Friday, September 14, 2012


My guest is fiction author, Kristine Grayson, aka Nelscott, Rusch. I truly enjoyed her article, today, on the joys of being a storyteller. It's an encouraging read that acknowledges the downs but concentrates on the ups of a writing career.

When people ask me about the trials and tribulations I’ve had in my writing career, I often stare at them blankly. I think that, for me, the writing profession is like childbirth. I forget the pain the moment it’s over.
That’s because I love my work so very much. I go crazy when I’m not writing. If I go without writing for more than a few days, my husband orders me to go write. Not because he usually orders me around or he feels that I need to work, but because I get so cranky when I’m not writing that he’d rather have me write than not.
That said, you need a lot of stamina and optimism to be a professional writer. I’ve been one for more than thirty years now (and that’s a sentence I didn’t expect to write so soon!) and I’ve been through some things that would make anyone’s hair turn white. (Mine has, by the way.)
Rejection? A million times. Rejection continues throughout the career. You don’t get used to it. You don’t get even. You just learn that your writing isn’t to everyone’s taste.
Orphaned? That means have I lost an editor in the middle of a project? I stopped counting after the first dozen. I’m not making that number up. I was orphaned five times on one book series alone. The acquiring editor left the day I turned the first manuscript in. I try not to take that personally.
Out of Print? Not any more. I have sold my entire backlist under all of my pen names, from Kristine Grayson to Kris Nelscott to Kristine Kathryn Rusch. But five years ago, most of my books were out of print. That was how the business works.
Bad Reviews? Oh, yeah. Some are laughably bad, like the one that favorably compared my book to Steven Spielberg movies—as if that’s a bad thing. But others are just taste, again. Sometimes someone reads my stuff and doesn’t like it. Oh, woe is me. Then I turn around and carp about a novel that I just read that I didn’t like. We all have taste issues. We all have things we like and things we hate. If I didn’t know that, I wouldn’t be able to get out of bed in the morning.
Unfulfilled promises? If I counted those, I’d get really depressed. Only two book editors in a career filled with more than thirty book editors ever fulfilled all of their promises. That’s it. The short story editors were all a dream to work with and remain so. (Except for those who continue to reject my work, of course!)
So what’s the upside? Well, honestly, it’s all upside. I get paid well to make up stories. I stay home with my cats, set my own schedule, get up when I want to, answer only to myself (and those cats), and live in a fantasy world. Sometimes my made-up world is dark, as in the Kris Nelscott mystery novels. And sometimes it’s just plain goofy, as in all of these Kristine Grayson Charming books.
Either way, I have a blast.
See why I forget about the pain? There’s just too much pleasure involved in this entire profession for me to spend my entire life whining about how hard I have it. No one dies if I fail to get to my desk. No one gets injured if I type a bad sentence.

I think I have the best job possible. And I remember that each and every day.


He lived through ages with the curse of attracting women...who end up dead...

One upon a time, he was the most handsome of princes, destined for great things. But now he's a lonely legend, hobbled by a dark history. With too many dead in his wake, Bluebeard escapes the only way he knows how—through the evil spell of alcohol. But it's a far different kind of spell that's been ruining his life for centuries.

How will she survive this killer Prince Charming?

Jodi Walters is a fixer, someone who can put magic back in order. She's the best in Hollywood at her game. But Blue has a problem she's never encountered before—and worse, she finds herself perilously attractived to him. Excerpt 


Before turning to romance writing, award-winning author Kristine Grayson edited the Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction and ran Pulphouse Publishing (which won her a World Fantasy Award). She has won the Romantic Times Reviewer's Choice Award and, under her real name, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, the prestigious Hugo award. She lives with her own Prince Charming, writer Dean Wesley Smith, in Portland, Oregon. You can find Kris: website, Facebook


~Sia McKye~ said...

Kris, welcome back to Over Coffee. I enjoyed your focus on the joys that come from writing and telling stories. It is attitude. If one focuses too much on the negatives, how can the see the joys?

Looking forward to reading this one!

J. B. Chicoine said...

Well, I sure haven't been writing as long as Kris, but already I've experienced many of the ups and downs!

What I relate to most is this statement: "I go crazy when I’m not writing. If I go without writing for more than a few days, my husband orders me to go write."

The writing is the best part. It's the getting it out there that is scary. Sort of like the 'fun' of 'making the baby' as opposed to the 'pain' of 'giving birth'!

L.G.Smith said...

Wonderful perspective from someone who's been writing for, ahem, thirty years. And who wouldn't want to live in a fantasy world populated with men like the one on that Charming Blue cover. LOL.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That's the attitude! Besides, one great review trumps all the bad ones.

Anne Gallagher said...

Thanks Sia, Thanks Kristine, great stuff here.

Certainly ups and downs, but the part I like best is the stay at home with my dogs. They're non-judgmental when it comes to my writing.

Cici Stacy said...

Thanks for sharing ,
wonderful article , we should have more joy

Anonymous said...

Kris, your post is inspirational. I like your comments about the joy of the writing itself making up for all of the hard parts like getting rejected or losing editors midstream.

~Sia McKye~ said...

anne, I love staying at home with the critters. Of course I am also a work from home employee, so I get that with writing and my job.

Dana Fredsti said...

I really needed to read this post at just this time in my life and writing career. Very inspirational!

Kim Sanders said...

I love your attitude, Kris, and I laughed at your comment about the reviewer who whined that your book was comparable to Stephen Spielberg. We all dream of such critics. I had one reviewer who said she liked my book but was upset and stopped reading when she reached a section that contained sex. In a romance novel—imagine that. LOL My sales went up. I look forward to reading your book.

~Sia McKye~ said...

Dana, I'm glad Over Coffee provided encouragement.

I love my guests. I have a fascinating bunch with some great thoughts on being a writing professional.

Hang in there. You'll get the deadline book done and out in no time and we'll crack a bottle of fine vintage virtual wine!

~Sia McKye~ said...

Kim, that cracked me up too."...compared my book to Steven Spielberg movies—as if that’s a bad thing.

Like you infer, sex scenes are almost required in most romance books, unless it's Christian inspirational. Her negative became a positive, which is cool. :-)