Erica’s beginnings & Inspirational fanmail
I can’t speak how this is for all writers, but I can speak for myself. Fans are the driving force for me, while writing is the compulsion. I write because I must. There is no getting around it.
When I was a teenager I’d get my journal out and pour my soul onto the pages. As a teenager, I wasn’t much different than I am now, so that journal wasn’t used often because I’d feared people reading it. Always been a bit paranoid and pessimistic. I lucked out that I had an English Teacher that made us write our asses off. Honors English had a larger course load than it’s counterpart. I wrote- a lot. I also wrote a lot of dark poetry to take the edge off. I started my first novel at age 14- Philadelphia- after a teenage girl with the same name. Sadly, I’ve lost that budding manuscript.
I’d place my father’s hand-me-down crappy typewriter on my bed, pull up my white metal folding chair and get to work. Whiteout! Whiteout is my friend. & thank you, baby Jesus, that I have laptops now. I heart the backspace and delete buttons!!! I hated, HATED writing with a typewriter and my hands are fragile- weak- I HATED long-hand as well.
My next foray into writing was love notes, or maybe hate notes is more accurate. I’d pour page after page of teenage angst into letters and hand them off to my at-the-time future-husband, now future-ex-husband. I will happily say that I moved up into the world by writing these masterpieces in the privacy of word processing class *snickers* *cough cough* (I had 100% in both of the classes I took with this teacher- WP & Accounting) My typing/Accounting teacher was impressed with my skills- I had enough practice. & I spent half the day in that room my senior year.
…& since I was still a control freak back then with OCD tendencies, I had a favorite keyboard. If my keyboard wasn’t at my station, I’d go to all 30+ computers until I found it, unplug the bitch, and take it. The teacher would patiently wait until I found it- by mid-semester, I had help locating the bitch. It was a softtouch keyboard- no clickity-clackity sounds. I can still feel the smooth texture beneath my fingertips. I also cleaned the keys everyday. The other students knew better than to complain- by the end of the year, they were handing it to me when I entered the room, like an offering. Gotta love underclassmen. I wasn’t the only one obsessed with this keyboard because someone was jacking my keyboard on a daily basis during the previous class… or maybe it was someone who was jerking my chain.
I only ever had one disagreement with that teacher & I believe that she never even checked my work, just automatically gave me 100%. I never use the right-hand shift or use my right thumb for the spacebar. After about 20 nagging sessions of her complaining about this, she learned never to argue with me- I’m stubborn and left-handed- and never lose an argument. To this day, that right-hand shift has never been utilized and I’ve worn holes in the left-hand side of my spacebar on every laptop I own.
Ah! I loved that class and that daft teacher. It was where I first learned the system of student id numbers and hacked into accounts and deleted certain people’s saved work… or just read their private shit. It was so easy and oh so tempting. You really shouldn’t give out id’s by alphabetical order and siblings. After a few tries, I figured out the system. Yes, I have a bit of Regina in me…. and a whole heluva lot of Syn.
My writing continued on with the Hate notes- as a married woman to a man that drove her batshit-fucking-crazy, there was plenty of hate notes. One time it was 20+pages- hand written, so you know I meant business since I hate writing long-hand. When I got my laptop, I used to write him hate notes and never print them. I had a whole file of the bastards. Since I’m no longer with him, you could say I had plenty of complaints.
(Btw, I am a very quiet, nice person. Above kinda paints me in a bitch-light. I will do and do and I’m a great friend. But I am not passive-aggressive. You disrespect me and you won’t like the consequences. I can only be a doormat for so long. So any wrong-doing on my part was instigated by a heluva lot of nastiness on their part. They learned to not mess around w/the quiet girl that was smarter than them. I also never told them how or why their work was gone. It added an extra feeling of pleasure as they tried to figure out what the hell happened. It just POOF-ed into thin air! I also will use the hormonal teenage girl defense.)
My writing reminds me of steam from a pressure cooker- without it, I would explode or maybe, implode. At the end of my marriage, I started reading like a lunatic and finally started writing again, not hate notes but an actual novel. It wasn’t until after I left my husband that I realized this was the path I wanted to take in life. Writing isn’t a career choice, it’s a lifestyle.
I write every day. It may not be on a manuscript- blog posts, emails and messages, lists and goals. Regardless of what, I write at least a couple thousand words a day. It’s my release.
That is why I write, but the Fans are the ones that inspire me to keep writing stories. Often there are times that I feel discouraged. Not with writing- I will always write. But with sharing my written words- my stories. Reviews, hate mail, passive-aggressive helpful hints, bitch slaps through the laptop screen- they are very demotivational. I can always just write something to relieve the pressure- it doesn’t have to be a novel. But the true fans take that need to write and transform it into a universe worth visiting.
My fans put a grin on my face that is so wide that my skin feels tight! On a daily basis I get emails, messages, blog and FB comments. Fans read my books and reread them again. It doesn’t feed my ego, it fills this empty place inside of me that longs to create. I’ve virtually met so many interesting, inspiring people. Reading discussion threads that I long to dive in and join but fear I will reveal too much or seeing one fan turn another reader into a fan drives me, forces me, to keep writing when I feel discouraged. I love that I create that feeling within my readers that Richelle Mead, LKH, and Harrison elicited within me when I chatted with my bookmates. I’m not saying I’m on their level, but it feels damn fine to know that I’m eliciting emotions and long-lasting thoughts within my readers’ minds!
There is another type of reader that pulls my heartstrings. The type of reader I am as well. I’ve been contacted by countless readers about my dark subject matter. I use writing as an outlet for emotions that I can’t explain or understand. I read for that same reason. Victims of violence reach out to me and thank me for helping them sort out these feelings- while they may not have words to put with the emotions, they find a way to cope- a way to turn the victim mentality to living the life of a survivor .
My female characters are never weak. Several are submissive, males too. But I don’t find submission a weakness, it’s a choice. My characters go through painful life-altering events and come out the other side empowered and filled with hope. I feel a sense of contentment knowing I can give that to my readers.
That is the why of it- why I write and why I write stories. Hope you enjoyed a look into my twisted mind!