by T.J. Kline
Close your eyes for a moment and imagine, if you would, what it must be like to be a writer. Not just someone who writes but a real writer, where you get a check for what your imagination conjures and people want your autograph. Breathe deeply and feel what it’s like when someone says, “Oh, I love that book!” and you can claim it as your own. Ahhhh…the joy, the admiration, the sheer pride that floods your soul.
Now, open your eyes and recognize that all of what you imagined was as much a fantasy as the fiction an author writes.
- We are irrational people.
I have tried to find even one author who doesn’t suffer from the “I’m a terrible writer. Well, I’m okay, I think. No, I’m awful” audio track that plays in our head, on repeat, and I have yet to find even one. It doesn’t matter what level the author is writing at. They can be self-published, traditionally published, best seller or first time author – we all suffer from this self-doubt regardless of the adoration and assurance of others.
- We play God.
I could try to explain it another way but, in reality, we are the masters of the universe we create in our heads. Sure, there are certain “laws” we must abide (unless we are sci-fi or fantasy writers, in which case, there are no laws but those we establish) but for the most part, it’s our world and our circumstances to control.
- We don’t care and we care too much.
As writers, we care deeply about our readers. We want to know they “got it” and our story affected them to their core. In the same breath, a bad review will have a seasoned writer shrugging and moving on as if it doesn’t matter at all. We know that no one book will every please everyone and we must simply continue to strive to be true to the story which, in turn, we hope some reader loves.
- We stress over things we can’t control and procrastinate what we can.
Writers spend far too much time thinking about things like reviews, best seller lists (and how to get on them) as well as how to find more readers, reviewers and exposure instead of writing. While all of these things are important and factor into the longevity of a writing career, without the actual physical writing, none of those things matter in the slightest. Until you have something to give to those readers, hand to reviewers or books to show up on best seller lists, it’s all wasted energy. Who cares how your signature looks in a book cover if you don’t have a book worth writing it in?
- We can’t distance ourselves from our work.
The story an author pens is a piece of their psyche, a portion of their emotions, heart and soul, laid out on the page for the reader. We are fragile, contradictory creatures bent on torturing ourselves with an internal editor from hell and an internal reader who loves every draft. Somehow we try to balance between the two while maintaining some semblance of sanity.
Now close your eyes again. What do you imagine this time? A host of voices, hundreds of characters begging for their story to be written next? A crowd gathering with pitchforks and lanterns, bent on slaughtering you for writing the worst prose humanity has seen. Open your eyes and know that the life and mind of a writer is somewhere between these two extremes.
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Title: The Cowboy and the Angel by T.J. Kline
Publisher: Avon Impulse
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 384 pages
Reporter Angela McCallister needs the scoop of her career in order to save her father from the bad decisions that have depleted their savings. When the opportunity to spend a week at the Findley Brothers ranch arises, she sees a chance to get a behind-the-scenes scoop on rodeo. That certainly doesn’t include kissing the devastatingly handsome and charming cowboy Derek Chandler, who insists on calling her “Angel.”
Derek has a rodeo to run and a chip on his shoulder. He has no time for the fiery woman who is clearly hiding something. But for some reason he can’t keep his hands off of her. Their connection is instant and explosive, but Angela’s secrets could threaten his family, and Derek needs to prove that he’s not the irresponsible kid brother anymore.
When the rodeo dust has settled, will the Cowboy and his Angel allow themselves to give in to the attraction that threatens to consume them both?
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T. J. Kline was raised competing in rodeos and Rodeo Queen competitions since the age of 14 and has thorough knowledge of the sport as well as the culture involved. She has written several articles about rodeo for small periodicals, as well as a more recent how-to article for RevWriter, and has published a nonfiction health book and two inspirational fiction titles under the name Tina Klinesmith. She is also an avid reader and book reviewer for both Tyndale and Multnomah. In her spare time, she can be found laughing hysterically with her husband, children, and their menagerie of pets in Northern California.