Summons from His Grace

Summons from His Grace
Regency Anthology

A Scandal To Remember

A Scandal To Remember
Regency Romance

Crazy For You

Crazy For You
romantic comedy

To Love and Protect

To Love and Protect
Romantic Suspense

Dangerous Kiss

Dangerous Kiss
short story

Kisses Of Fire

Kisses Of Fire
contemporary romance

Spanish Eyes

Spanish Eyes
American Historical

Queen Of Hearts

Queen Of Hearts
Historical Western
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Sunday, June 27, 2010

Why write?

How many authors have you talked to who say they hear voices in their head?

Well, believe it or not, that's the truth. People (usually one gorgeous, HOT, man with a muscular physique - and one sexy woman with the body of a model) chat away in my head to tell me what kind of story they want. But that doesn't happen first. For me, my stories start with a dream. I usually dream a scene or two of the story, so when I wake up I realize this would work great in a book. Sometimes my dreams are the characters I want although the dream isn't. lol Either way, this is the start of my stories. I come up with names, and once again, my characters have to approve or the story isn't getting to chapter two at all! Then I figure out what setting to put them in. Most of the time I'm trying to fit them in a historical, which is the genre I love.

So then we start writing and working with our critique partners / groups. By the end of the story we think we have the next New York Times best seller. Then we get our baby in front of agents or editors... And this is where the rejections start coming.

After the first couple of rejections, we think the agents or editors were reading our NY Times best seller wannabes on a bad day. But by rejection six or seven...we start to doubt ourselves and our writing. We tell ourselves we write CRAP and couldn’t compete with the big authors no matter what...and perhaps the agents and editors actually were right to reject us. Then a week later, we finally get a request. Out of 12 queries we send - with 11 rejections - we finally get that ONE agent or editor who thinks that maybe our story is good. Then wouldn't you know, our attitude changes, and once again, we KNOW they're going to fall in love with it and we will be a NY Times best selling author.

Believe me when I say the emotional roller coaster ride is continual. I've had 23 books published so far in my career, and I still can't seem to get off this emotional ride. My husband tells me it's worse than PMSing. And...I believe him!

So tell me...why do we write? Why do we put ourselves through this? I'll tell you why I do it. Because I LOVE creating stories. I love the magic of romance and the idea of falling madly in love with the person you’ll be with forever. I love writing twists in my plots, and I especially love writing sexual tension!! I have two daughters, who I raised and are now out and of the house, and for once in my life - I can make someone do what I want them to do and they don't talk back... And even if my characters did talk back, at least I can put them in my mental closet for a day and teach them some manners. Usually they come back out ready for me to write. (grins)

Now it's your turn. What drives you to continue writing through all of the pitfalls this business throws at us?



Hales said...

Evening Phyllis!

I have to write. It's in my blood. Even though I didn't have a dream to write long ago, it found me and once I began and the voices grew louder, I found if I tried to stop anarchy arose! I don't know what I'd do. The stories have to be told, or surely I'd go insane lol

Susan Macatee said...

Beautiful site, Phyllis!
I feel driven to write, because I love creating characters who do and experience exciting things!I also love writing about the pitfalls of relationships that ultimately blossom into true love.

Serenity King said...

Hello, Phyllis,

I absolutely love writing. I have always wanted to write and now that I have started I doubt if I could stop even if I was asked to. Not only that, I love creating something from beginning to end.


Sandra Stixrude said...

Writing isn't something you just decide you'd like to do one day, like learning to bowl or to make good brownies. A true writer must write.

I think you'll see from authors' own admissions, that it is a compulsion, a reason for being, a need so overpowering that to suppress it becomes emotionally dangerous or at least pretty damn depressing.

Allison Knight said...


There are a couple of famous quote about having to write. I, like Susan love to create the characters and I also dream about them. They run around in my head until I have to put their story together and get it down on paper.
And I sure agreed with the rejection bit. I declared I would paper my bathroom with my rejections, 'cause I sure have a bunch.


