Guest Post:- James Peters


I’ve just recently made writing my full-time gig. This has been the culmination of dreaming, scheming, and planning for years, but now, I can truly say I’m a full-time author. I’ve never been happier with my job, but I have to admit I’m a little scared. For years I’ve thought, “If only I could write full-time, I could really make it as an author.” Now I face the prospect of testing that thesis. Do I have the “chops” to write stories people will want to read? The only way to find out is to keep pressing forward.

The most common question I get as an author is “Are you traditionally or independently published?” I always assume there’s some added clout if one can answer “traditionally” and spout off a well-known publishing company, but those lines are becoming very blurry these days. I’ve heard too many stories of an author signing a contract with a publishing house and getting an advance and a promise of future sales, only to find out later that their book was sent to the discount bin after not becoming an immediate best seller. No more money is coming in, and the publisher is not interested in your next book, unless you change your style to match their template for this genre.

As an independent author, I write my stories the way I believe they need to be told. I work with my editor, the wonderful and immensely patient Gari Strawn, who fixes my bone-headed mistakes but allows me to tell my story my way — and I really appreciate that. Do I want to be a best-selling author? Of course I do. Do I want to write dozens of cookie-cutter stories that fit an easily digestible and predictable pattern? Not at all. I really have no interest in writing that way. I write to entertain. I spend countless hours working on these books and I love what I do. If I had to write them to match some corporate standard I think it would turn into “work” really quickly.

I have to write stories that entertain me, and that’s why you’ll find some different ways of telling a story in my work, including non-traditional methods. My character is having a text exchange? Let the reader see it. Can I use a news report to add to the story? Why not, if it adds to the story.

As an author all I can do is ask you give me a try. You might just find yourself entertained.