We hear a lot about writers’ muses, and many of them take furry form, like a favourite cat or dog. Well, mine take feathered form. My little brown muse sits on my shoulder and obligingly listens to me without interrupting as I read my chapters aloud, checking for pacing, flow, grammar, etc.
To ‘help’ balance things out, my cockatiel critic screeches insults at my attempts at humour, and has been known to shout ‘Hey, boyo!’ with perfect delivery and timing during the reading of a sensual first kiss scene. ;-)
But my most surprising feathered fan is a wild King Parrot. This avid listener heard me reading my latest chapter aloud, and must have become engrossed in the tale, for he flew over to the window, to get a ‘birds-eye view’ of the author reading her story (photo right - apologies for the poor quality. I’ve posted another one below, of a pair of Kingies on our bird feeder).
Anyway, His Royal Highness sat determinedly on the sill, flapping his wings occasionally as though begging, ‘So, what happens next? C’mon, don’t leave me hanging, I just HAVE to know!’ Needless to say, I took his visit and seed-er-feedback as a compliment.
And it reminded me of the importance of two things: 1. To consider my audience in everything I do with my stories. As writers, we aim to please readers, so we should always strive to connect with them, entertain them, make them laugh or cry, surprise or shock them, enthral them, make them fall in love with our characters, and/or feel all warm and fuzzy (feathery??). And that often means finding the right target audience - we don’t want to aim a hot erotic fantasy at a religious church goer in the twilight of her life, now do we? No, she’s definitely in the ‘inspirational’ focus group (or so she’d like us to think!!). So we need to be careful to choose the right categories for our little darlings. 2. That said, I have to remember to never assume anything about the readership. Readers from all walks of life will consume all sorts of books, and there’s no pleasing all the people - or feathered fans - all the time. But as long as I please most, or even just some, my work is done! Now, as promised, here’s the skinny on my books, both contemporary romances set in Australia.
So when he finally sets off on the journey back home, neither of them realises that Maggie is also on the road ... the long road to loving Grayson. Available as an e-book and in paperback from Amazon) and from Smashwords and numerous other distributors. Thanks for being interested in my observations - I hope you enjoyed reading them as much as I’ve enjoyed sharing them with you! Cheers from ‘Oz’, Alicia