Write what you know, even if some readers don't believe you. #AmWriting #MyWana #Blog


A writer once told me that all first-time authors write their autobiography, even if tagged fiction. While I don’t believe that’s completely true, after all, some first-time authors write about vampires and shape shifters, I do think there’s a modicum of truth to that statement. In other words, even if an author writes a work of fiction, there are usually many elements of the story that are factual, and I’d venture to guess that at minimum, a new author will probably pattern characters after people they know.

When my professor suggested to “Write what you know.” —a quote often attributed to Mark Twain, but some say it is much older—I wasn’t certain if I really wanted to do it. After all, who would believe me?

Here are a few subjects I know:
Child abuse
Sexual abuse
Drug abuse
Alcohol abuse
Belief in God
The power to over come
Love at first sight
A new family
Happily ever after

Hey, I'm married to a cop; I've seen a lot. The problem is…does anyone want to read that? Well, I guess that depends. If you put it into a story, add a little as Hollywood refers to it: Based on a true story, but dramatic elements have been added for the sake of artistic expression. Then, yeah, some people will believe because more than likely they can identify with a character and/or a situation. And while they can enjoy an escape into a fictional story, they may take something from it.

The funny thing is most of the stories throughout history are based on a couple of key elements. Though they may not all be in the same story, ‘love at first sight’, ‘family tragedy’, or ‘a vicious crime’ are often the basis of a work of literary fiction. Fairy tales did it, suspense-thrillers do it, it’s a great start.

So if you don’t believe one or more elements of a story, does that make it a bad story? You may not believe in ‘love at first sight’, but readers love it. In fact, even movies that aren’t tagged as ‘love at first site’, usually have a hero and heroine thrust into an incredibly unbelievable situation, and they are all of the sudden willing to die for each other. Of course, there are many classics, Romeo and Juliet, ‘all the fairy tales’, even the The Godfather.

Well, as I mentioned in the above list, these are all the things I write about. Why? Because it’s what I know.

So, let me share one tidbit of information with the unbelievers of the world: I called my grandmother after my first date with my husband and told her I’d just met the man I was going to marry. Thirteen days later, he asked me to marry him. Thirty days later, we married, and we’ve been married twenty-three years.

Yes, I believe in 'love at first sight', yes, I write modern-day fairy tales filled with tragedy, mystery, suspense, hope, and above all, romance, because I’m living one. I’ll leave the rest of ‘what I know’ to your imagination.

If you would like to read a little more about what I write, follow the links below. My stories are available in print and eBook formats at your favorite retailer. You can download my mini-mysteries with a paranormal edge absolutely FREE or start with my romantic-suspense bestseller She Belongs to Me for only .99 cents. From there, all my stories are priced 'less than a latte', so READ UP and enjoy!

Until next time, happy reading, friends!


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  1. Carmen,
    I saw this on twitter and clicked the link to look at She belongs to me, but the link is broken.

  2. Must have just been an internet glitch. It's working now and I just bought a copy. Thanks!

    1. You are lovely, Carolyn. Thank you. I truly hope you enjoy, hopefully knowing it all comes from the heart. Cheers, my friend.


  3. This was such an informative article and I'll share this with my writers group, if this is okay with you:)

    1. I'm so glad you liked it, Marie. I was hoping it came off as informative and not a rant, but I did pick an image that looked like "rant" just in case. LOL!

      Of course you can share. I just shared with thousands of potential readers. :)

      And thank you for your unwavering support, awesome friend. <3