Write What You Know? ~ Clare London: Outside the Margins

Join us as Clare London goes Outside the Margins.

Clare London OtMWrite what you Know. Or so we used to hear. For gawd’s sake, as we say over here in the UK! We’ve had this debate many a time, haven’t we? If we all wrote only what we know, where would be the sprawling epic fantasies, the chilling serial killers, the heart-wrenching love stories, the scientific explorations across space and time, the locationally-sweeping action thrillers … and, of course, the sparkling vampires? LOL

So we can discount that as an amusing piece of non-advice. Can’t we?

Well, no, not exactly. Personally, I think it has more relevance than that, just not in the way I’d always imagined. Because if I’m carving out a niche in m/m romance (I’m trying! I’m trying!) I need to make sure I can make that theme entertaining and emotionally satisfying to the reader – and in every book. One measure of an author’s success is how s/he can resonate with the reader. I need to be realistic and plausible and sympathetic with my settings, with my characters, with the steps along the way to Happy Ever After, or its nearest offer. And if I have No Idea Whatsoever about what I’m writing – how can I persuade you, dear reader, that my characters do?

And yet – hopefully! – I do. Authors do. My opinion is, you already Write What You Know.

Firstly: Because you “know” an extraordinary amount of things! You probably don’t realise how much. You may not know how to live one of those sprawling fantasy epics, but you know about different countries and races and their lifestyles. You may not have suffered horribly with war, or grief or long-lost love, but all of us have struggled at some stage of our lives. You may not be a stand-up comedian, but you know what makes you laugh. You may not be a billionaire entrepreneur (I wish) but you can empathise with the power of high finance. And – also hopefully – all of us have known what it is to love. All of that knowledge feeds into your stories.

Secondly: Because your book isn’t just about what you know! It’s so much more than that. You weave imagination and emotion into your book, in and out of the more specific facts. You may not include everything you’ve learnt about a culture; you may not describe every documented stage of a journey; you may not follow every step of love, sorrow or amusement. But fiction is the magic that’s cast around all the small items of fact and context, that make your research and knowledge and innate perception come to life, making every story different, every tale a unique treasure.

I’ve written my share of vampires (Out of Time), anguished love stories (Threadbare), contemporary romances (Dear Alex), tense and sometimes violent thrillers (72 Hours), melodramatic opposites (True Colors), noir mystery (Freeman), romantic comedy (Slap and Tickle) and fantasy worlds where men are soldiers, lovers and slaves (be sure to look up Branded if that takes your fancy LOL). I can assure you I have NOT experienced all of this, even in my (too) long lifetime to date! But in every case, I draw on what I know of life and love and humankind, and I seek to bring my characters into their own, individual life.

So, authors – Write What You Know and be thankful for it!

Thanks for reading.
~Clare London~

About

SlapAndTickle_300 Title: Slap and Tickle
Publisher: Self Published
Genre: Contemporary, Humor/Comedy, M/M Romance

Bryan Harrison is a successful accountant and a man who admires order and self-discipline. It’s a startling break from his routine when he literally bumps into Phiz Bussman outside With A Kick. Phiz’s lifestyle and behaviour are in complete contrast to Bryan’s, and appear totally chaotic. But they each recognise something in the other that they need.

Bryan has been helping With A Kick with its financial difficulties, and is finding it difficult to balance his professional persona with friendship with the owners. But then he’s always found it tricky to expose his more vulnerable feelings. His cool facade hides loneliness: he believes he’ll never find a lover who accepts and welcomes his secret desire.

Whereas Phiz is all about exposure: he’s defined by his cheerful but clumsy liveliness, his open-hearted emotions, and his physical needs. Despite that, he’s lonely as well. He craves someone who will help him bring purpose and focus into his life, and admits freely he needs a firm hand – in every way.

If they can both accept a friendship that’s destined for more, Bryan may be just the man to provide it.

