Compromise and Success

Shared because it is
my favourite poster
I read an awesome article today from Josh Lanyon about artistic compromise. I wont summarise it here because I think to any writer it's an important post and you should go read it in full.

You can read it here

I have compromised in my writing career, I doubt there is an astute writer out there who hasn't changed a story in their head a little for the resulting book to be commercially viable. 

All I can say is that in every story I have written I have always attempted to stay true to my characters. Sometimes that means a lucky commercial success (Texas, Sanctuary, Throwaway, Heroes) and sometimes it leads to a book touching the Amazon 100 and disappearing with a fizzle and a pop. 

I know a lot of my readers want more Texas, more Sanctuary, and hell, the good thing about that is that I WANT to write more of these. I have so many stories in my head you would not believe. I know a lot of my readers want a sequel to Throwaway - I can't do it. I don't have the story in my head and I wont compromise on that book at all. I thought I could. I can't.

Josh talks about three kinds of writers - that lucky writer who appears to be able to write and sell, and the writer who writes what they want to but doesn't sell, and the writer who compromises their artistic vision in order to sell.

I've said it before and I will say it again - The Fireman And The Cop was a compromise. At the time I desperately wanted to write another Texas book, but I couldn't because it was tied up in the Silver mess. Also I was hit so hard by that financially, that I needed a commercial success. But, as soon as I sat down to write a formula that would sell - my characters yanked me away from the edge. So yes, I have the fireman, yes I have the cop, but they have complicated back stories, and their romance whilst quick, is fraught with danger.

Reading Josh's post makes me feel very bloody lucky. I think I am the writer who writes what she loves (with an eye to what sells) and does manage to sell.

I guess that is compromise... :)

1 comment

  1. Whatever you are I like it. I have more than 20 of your books so far & will continue to buy them cause they have chemistry ( esp the Texas series :) ). You have a good thing going, which your fans greatly appreciate. Side note: Josh Lanyon's books are good too. Thx for quoting him.