What challenges did you face when writing your novel?

For More Deaths Than One, my first finished novel, the biggest challenge was learning how to write. Yikes. The original draft was laughably terrible. But I kept reading books on how to write, and I kept rewriting my novel, and eventually I got it right.

For A Spark of Heavenly Fire, my biggest challenge was finding the beginning of the story. I liked the story, and I kept telling myself that if people could just get through the first fifty pages they would like the story, too. Then one day it dawned on me that the solution of getting readers to see the story beyond the less than sparkling beginning was to get rid of the first fifty pages. So I junked those early chapters, wrote a new beginning, and then the real challenge began — getting it published. After two hundred rejections, I finally found a publisher, Second Wind Publishing, who loved the book.

For Daughter Am I, I had one great obstacle — me! The story came to me all in one day. Even the biggest story problem — why the gold was buried — was resolved that very night when I read a book about the war on gold. Still, even though I knew the story, it took me eleven months to write the first draft. Words come slowly to me. I’m not one who can sit down and just write what comes to mind. I have to dredge the words from somewhere deep inside.

For Light Bringer, my biggest challenge was figuring out who my not-quite-human characters were and where they came from. It was the first of my published novels to be started and the last to be finished. It took that long to discover the truth of the characters.

Here are some responses from others authors about the challenges they faced when writing their book. The comments are taken from interviews posted at Pat Bertram Introduces . . .

From an interview with: Jeffrey Siger, Author of “Target: Tinos”

I always like to immerse my characters in what I see as significant looming issues, but  the book originally planned for a 2012 release was scooped by world events thereby requiring me to scrap it and write an entirely new one. That experience left me a bit gun shy about picking another issue to wrap my story line around. But as I’m sure happens to so many writers, when you relax and just let the keyboard pull you up, voila, magic happens.

From an interview with: Anne Lyken-Garner, Author of “Sunday’s Child”

The obvious challenge was exposing my life story. It’s not and will never be a comfortable thing to do. Once it’s out there, it can be perused by anyone and be open to mockery, disdain etc. People can judge you because they think they can analyse you now that they know so much about your life – even if they’ve never judged you in the past.

From an interview with: Sherrie Hansen, Author of Merry Go Round

The only struggle I seem to face with my writing these days is finding enough hours in the day to sit down and write. I own and operate a bed and breakfast and tea house and am a pastor’s wife. I maintain four houses. It’s a good, but very busy life, and when the day is done, I am often too exhausted to think.

From an interview with: T. C. Isbell, Author of “Southern Cross”

I’m a retired engineer. My first challenge was to learn how to not write like an engineer. My second challenge was to learn everything I missed while staring out the window during my high school English classes.

From an interview with: Linda Nance, Author of “Journey Home”

Life got in the way. When you are raising a family there are many things that make writing the book less of a priority. An almost fatal accident made existance difficult and the idea of finishing the book only a distant dream. I did not give up but when I had the story completed I could see it was still not finished. It needed more. It needed more than I could give.

I enrolled in a class at Arkansas State University and doors opened giving me a new enthusiasm I had never felt with the feeling that I could . . . I could do it. They taught me so much and they helped me to learn to learn. I have always believed that we should learn in everyday and all that we do. The class helped me to view things in more than one way and to use that in what I was working on.

So, what challenges did you face when writing your novel?

(If you’d like me to interview you, please check out my author questionnaire http://patbertram.wordpress.com/author-questionnaire/ and follow the instruction.)

What challenges did you face as you wrote your book?

My biggest challenge in writing A Spark of Heavenly Fire was finding the beginning of the story. I liked the story, and I kept telling myself that if people could just get through the first fifty pages they would like the story, too. Then one day it dawned on me that the solution of getting readers to see the story beyond the less than sparkling beginning was to get rid of the first fifty pages. So I junked those early chapters, wrote a new beginning, and then the real challenge began — getting it published. After two hundred rejections, I finally found a publisher who loved the book.

Here are some challenges other authors faced as they wrote their books. The comments are taken from interviews posted at Pat Bertram Introduces . . .

From an interview with Gisela (Gigi) Sedlmayer, Author of “Talon, Come Fly With Me”

To face myself. When I started to write the book, I never thought of the things they came out then. I wanted to write an adventure story for children and see what came out of that. Because, like Matica, I was rejected in school, not because of the growth handicap she has. I had other things. I had to face what Matica is facing and learned, even from writing the book, more and more to cope with myself, to overcome my own rejection and to realise that I have survived a deadly disease.

From an interview with Louis Bertrand Shalako, Author of ‘Redemption: an Inspector Gilles Maintenon mystery’

I moved three times during the writing of the book, as well as cleaning out my father’s house and selling it. There were lots of disruptions and quite a bit of lost sleep.

From an interview with Viola Russell, Author of “Love at War”

The most difficult part was that I wanted to be accurate about the history and facts, and I tend to be a perfectionist. I’d be in the middle of a scene, and I’d then have to move quickly to the internet to confirm a detail. I wanted accuracy on things like the types of weapons the various armies used and on the various uniforms.

From an interview with Malcolm R. Campbell, Author of “Sarabande”

I write from a third person restricted point of view. This means that I am always with only one character from start to finish; everything in the book is filtered directly or indirectly through that character’s eyes, ears and thoughts. The challenge here, especially with some of the deeply personal women’s issues in the plot, was putting myself into a woman’s point of view and keeping it realistic. I did not want the book to sound like it was written by a man who was speculating about how a woman might talk, act, and re-act to the ordeals in the storyline. The challenge was making the story truly seem as though it were being told by a woman and that all of it rang true to the women reading the book.

From an interview with Noah Baird, Author of Donations to Clarity

I didn’t have people around who supported my writing. They weren’t taking it as seriously as I was. As a unpublished writer, it was difficult to convince them this was something I needed to do. It was also hard to know if the writing or the story was good. It takes a great deal of faith in yourself and the story to see it all of the way through.

So, what challenges did you face as you wrote your book?

(If you’d like me to interview you, please check out my author questionnaire http://patbertram.wordpress.com/author-questionnaire/ and follow the instruction.)

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