This is Book #3 of the With A Kick series but can be read as a standalone.

Bryan Harrison is a successful accountant and a man who admires order and self-discipline. It’s a startling break from his routine when he literally bumps into Phiz Bussman outside With A Kick. Phiz’s lifestyle and behaviour are in complete contrast to Bryan’s, and appear totally chaotic. But they each recognise something in the other that they need.

Bryan has been helping With A Kick with its financial difficulties, and is finding it difficult to balance his professional persona with friendship with the owners. But then he’s always found it tricky to expose his more vulnerable feelings. His cool facade hides loneliness: he believes he’ll never find a lover who accepts and welcomes his secret desire.

Whereas Phiz is all about exposure: he’s defined by his cheerful but clumsy liveliness, his open-hearted emotions, and his physical needs. Despite that, he’s lonely as well. He craves someone who will help him bring purpose and focus into his life, and admits freely he needs a firm hand – in every way.

If they can both accept a friendship that’s destined for more, Bryan may be just the man to provide it.

This is Book #3 of the With A Kick series but can be read as a standalone.
Amazon US
Amazon UK
All Romance eBooks
Barnes & Noble

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~ Clare London

About Clare London

Clare took the pen name London from the city where she lives, loves, and writes. A lone, brave female in a frenetic, testosterone-fuelled family home, she juggles her writing with the weekly wash, waiting for the far distant day when she can afford to give up her day job as an accountant. She’s written in many genres and across many settings, with novels and short stories published both online and in print. She says she likes variety in her writing while friends say she’s just fickle, but as long as both theories spawn good fiction, she’s happy. Most of her work features male/male romance and drama with a healthy serving of physical passion, as she enjoys both reading and writing about strong, sympathetic and sexy characters.

Clare currently has several novels sulking at that tricky chapter 3 stage and plenty of other projects in mind . . . she just has to find out where she left them in that frenetic, testosterone-fuelled family home.

All the details and free fiction are available at her website. Visit her today and say hello!

Website: http://www.clarelondon.com
Blog: http://clarelondon.livejournal.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/clarelondon
Facebook chat: https://www.facebook.com/groups/clarelondoncalling/
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/clare_london
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/clarelondon
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/author/clarelondon
Quids&Quills: http://www.quidsandquills.com

 

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Farewell Giveaway
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.

Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,

Brandilyn
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6 thoughts on “Write What You Know? ~ Clare London: Outside the Margins

  1. Clare,

    I think you hit this nail right on the head. As you said, what you know isn’t limited to just who you are. The characters are a shell, what you fill it with is what makes the story wonderful. Thanks for reminding us that. 🙂

  2. Thank you Clare, it is nice to remember that our personal experiences,when combined with our imagination, can create stories, which may resonate with readers from far and wide. As Helena said it’s very encouraging (and comforting) to us newbies 🙂

  3. Thanks to Andrew, Helena and Beverley for dropping in, and I’m especially happy if my post resonates with your experience. I think it’s really important to encourage and nurture good imagination in fiction, rather than listen to all the things we apparently *shouldn’t* do 🙂

  4. Research, Research, Research, is what I do when I’m writing. Sometimes it takes hours, perhaps even days in searching for something in specific. Like when I wrote a book where there are cops I needed to know the right codes and procedures. I needed a specific car accident involving a semi-truck. I spent DAYS searching for it until finally I found it. It was horrific looking at all those pictures and knowing that they were the real thing, not fiction, but it needed to be done, otherwise I wouldn’t know if it was possible. Also, if your research comes up blank, ask for help. There are so many people, especially in my FB group of friends who have so many different careers. It’s always good to have their opinion/thoughts/knowledge to help you get the story right.
    Thank you, Clare, for the great post.

    • Thanks for dropping in, and I agree wholeheartedly with your advice to ask for help! I often put out a call when I need a detail in my book but don’t want to get it wrong 🙂

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