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Thursday 9 May 2019

✉ How I started Writing - Robert Sells

Today author takes over our blog to tell us about how he started writing. 

His latest release, Revelations (, Robert Sells, 398 pages), is a Science Fiction novel.

"I couldn't put the book down and would love to see this in a movie -kind of a cross between maze runner and hunger games excitement!!" ~ Goodreads reviewer

"We've all wondered if there is other life out there. When the world receives proof there is plenty of excitement. Promises are made and hope is abundant. However, there is always a price to be paid. Keeps you on the edge of your seat right up until the end!"
~ Amazon reviewer

"This book is a bit reminiscent of James Rollins. A fast paced and engrossing read, with a chilling vision of a possible future. A fun ride!" ~ Amazon verified purchase

|| Synopsis || Teaser: KCR Preview || Author Guest Post || About the Author || Giveaway & Tour Stops ||

How I Started Writing 

by Robert Sells

      Lawyers are warned not to ask a question of a witness if they don’t already know the answer.  Well, I found out it was also good advice for husbands asking questions of the wives.  Wondering what to get my wife for Christmas, I asked a question thinking I knew the answer…

      “Honey, what do you want for Christmas.”
      “I want you to write a book about the stories you told the kids when they were younger.”
      “A book, Rob.  I want you to write a book.”

      Oh.  So, a few nights later I found myself at my computer wondering how to start a novel.  Nothing.  The next night I continued and then, in exasperation, I stopped and called my wife.  My hand waved over seven crumpled papers, neatly spread out for her to see my failed attempts at starting.  Hoping for a reprieve, I said, “I don’t know if I can finish this by Christmas.”

      Her face scrunched in thought and then she smiled at me.  “Hmm.  Then get me that necklace.  Keep writing, though, and get me the book as next year’s Christmas present.”

      Smart woman, my wife.  Well, it wasn’t ready the next year, but I did have a rough draft of a story that pleased her.  Not me, though.  A year later, it still wasn’t quite good enough.  Finally, after three years, my manuscript, Return of the White Deer, was ready for publication.

Well, truth be told, I knew it was not quite ready.  I majored in mathematics and physics not English and writing.  Some idiosyncrasies in grammar are as bewildering to me as thermodynamics might be to you.  But if it was picked up by a publisher, wouldn’t they edit my work and fix those errors?  Of course, they would.

      I sent the manuscript to about twenty different publishing houses.  I was thrilled when my manuscript was accepted for publication by one of the small, but respectable publishing houses.  A few months later, they sent me the galley sheets and I was secretly delighted that I found a few errors and sent them the corrections.  At last, my wife was going to get her Christmas present!  A few weeks later I lovingly held my first novel in my hands.   Then I gave it to my wife and she read it.

      “Wonderful story.  Thank-you, honey.  Best Christmas present ever.”

      Oh, how I beamed.  She handed me the book and walked away.  Over her shoulder she said, “But there were a whole bunch of errors in the book.”

      What?  I opened the book and started reading.  She had penned mistakes here and there.  Over a hundred mistakes.  I was devastated.  Apparently small publishing houses don’t do careful editing.

      Two years later, I tackled my first book again.  This time I was armed with three computer programs that caught all the spelling errors and most of the grammatical errors.  I enlisted the aid of a number of friends who were, in fact, English majors.  When they were done with the new manuscript, I handed it to my wife.  She found a few errors.  Finally, I self-published this new version, a novel in which I have well-earned pride.

      Now, five books later, I’ve devoted more time and money to my wife’s “gift” than any vacation we ever enjoyed or any piece of jewelry I ever bought her.  Writing remains a daunting process for me.  I usually edit a book over twenty times… finding errors, changing dialog, adding a character here or there.  I use my grammar/spelling programs near the end of the process.  Then I give it to half a dozen friends for suggestions and grammar changes.  My wife always does the final check.

      This is a cautionary tale. For fledgling writers, I give you fair warning to focus on the editing process with both computer programs and a team of friends.  Oh, and one more bit of advice.  Don’t ask a question of your wife unless you are 100% sure of the answer.

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