Ginger Simpson said...

I write to satisfy the characters in my head who have a myriad of stories to tell. I'm the finger to do the typing, they supply the fodder. Later, I go back and turn the story into a novel by adding the smells, emotions, sounds, and passion. :)

Laurie Ryan said...

A bit like you, I think I write to satisfy the voices in my head. lol. Actually, I wrote my first story to help me understand and heal from something. After completing that, the voices started. They had stories to tell and, even with ALL the work involved in writing, editing, and marketing, I still like to tell stories. I love making characters come to life. Great post! Thanks, Phyllis.

Obe said...

Phyllis wanted to stop by and say hi. I'll join in the chorus of fantastic website. We write because we bleed ink or graphite. There is not why only why not.


Keep up the good work. I'll be checking back. Please don't consider me for the drawing.

Jerri said...

I can't not write. Once I found the passion for it, I couldn't stop. I love creating characters and seeing where they take me.

Donna said...

LOVE your books, Phyllis! I've always wanted to write (& have made a few FEEBLE attempts. Lol!), but don't know how you find the time with a full time job, family, etc. I constantly have stories running barefoot through my brain, but finding the actual time to sit down & write has always been a problem. Most writers I know say their ideas stay with them, mine don't if I don't take the time to jot down notes (which is difficult if you are in the shower). Someday maybe. ;-)

Joanne Stewart said...

I have to echo "Hales" who said, "I have to write." That's it exactly for me. It's just something I have to do. I love to do it and I'd do it whether I ever sold or not. But what really keeps sending out those queries is that I have a dream. I have one book published so far, an ebook, but I have a dream of one day holding a book in my hands that has my name on it. and that dream keeps me pushing forward.

Clarissa Southwick said...

Hi Phyllis,
I love the purple on your site and aren't all those book covers impressive! I write for my own pleasure. I love writing the first draft. All the rest, the queries, the critting, the conferences, etc. I do because it legitimizes the time I spent working on the first draft.

Julia Rachel Barrett said...

Oooh, love your post! I often dream complete or partial stories! Captured was one. My Everything was another. Lovely site!

Betty Womack said...

Hmmm...good question and one we have all been asked. I admit it. I am a gal that loves 'lets pretend'. if I want a man to have dark hair, wasboard abs and a sense of humor, I create him. Strange how we never create heroes that are just average or cranky or lousy lovers. Who wants that? I sure have my favorites and several still sneak around my mind when I become idle. After I sign off here, I am going to call up my latest hunk and have a flirt session. Oh yeah, I write because its a huge part of me. I don't call it wasting time, I call it off in my own world where everybody jumps to my command. Thanks for letting me peep today my friend.

Samantha Grace said...


Great blog. I write because it is my passion. And boy, it sure is an emotional rollercoaster. I have a feeling that never ends, because there's always a chance for rejection at any level of the business. I've come to the conclusion some people will love my work and others will hate it.

Thank goodness for encouraging friends. :)

Word Actress said...

I did a lot of other things b/f I started writing - Asst. Professor at FIT in NYC, Museum President in Los Gatos, CA, Fundraiser, Singer...but I don't think I could ever stop writing. I feel like I finally know what I'm doing and even though I don't have ur impressive publishing credits, Phyllis, I've got one book out and am halfway through my first novel, I need to do it. I Guest Blog, I coach high school seniors in writing their essays, I try to write at least 500 words of fiction a day. I read and read and read and I just feel like there are endless stories out there to tell. We really are so lucky, those of us who get to write for a living. Thanks for the post, Phyllis. I love being a writer...Mary Kennedy Eastham

Melissa Dawn Harte said...

LOL the site did turn out to be wonderful, didn't it? It just fits Phyllis and I think it's got her name written all over it.

I've known you for a long time now and you know I think we're a lot alike. We write because we can't - not - write, if that makes sense. Sometimes, I think my life would be so much easier if I didn't but honestly it wouldn't be as exciting. And I wouldn't have ever had the chance to meet all of my wonderful crit partners...past and present. Wonderful group of ladies. And Phyllis you're a doll, I'm very proud to know you, and I love ya, hun!!

