Today we have author Gregory Petersen, who is giving us a glimpse into what his day is like as an author.
A day in the life of an author... Hmmm...
Well, I'd say it's just like everyone else's, but perhaps a little more frustrating.
I work a day job. If I didn't, I would redefine starving artist. My last royalty payment was a reality check. Let's just say that the stamp on the envelope was nearly worth more than my earnings.
So a day in my life means maintaining at least a little positivity. Would I love to find a level of success where James Patterson asks me for career advice? No doubt. But since that seems unlikely, even with a fantasy writer's imagination, I won't spend much time thinking about it.
As a writer, the story lives in me. It goes where I go. It sees what I see. But then, something strange happens. The story goes where I cannot; it sees what I can't even envision. It knows things that are far beyond me. I write for the same reason I read, because I want to know where a story is going. I need to know what the character is facing, what she is risking, what she hopes to find.
If the characters were not alive to me, what makes me think they'll ever live in the readers' minds? Part of being a novelist is allowing yourself to dream throughout the day.
Since I don't plot out my stories ahead of time, I don't always know what is going to happen. My current work in progress is called 20 After. In it, the main character, Marty, is an attorney defending a man accused of killing his own child. Marty fears this man in a way he has never felt fear before. And not just because of his accusations, but this man sitting in a jail cell seems to have power over a superstition that Marty, in spite of himself, is starting to believe.
I don't have much time during the day to put many words on paper, but sometimes I jot down a few, which feeds the story later. Today I was able to put down a couple hundred, and now I know how Marty is going to initiate his opening argument.
A couple months ago I only wrote four words during the day, but those were enough to tell me that 20 After needs to be written. On a scrap piece of paper I wrote, "angels sing, demons whisper." That evening I wrote a whole lot more.
So, the way I see it, a day in the life of an author means being prepared for inspiration to happen. Sometimes just a scrap piece of paper is all it takes to catch it, and turn a fleeting thought into the foundation of a novel that will find itself on a bestseller list.
Maybe. Who knows? I wouldn't write novels if I weren't a dreamer.
Thank you, author Gregory Petersen for being with us today and sharing what your day is like. If you haven't read this book, it's a must read. Information below.
Gregory Petersen is the author of Open Mike, Dancing with the Locust, and the forthcoming novels The Dream Thief and Dancing with the Locust. He lives in Cincinnati, Ohio with his beautiful and supportive family. When he is not trying to put words on paper he tells jokes on stage, roots (often in vain) for Cincinnati sports teams, coaches both his daughters' sports teams, spends too much time on Twitter (@gregjpete) and has been known to finish dead last in a marathon. For further information, please visit gregorypetersen.com
About the Book
Open Mike is a dark love story between a comedian and a stripper. Michael Clover is a stand-up comic, but has joked about the pain in his life so often that nothing seems funny any longer. Dana Wisby is a stripper who has become so accustomed to being degraded that she is uncomfortable with anything else. They both hide similar vulnerabilities under their respective spotlights, but when two broken people try to fix one another, the results can be funny, but also dangerous.