What is the most rewarding thing about writing and publishing your books?
It was a question I had not considered before being asked in one of my first interviews as an author. I’m not sure what I said, but I think I answered it OK and moved on to “Where do I get my ideas?” But since that time I’ve considered that question quite a bit.
There are a lot of things I like about being an author. I’ve always enjoyed research and I’ve always enjoyed writing. There is pleasure in framing a word picture that transforms your thoughts into the reader’s thoughts, transferring ideas, knowledge, or feelings. I’ve always enjoyed telling a story that causes others to share in something I have experienced, whether funny, profound, frustrating, or sad.
In my chosen career I had written technical reports, educational material, operating manuals, research papers, specifications, business plans, and other such things. I enjoyed that. But I found that I love writing fiction.
It’s not easy creating an imaginary world populated with people, places, events, and conflict that form into a new and interesting story. It is, however, really fun. I became friends with my main characters, so much so, that before I finished my first book, I knew I would have to keep writing those characters.
It was so fulfilling when I published my first murder mystery, The Wham Curse, to hold my creation in my hand was really exciting; then having readers like my story was a relief and extremely gratifying.
Writing my second book, Saints & Sinners, was in many ways easier, because I didn’t have to invent my main characters, and I had more confidence in my ability to put a story together. It was published by Oak Tree Press in 2014. It was as fulfilling to have it published and have my readers eager to get their hands on it.
I felt the quality of my writing had improved (though I’m not sure my editor would agree), and mustered enough nerve to enter it in the Public Safety Writers Association writing competition. That was an anxious time, and I was floored when it won an award, and overjoyed.
There are so many things I really like about being an author. If I had to pick one, it would be having readers “get” my book. They understand and like my characters, three rural cops who are good buddies, though culturally different. They enjoy the southwestern setting, and appreciate the unique natural and human history of the place. They like the methodology and nature of rural police work. That is what I wanted to give them when I painted my story for them.
You can read more about me and my works at http://virgilalexander.weebly.com/ . And you can read my first chapter at Amazon, as well as buy my books. http://www.amazon.com/Saints-Sinners-Virgil-Alexander/dp/1610091558