Ask anything…

Midge Raymond

Ashland Creek Press co-founder Midge Raymond is the author of the award-winning short story collection FORGETTING ENGLISH and a novel, MY LAST CONTINENT. Learn more at MidgeRaymond.com.

Latest posts by Midge Raymond (see all)

Today, the latest Ask a New Author column launched on Book Divas, featuring Ashland Creek Press authors Mindy Mejia, Olivia Chadha, and Jean Ryan.

Ask a New Author

In today’s post, the authors answer questions about what they’d like to share with aspiring authors, as well as what went through their minds when they got the news that their books had been accepted for publication (which were awesome moments for us, too!).

In the months to come, they’ll answer your questions, which you can email to: askanewauthor@bookdivas.com. Each month, Book Divas will pick 2-3 questions to feature in the column (and if your question is selected, you will be entered to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card; Book Divas will give away one gift card each month!).

So, ask anything…

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Ashland Creek Press co-founder Midge Raymond is the author of the award-winning short story collection FORGETTING ENGLISH and a novel, MY LAST CONTINENT. Learn more at MidgeRaymond.com.

Latest posts by Midge Raymond (see all)

2 thoughts on “Ask anything…”

  1. I have great stories from 30 years of traveling and working in eleven African countries. Some have been published. I have been advised not to compile the stories into a book because anthologies don’t sell. Everyone tells me I need to have a theme. But I feel like I am trying to hard to turn a bunch of stories into a memoir, and it has dwindled my enthusiasm and short circuited the flow of my writing.
    Any advice?

  2. Thanks for your question, which is a great one. First, most writers write for the love of what they do. If you are writing only to “sell,” or to make money, you’ll want to take another approach altogether (i.e., there is never any guarantee that creative writing, whether a novel or an essay collection, will sell). So, my advice is to write what you love, and to find your market and your readers afterward.

    I do think that for any collection, whether short stories or essays, should have a theme that ties them all together. Your stories will have a common theme in that they are all about Africa; you can work on having a more focused theme, but that may not be necessary. Most important, it seems as though you’re not enjoying the process and trying to turn it into something it’s not meant to be (or something you don’t want it to be). Anytime a writer tries to force something, the writing loses its energy — it sounds as though you’re realizing that! So the only thing you can do is keep writing what you want to write.

    Also keep in mind who you’re getting your advice from — if it’s other writers, it’s probably based on their own unique experiences, and you might have a better experience in the end. If it’s from a literary agent or publishers, they will of course be more focused on marketability and will advise based on that bias. I think (and here’s yet another opinion!) you should listen to what everyone has to say, but in the end: follow your own instincts and make sure the writing stays fun. It’s always hard work, but it should nevertheless be fun!

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