Mary Martinez said...

Looks great. I love to write, when my muse let's me. But don't piss off my muse because then I won't be writing a word!

Corinne Davies said...

It's either write down what the voices are saying or take the meds to stop them. LOL

I love write, this way I can be certain that there is a happily ever after. (Something that is never guaranteed in real life)

Melissa Blue said...

For as long as I can remember I have had thoughts rumbling around my head in dialogue form. Eventually I started writing them down and I love story telling. I love creating a world and making sure true love ALWAYS conquers all :)


Ciara Gold said...

Excellent first post for a wonderful new website, Marie. Me? I used to always daydream so I had tons of stories floating around in my head. Once I started reading romance, I knew I had to write and the compulsion took over. Even when I'm at my busiest, I always find time to write.

Brenda J Weaver said...

I have to write to get those pesky little people out of my head and onto the page! Sometimes they drive me nuts vieing for more than that...I just LOVE to write! I've written short stories, poems, novels...for as far back as I can remember and have loved every minute of it. Granted...until the internet I had no home for my've got endless possiblities and with that are the occassional rejections, but to me, it just means working harder and getting better at my craft! I've got three books published, working on #4 which is the 3rd installment of my series and two more waiting in the wings to get done by this year! Whew!! Best get 'er done!
Take care...I love your your new blog/website!

Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Phyllis,
Love your website. 23 books published you are amazing.
Why do I write, it is a compulsion like eating and breathing, I just have to do it.



Angelica Hart and Zi said...

Adore the new blog, and what you have to say about writing. Neither of us dream a scene for our books, but we are guilty of 'dreaming up' a plot. Much success with your new site.

Celia Yeary said...

Congratulations, Phyllis! I absolutely love to see a new blog--this is gorgeous! And welcome to the world of blogging. It's the one thing that gives me instant gratification and always makes me happy. I'll have some posts soon on LASR as Author of the Month, and one of them is titled "Confessions of a Blog Addict."
My husband talks to me and I give him a blank stare. He talkes this really personally--"you're nnot listening." Maybe not, because I'm listening to the voices in my head!
Celia Yeary
Romance…and a little bit o' Texas
TEXAS BLUE-eBook and Print

Eve Langlais said...

I need to write because I have to know how the story ends. I suffer from voices clamoring to get out, but even once I start getting their tale typed, I don't always know where it's going or what bumps they're going to hit on the way. And I need to know. LOL.

Erin Kelly said...

I don't hear voices, but I do play out endless scenarios in my head. If I don't write them down, I begin to obsess,and then things just go downhill from there.
It I write it out, then I get to have a few moments peace...until the next scene starts to form ;)
Great post, Phyllis, looking forward to more :)

AvonLadyJerrica said...

Congrats on your new site, Phyllis! It's beautiful!

For me, I discovered that I loved to write a few years ago, and I haven't really stopped since...well, except to have a baby. LOL! But even with a newborn at home, I was anxious to get back to writing. Dreaming up characters and scenarios and happily ever afters is just plain fun :)

Leigh D'Ansey said...

Thanks for this post - it's always fascinating reading about other writers. I couldn't say exactly why I write - it's just something I've always done. Sheer stubbornness has kept me striving towards being a published novelist - a goal I achieved this year after many stops and starts.

About Me

My photo
Phyllis Campbell is an award-winning, multi-published and best-selling author of romance; from the dark and mysterious hero who sends shivers up your spine to the fiesty heroines who somehow manage to keep them in line. She's published with Bookstrand Publishing, Champagne Books, The Wild Rose Press, and most recently, The Dark Castle Lords Publications. Most of her reviewers have given her the title of “Queen Of Sexual Tension”. Married with kids (and three grandchildren), Phyllis has lived in Utah all of her life and enjoys family activities when she’s not writing her next sensual story.