By Clare Langley-Hawthorne
I literally just flew back from Mayhem in the Midlands and, after delays due to tornado warnings and foul weather, my apologies for being a bit woolly headed now that my body is telling me it’s close to midnight (even if that’s not quite the case back on the West Coast yet). The conference was fabulous, small but intimate, the way Mayhem is supposed to be. After hearing Jan Burke’s great interview of Dana Stabenow and Kent Krueger’s hilarious interview of Zoe Sharp I have come away with a new goal:
Jan Burke said she thought all writers had to be audacious to be successful. Just committing something to the page and believing it was worthy of another person reading it was audacious in and of itself but, after hearing some background for both Dana Stabenow and Zoe Sharp, I soon realized I am way, way behind on the audacity stakes.
Though I don’t consider myself to be a totally boring wuss in real life, I do have to at least pretend to be the stable, serious mum to my boys (husband included) and this limits my capacity for recklessness in real life. In my writing life, however, I have the freedom to be whatever I want…and I definitely think I need to add more audacity…which got me thinking…
How does one become an audacious writer? How can I constantly challenge myself and the craft of writing? What is the most audacious thing I hope to achieve in my writing? Hmmm…the most erotic sex scene ever? craziest murder victim ever? Perhaps the most unexpected death of main character ever…(hmmm…am I getting anyone worried at this point???) No, I know I need to aim higher – but how?
So help me out here – what do you think is the most audacious thing a writer can do?