisly ways.

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When toying with the idea of writing this blog, I couldn’t help but wonder what the focal point would be. I mean, I knew that it wasn’t going to revolve around fiction — I do that already. I also didn’t want my blog to read like a review. After all, does anyone really give a rat’s ass what Cutter Slagle thinks of the latest episode of How to Get Away with Murder, or the newest J.Lo thriller? Both guilty pleasures, and both ah-mazing! And that sex scene from the latter . . . Hmm! Ryan Guzman can guz my . . . (Damn! I really need to update my references!)

Anyway, since I live in the city, I contemplated creating a Sex and the City-like column. Between my friends and myself, let’s just say that I have plenty of material filed away, and that file continues to grow on a daily basis. But, again, would anyone really be interested in reading that?

And then, that menacing voice crept back into my head . . . Write what you know. So, after I chased three melatonin with a half a bottle of merlot (kidding . . . I drank the whole thing), I decided I would have to cave; if I wanted to write a (realistic) blog, then I would need to write what I know. Clearly, that leaves me with the following subjects: sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll. Well, okay . . . Two out of three.

I could offer advice. Let’s see: never wear white after Labor Day; always be the “hot one” in the relationship; never let condoms expire . . . You know, important stuff that they just don’t teach you in school.

I could offer my viewpoint of what’s going on in the world, and risk pissing off the three people reading this. I could even use this as a platform to talk about writing. I could talk about the different types of fiction, the differences between first person and third person narratives, the authors I enjoy reading, and blah, blah, blah. If I did that, you would probably end up banging your head against the keyboard. Or, worse, you’d most likely just find a new blog to read.

Truth be told: I’m random. I have a lot of different thoughts that usually run rapid in a lot of different directions. Granted, these thoughts usually center around cake and another “C” word. However, I do find it interesting that while I can create an intense murder mystery that leaves readers guessing in suspense, I can also write this fun, truthful blog about my (sometimes) comical life.

What I’m trying to say is that my novel audience is probably going to be much different than that of my blog audience. Yes, that was your friendly warning mom, dad, elementary school teacher, and church goer — RUN!

Actually, the more the merrier. In all honesty, I hope readers enjoy both my fiction and my blog. I’m simply just stating that you’re going to see two very different sides of me. Think of it as Jennifer Aniston in Friends and Jennifer Aniston in Horrible Bosses. Are you with me? Fantastic!

Just remember: prepare yourself when reading this blog, because I’m not holding back. From here on out, consider this your disclaimer. I’m writing what I know, and lots of what I haven’t yet learned. I have no regrets, and nothing is off limits. Okay, maybe I do regret that one night at the Big Surf Motel in Carlsbad Village . . . But we can get into that at a later date. There’s no sense in scaring (or scarring) you just yet.

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One Comment

  1. Lee Ann Smith Lee Ann Smith

    I’m not running!

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