Daddy's Christmas Angel

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Making an Artist the Heroine of a Novel

"Write what you know," they told me.
"In My Studio"

I did. I wrote about an artist.

"That will never do," they said. "Artists as heroines will never sell."

Those statements came years ago when I first started writing novels. I believed the editors of some of New York's most established publishing companies who wrote those words on my manuscripts.

I believed them and didn't break the rules. Other writers broke the rules and became well-known. Now I wish I had paid no attention to the rules. I should have remembered that "rules are made to be broken." (Wonder who said that?)

My latest book, Evening of the Dragonfly, features Farrah Ferand, an artist and a teacher with a few psychological issues, including repressed memories. It is a romance with growth, love, an artist studio, and art galleries.

I believe they were wrong. I believe my book with an artist heroine will sell. I wrote about what I love and what I know. You can't always follow the rules. Besides, maybe things have changed in the world of publishing.

What about you? Do you write about heroes and heroines doing the things you like most? Or do you follow the rules?

12 comments:

Inger said...

Hi Mary, thanks for stopping by. I don't see why an artist as the main character would not sell books. I have made friends with several writers here on the blogs and have come to realize that once you finish writing your book, the "real" work begins. As a reader, I never thought about how the book came into my hands before the A to Z and all the writers who participate. All the best.

Mary Montague Sikes said...

Thanks, Inger! Selling is hard, but I'm learning a lot!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I think it will sell! We can't listen to the so-called experts. When I was writing my first book, everything I read said science fiction was dead. I wrote my book anyway. Really glad I did!

Mary Montague Sikes said...

Thanks, Alex! I hope you are right!

Jennifer Chandler said...

Hi Mary! Thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting :) I believe that if we write what we love and believe in what we write then YES it WILL be successful. There are fewer and fewer rules in the realm of publishing these days. I DO write characters who do things I enjoy or do things I find interesting. Any profession can make for an interesting backdrop for a book. Just the other day I came across a series that stars a math professor! Now if someone can make MATH interesting enough for a series, there's absolutely no reason why and artist couldn't sell an interesting series!

Cheers!
Jen

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Mary - people write about dancers .. most of us have no idea of that world .. so writing about what you love, your passion for art and your knowledge of paints, art-studios, galleries, exhibitions and the history of art will encourage/entice us in to buy ...

I think you've hit the winning streak - perhaps now being the good time to do it ... the book/s might have languished many years ago ... and rules are made to be broken: most definitely ...

That's great .. cheers Hilary

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I think they are missing a trend by not wanting artist stories. Us right-brained, creative people can be so unstable, which would make for an interesting tale.

Mary Montague Sikes said...

Thanks, Jennifer, for your comment. Interesting about the math professor series!

Hilary, you are right. Times, they are "achanging"! Thanks for visiting.

Diane, who knows what is in vogue now? I gave up on that a while back and am following my own instability:)!

debi o'neille said...

I have great admiration for the artists I've met over the years, and I believe they'd make great heroes and heroines. The only time breaking a rule doesn't work is when you don't do it write. How can what one does limit his or her ability to carry a novel forward. Hogwash! I'm glad you're following your own inspirations; that's why God gave them to you.
Best,
Deb@ http://debioneille.blogspot.com

Mary Montague Sikes said...

Thanks for visiting, Deb. Don't know why artists shouldn't make great heroes and heroines. Perhaps it was the wrong readership at the time. Who knows?

Karen Jones Gowen said...

What a funny thing to say "artists as heroines will never sell." No, I do not follow the rules. To me, creativity is breaking them and skill is knowing which ones to break and which ones to follow.

Mary Montague Sikes said...

Karen, I love it--knowing which to break and which to follow. That is so true for a writer!!! Thanks for commenting.