Lately, I’ve been reading interviews with or blog posts by some of my favorite authors. My favorite authors list falls into two categories: trusted favorites I have been reading for years, like Anne Rice and Neil Gaiman. I know which words they use most often, the names they have accidentally assigned to more than one minor character in different unrelated books, which settings and events are based on events and locations they have a personal connection with. Then, there are writers I feel a different kind of connection with. These are people who have written one novel so far, a debut novel of stunning originality, that straddles the borders between the fantastical and reality in a way that makes it appealing to those who don’t always read fantasy.
I think good ideas must be exhausting. I think that these people managed to do what I haven’t so far, to devote themselves to realizing an idea that is so good, it left them needing an energy drink and a vacation. Yet, they did manage to not only complete a manuscript, but get published. I’m not the sort to follow anyone else’s formula to the letter-we all have our own personal destiny, and the tools to accomplish it are going to find us if we are really looking and paying attention. That being said, I was curious about these people and what led them to write such amazing novels as The Night Circus, The Golem and the Jinni, and Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell. Reading interviews with and blog posts about these writers, the similarities struck me.
I have, like them, tried NaNoWriMo. I, like them, have gone to college for writing, but also taken educational paths that had nothing to do with writing. I take inspiration from stories that have been with me since childhood, and find magical elements in my cultural background that could easily be a magical realist novel one day. History equally inspires me, of my own country and other countries too. I get easily distracted while writing , turning to reading other books, or food. For all the articles giving advice on completing a first novel, I still think there is no formula. I am inspired, however, to know that I am not the only one who gets distracted and needs a little time to get focused again. I really think I will finish a book.