Tuesday, January 12, 2010

I don't know about you, but I never want to stay in one place as a writer. I'm always reading a book on craft. Right now I'm going through Michael Hauge's The Hero's 2 Journeys again. It is probably the single most career changing lesson I've ever seen. It's a DVD/CD and has really opened my eyes to what makes a great story.

I love learning new things and pushing myself to improve. The first time I think I've "arrived" as an author is the time I need to quit. So it was fun for me to stretch into something new and different with The Lightkeeper's Daughter. I started out writing historicals. My first 4 novels were short historicals for Barbour that were set in the 1860s, but my real love is to write romantic mysteries. Several years ago, I asked my editor Ami McConnell what she thought about me writing a historical romantic mystery. The idea didn't grab her at the time, but last year she brought it up and told me to go for it. By then the idea scared me. LOL I had a growing readership and had settled quite comfortably into my niche. But I took a deep breath and plunged in. To my shock, I loved going back to the historicals. That's where I learned about the importance of setting and how to weave it into the story. It's where I learned to love research. I found I could write my trademark story, but just change the time period as part of the setting. The experience confirmed my love of learning something new too.

So what about you? Have you found your brand, your niche, or are you still finding your way? What have you been wanting to try that you've been scared to attempt? The first step might be sharing it here. Then take a deep breath and plunge in!


  1. Congratulations on the historical! I read Distant Echoes a few months ago and loved it, so I'll be anxious to hear your "voice" in a historical setting.

    As far as your questions, I'm working on my second manuscript, which has a completely opposite tone from my first. The first was very serious, and the second is much more lighthearted and fun. I'm finding such freedom in writing the lighthearted one, so maybe that's my niche.

  2. Colleen and others who might read this comment -- we bloggers really need to manually add our names and websites (I think) because they are NOT automatically passed on when the blog is sent out to FB and the followers. So some of my FB friends think I'm writing more of them than I am. . . not that I mind, especially for a marvelous blog like this one, Colleen!

  3. It might be, Sarah! I remember when I read Kristin Billerbeck's first chick lit chapter. I emailed her back and said girl this is you unchained! I said something to Ami about it too and when Ami read it she knew it was something special too. Now is the time to be experimenting. :-)

    I'm not sure what you mean, Millie, but hopefully someone here does. LOL

  4. Colleen,
    I love to learn new things about writing. I try to read or listen to something about craft every day. Hopefully, it will eventually pay off with a publishable novel! LOL.
    I'm looking forward to reading this new book.

  5. I love it that you have ventured out of your comfort zone and into this genre. I also love the cover of this book.

    I haven't had a chance yet to read it, but it's in my stack.

  6. Colleen, everything you write, you write well. I can't wait to read your new venture.