Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Reasons to Write: A guest post by Javier Márquez Sánchez

Authors are swell. I like them. I go to hear a lot of authors speak and often I enjoy hearing them open up giving glimpses intentional and sometimes not into their work and their persons.

But afterward comes the Q&A and it almost inevitably all goes to shit. Next time you go to hear an author speak, watch their eyes as they steel themselves for the following questions...

"Where do you get your ideas?"

"What's your writing process like?"

"What did you think of the movie version of your book?" also/or "Who would you like to see cast in the movie version of your book?"

And most especially - "I'm an author too. I write the Serious-Sounding-Two-First-Names-Character series and I've always found it a challenge to..." - self-promoting, unsolicited insights from some jackass who thinks that sabotaging another fella's spotlight is the best way to get some attention for their own work.

It's painful to watch. The author carries that tension in their posture the whole night waiting for those moments and then slumps a bit with resignation when he/she answers the questions like the domesticated animal we've come to expect authors to be.

So, be warned or you may turn your favorite author into something more like -

Today at HBW Spanish scribe Javier Márquez Sánchez gets ahead of the game and gives a thoughtful answer to your question before he can get sick of answering it. So, please, if you plan to attend an event featuring Mr. Sánchez refer here before you ask about his...

Reasons to Write
A guest post by Javier Márquez Sánchez

One of the questions repeated in every author interview is what led him to start writing. Everyone has their own story of course. It may not be difficult to find the idea for the story. Perhaps you go walking through the park and suddenly come up with a great plot for your next novel. But what comes next is far more complex. To write this story. To give it sense and rhythm. Investigate the details. Document it. Care for spelling, grammar and style... Writing can be fun and exciting, but it requires work and effort, if you want to do it well that is. And it would be very difficult to achieve if the writer did not have a reason to write.

In my case, the reason which led me to write for the first time was to live the story I wanted to write. I don't remember exactly how old I was then, perhaps eight or nine. I do remember where I was though: in my grandfather's house , and I used his typewriter. In the following years I started a hundred stories more. Few of them barely passed the first few pages, because my imagination ran faster than my fingers. And once I had lived all the adventures in my head, I had no need to continue typing.

Later, in my teens, without losing the desire to live other lives through my writing, I discovered the need to communicate, or rather, to express myself. I had some feelings, some reflections that I could share through the stories I was writing. But then came another problem new writers face: Who is going to be interested in what I can tell? Do I really think I have anything to say that might interest others? Gradually you are going to realize that nothing really matters. When you sit down to write you should only have the desire to enjoy. If you are honest with yourself when you write, if you enjoy what you're doing, the result will be compelling and of interest to many people.

And if not, no one can take away from you all those hours you've let your imagination run wild and enjoyed the incredible power of being able to live other lives. After all, a writer is just the Almighty God of his own world: he creates, shapes and destroys at will.

Javier Márquez Sánchez (born 1978 in Seville, Spain) is Editor in Chief of the Spanish edition of Forbes. He has written several novels, short stories collections and non-fiction books on film and music. Sometimes he plays music with his two bands, Rock & Books and The Last Drink. Lethal as a Charlie Parker Solo, his first novel being translated into English, is out now from 280 Steps. Combining real history and fiction, it tells the story of a problem solver in 1950s Las Vegas, when men were men, women were women and the Mafia and the Rat Pack ruled Sin City.

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