A Guest Post by R J Terrell
Hello Nathan and thank you for having me on your blog!
Before I became a writer, I was as a reader. As a reader, we all have tastes, preferences, and things we would like to see in our reading choices that may or may not be a reality.
What I am referring to in this instance is diversity. As an avid reader and huge fan of the fantasy genre, I find my experience with it a mix of the love of entering a new and alien world filled with wonder, excitement, danger, courage, etc. One thing that has been a rather glaring omission, however, is diversity.
While the genre has been undergoing a gradual change, it has been sorely lacking of strong female heroines as well of ethnic diversity. Until recently, my reading experience has been to turn on a switch in my mind to try to ignore this in order to enjoy the story.
I say all of this for one reason. My parents always said to be the change you desire. My love for the fantasy genre and desire to see more diversity has impacted my work, and my readers have responded in kind. I have been pleased by the reception to the Legend of Takashaniel Trilogy and most recently, the Hunter’s Moon Series, and Unleashed, the first book in the Saga of Ruination.
One of the most important things I have learned as a writer, is to write what you love. If you love what you write, readers will love it as well, and there is an audience for every genre.
Another important lesson I have learned is to not be afraid to stretch out of my comfort zone and try something new. You never know what you’re good at until you give it a try. I avoid writing for trends, as I have found that ‘me too’ works may sell, but they may not be as respected as new ideas and concepts. Now, that’s not to say that if a story comes to me that is in a hot genre, I wouldn’t do it. Who wouldn’t? But the best work comes from the heart.
One of the scariest things I’ve ever done in my life was to begin simultaneously building an acting and writing career. Just as in building a business (which is what it is) you are taking the reins in your own hands, and your success is dependent upon persistence, hard work, and maybe even a degree of luck. But one fact about luck, is that it most often visits those who are working for it.
There are many rewarding aspects to being a writer, but the most rewarding of them for me is to receive that email, or comment from a reader telling me how much my work resonated with them, and how much they enjoyed the work. To have someone tell you that your work has had a positive and profound impact on their lives, no matter how large or small, is a very satisfying and humbling thing.
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R. J. Terrell was instantly a lover of fantasy the day he opened R. A. Salvatore’s: The Crystal Shard. Years (and many devoured books) later he decided to put pen to paper for his first novel. After a bout with aching carpals, he decided to try the keyboard instead, and the words began to flow. When not writing, he enjoys reading, videogames, and long walks with his wife around Stanley Park in Vancouver BC.Sequence 00: Guest Posts