What makes an author write? Simply wanting to tell a tale? The goal of creating a bestseller? Money? Well, it’s rarely money, most writers still need a day job.
Yet there is something that makes us turn our tales into files and submit them. For me, it started with the attempt to get rid of images running rampant in my head. A story wanted to be born. At that time, it was more of an adventure than a dream. In fact, it was truly an adventure to find out what my heroes were going to do and experience. I literally had no idea, the tale developed while I was writing it. Even today, it still happens that characters come to me, demanding that I write down their story. And then they proceed to tell me in bits and pieces.
Still, dreams start to grow after a while. When the first test readers show enthusiasm, we start dreaming about getting the tale published. About favorable reviews. And maybe, a little about money.
I also dream of something else: In addition to entertaining my readers, I would like to teach a little. It’s important to me to portray horses correctly, for example, even in fantasy (an unbelievable number of authors get them wrong!). I research combat techniques, herbal lore and much more, so I don’t tell my readers anything that is factually wrong. That’s because I learned a lot from fiction, myself.
Take Dick Francis, for example. He always spent a lot of time researching the background of his thrillers. Thus I learned facts about wine-making and semi-precious stones from his tales that I wouldn’t have learned elsewhere. So that’s one of my dreams, to teach while I entertain.
And then there is another dream of mine. I find it a little hard to talk about it, because I’m afraid you’ll put me down as a … well, hopeless romantic. But with my tales, I also would like to show my view of a world, of how I would like people to deal with each other. I want to show readers that a better world is possible. Guess you can call me an idealist. (And that’s why you’ll never read a zombie-tale by me.)
In the German version of this blog post, I linked to the anthology that’s calling for stories about this very topic. It’s their logo up at the top. I suppose you’re probably not interested in writing in German, but the link is just one click away, if you are – in the blog post below this one.