Archive for June 30th, 2008

“Write what you know.”

As a writer, you hear that advice all the time. And for the most part, I follow it. Why? Because writing a story with elements based in my areas of expertise are the most fun for me to write.

Which means I’ve had fun writing about meteorology (The Sydney Croft Storm series,) animals (pretty much every book I’ve written has an animal in it,) medicine (my Demonica series is set in an underworld hospital, but long before that I was writing paramedic heroes and heroines,) and the military (I was in the Air Force, so military people keep showing up in my stories.)

But “write what you know” doesn’t necessarily mean you have to write about your career expertise. If you’re a mechanic, you don’t have to write about mechanics. If you’re an accountant, your hero doesn’t have to crunch numbers if you don’t want him to.

We all have hobbies and areas of extreme interest. We all have experiences that have given us unique knowledge – good and bad. All of those things can be drawn on for ideas.

Just because you aren’t a degreed history professor doesn’t mean you can’t write a book set in ancient Egypt. Maybe you’ve been fascinated by Egyptian history since you were three, and you have more knowledge than the average person. Or maybe you just possess great research skills.

“Write what you know” can mean so many things, including, “write what you want.”

When I came up with the concept of my Demonica series, I did draw on what I know – emergency medicine. No, I’m not a doctor. But I did earn an Emergency Medical Technician degree, so I have a slight leg up. More importantly, I’ve been fascinated by emergency medicine since I was a kid. Some of my favorite TV shows are medical dramas and true-life medical shows. Many of my favorite reads? You guessed it – medical thrillers and medical memoirs.

But I also combined my love of medicine with the paranormal – another childhood love, born the day I read my first horror novel: Stephen King’s Salem’s Lot.

After that, I read every horror novel I could get my hands on. I dove into the legends behind Vlad Dracul, werewolves, and demons. Man, I could not get enough of the paranormal.

I watch everything paranormal I can, from movies to TV series. Keep it coming, Hollywood! 🙂

So what about you? If you’re an author, do you like to write fiction using the “write what you know” advice? If you’re a reader, do you like to read in the areas in which you are knowledgeable?

Commenters will be eligible to win…either a copy of my latest Sydney Croft release, Hot Nights, Dark Desires, or my newest Larissa Ione release, Pleasure Unbound. Your choice!

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