I am excited to be here today to bring you a guest post from Joy Norstrom. Please help me by giving her a warm welcome to the blog.
Hello Valerie, thanks for having me on your blog!
You’ve asked what inspired me to write my first novel, Out of Play.
For starters, I wanted to write the kind of book I enjoy reading. I think the best books are the ones that make you laugh out loud in a doctor’s office, or blink back tears on a crowded bus. Am I right? If you agree, you probably enjoy character driven drama with a good dose of humour. That’s exactly the kind of story I had in mind when I began writing Out of Play.
Out of Play is about a married couple at a crossroads. The main character, Gillian, believes her husband is choosing a hobby over their marriage. The hobby in question is Live Action Role-Play, or LARP. LARP involves dressing up in costume (think medieval knight, goblin, banshee or elf) and interacting with other characters in real time.
I’d only recently learned about LARP before starting to write Out of Play. I thought it was fascinating and that it might act as a great balance for some heavier relationship topics I wanted to explore. From the very beginning I knew I wanted Gillian, our LARP outsider, to wind up a LARP camp and I was curious to see whether a new environment would help unstick her from her an unresolved emotional experience in her past.
I won’t tell you if LARP does the trick. You’ll have to discover that on your own! What I will share with you are a few things I’ve learned along my writing journey:
1. Sometimes your mother is right. Mine was. If I never say it again, I’ve at least said it here. Seven years ago she told me I should write a book. And what did I say? I said, “Ya, right. I could never do that.” Yet here I am, an honest to goodness author. I wrote the whole damn thing, even the hard scenes that troubled me for days.
2. People you’ve never met will help you. They might even say remarkable things about your book, or tell others they should read it or give you guest spots on their blogs. Kind of like this one, right?
The book world is collaborative, not competitive. I have met experienced writers, bloggers, readers and editors willing to share and support me in my journey. By providing marketing tips, revision advice, sharing tweets and facebook posts, answering questions at conferences, inviting me to events, and introducing me to other people who can help me. I'm better prepared because of the fabulous members who make up the writing community.
3. If I can do it, you sure as heck can too. If you’ve ever considered writing, I encourage you to try. It’s a long journey, but it feels amazing when a reader tells you about the impact your story had on them.
Joy Norstrom is a Canadian coffee addict. She also happens to be the author of Out of Play, a women’s fiction novel long on humour and short on romance. She enjoys hiking with family, wine with friends and reading late into the wee hours when she should be asleep.
Thanks for coming by today and for the post!