Wednesday, November 12, 2014

RESPONSIBILITY

by Kathy Cannon Wiechman

As a writer of historical fiction, I have certain responsibilities. I have to work hard at research and make historical events and details accurate. I have to put a reader into the time and place I write about.

I also have the responsibility to tell an engaging story, to create characters a reader will care about, and use the best words possible to make that character live and breathe. The plot has to be believable and filled with turn-the-page moments. When readers pick up a book, they put a certain amount of trust into an author’s ability to make the read worth the time they invest.
For all my years of writing, I have tried my best to live up to these responsibilities. But the readers I originally hoped to reach have moved on, and a new group of readers has filled their chairs. I didn’t have readers yet; I had hoped-for readers. But I tried to write as though my stories would be read.

After I signed the contract for my Civil War novel LIKE A RIVER, I began a new set of revisions for my editor. I also received a check for the first half of my advance. People were investing money in me and my book. I finally had something that could actually reach those hoped-for readers. Talk about responsibility. It made me tackle those revisions with a new awareness of an author’s true responsibility.
LIKE A RIVER will be released in a few months, and readers can decide if I have lived up to the trust they and my publisher have invested. It is not something I take lightly.

8 comments:

  1. We're lucky you take your responsibilities seriously, Kathy. Every writer has a responsibility to get their world right, whether it be historical, contemporary or fantasy.

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  2. Congratulations!!! That's awesome. Research would be one of the toughest parts of writing historical fiction. It does give you an excuse to travel to historic sites and tax-deduct the expenses, though!

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    1. You're right and I love doing it. Thanks, Stephanie.

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  3. I bet it will!
    You need a tour stop, let me know. My blog is yours.

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  4. I also would be happy to host you on my blog, Kathy. Responsibility to our readers is HUGE!

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    1. Absolutely! I would love that. Thanks, Carol.

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