Robin is our Featured Artist of the month here on One Woman’s Voice.
To introduce herself, Robin has written a short bio:
I am not a visual artist in the same way that many of Lisa’s featured artists have been. And yet, I suppose that I do paint pictures. Instead of using brushes, I use words. As an author, I want my words to transport readers to another place and time, bringing history to vivid life in their imaginations. If I am doing my job well, they will find themselves in the middle of the story, living it alongside the characters they meet and get to know in the pages of my book. Great writing can stir hearts in the same way that great paintings do even though the process of creation is very different. The time stretching from the first seed of an idea to the day when a book is finally published can involve years and usually does in my case. There is always personal growth and a lot of stretching involved in that long journey and there is nothing quite like the feeling you get when you finally hold the finished product in your hands.
I had the opportunity to ask our featured artist some further questions, so that visitors to One Woman’s Voice can get to know Robin a little better. Here are the questions and her responses. Please take the next few moments to read them:
1. What inspired me to become an author?
Growing up, my brother and I used to read aloud to each other, sharing laughter and adventure for long hours as we sprawled across a bed or curled up on the floor in an upstairs bedroom. Those times made some of my favourite memories. Storytime eventually became a huge highlight with my own children as well. There’s something special about time spent in a good book, especially when it’s shared. I’ve always been an introvert, which means I spend a lot of time inside my own head. I love to read, and great books have always inspired me to create new characters, settings, and plot twists of my own in those hours I spend with my imagination for company. One day I just decided I needed to write some of those ideas down and create stories of my own. I’ve chosen to write historical fiction partly because I find history fascinating while so many children and young people today find it boring. If they could only see it the way I do, through the eyes of the characters living it, surely they would discover that it is anything but boring and has a lot to teach us.
2. What have I learned along the way?
I read (a lot) for pleasure, but reading is also research. I’ve learned to pay more attention to my responses to what I’m reading. What is it that makes a book a page-turner? What are the elements of a story that make it particularly enjoyable? Conversely, what is it that I find annoying about a particular style or character? What makes a story just “okay” rather than great? Every book I read has the potential to make my own writing better. Some of the qualities that my writing has grown in me are discipline and perseverance and especially courage. Never doubt that it takes courage to put your words out into the world for others to read and judge. Sometimes it takes courage to even begin the process of creation. You question whether you really have what it takes to write something worth reading. Will it be worth the effort? I’ve learned to set my self-doubt aside and just do it. Not a bad life lesson in the greater scheme of things.
3. What advice would I give authors just starting out?
Never miss an opportunity to grow in your craft. Workshops are a wonderful resource and even great writing can be made better as you learn new skills and techniques. Always be willing to listen to constructive criticism. Networking is important. Find other writers to connect with on a regular basis if possible. Join a writer’s group or create your own. The writing life can be tough, and it is often lonely. Never underestimate the value of friends who understand exactly what you are going through in your creative process, both the frustrations and the triumphs. Their encouragement will keep you going when you are most tempted to quit. Finally, set aside your self-doubt and just do it .
Note: This is a brand-new channel and right now only has my Book Trailer video for Elijah’s Boy which is not quite a minute long. In the next week or so we will be uploading the first episode of my Elijah’s Boy read aloud series featuring the Intro, Prologue and Chapter. We plan to add a new episode each month so that eventually you’ll be able to access a playlist that will cover the entire book.
A Favourite Quote:
“You don’t actually have to write anything until you’ve thought it out. This is an enormous relief, and you can sit there searching for the point at which the story becomes a toboggan and starts to slide.” —Marie de Nervaud, WD (Marie de Nervaud writes Romantic Westerns)
So true! A huge part of what I do happens inside my head before I ever put a word to paper. I can spend a whole day staring off into space and it looks like I’m doing absolutely nothing. In reality, I am hard at work. It is when that toboggan starts to slide that I grab my laptop and the fun begins.
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