This short collection of author essays by speculative fiction writers is an informative little series. Inside the 37 authors describe why and how they wrote their respective books (or series of books). At only a page or two, the excerpts seem more like introductions to their books then lengthy information on their writing processes, but the insights into the way they write is inspiring and interesting.
I’m ashamed to say I only recognized one of the writers, Adrian Tchikovsky, because of his Children of Time and Children of Ruin books, but these personal confessions made me want to search for the books they describe. Adrian started out as a gamer who wrote the world the players fought in. Many of the writers discuss their roots, but a few of them describe where they get their ideas (the most common question), dealings with publishers and editors, and their family situations.
The lesson I took away from the slim volume is that inspiration can come from everywhere and chance plays a big part in getting published. Not luck, but chance. Being at the right place at the right time or grabbing the bull by the horns and publishing your novels yourself. As there are different writers here, there are that many different reasons why they write and how they got their stories on the page. Outline. Don’t outline. Find out what’s marketable. Don’t pay attention to trends and fads.
Several mention their agents, and I may check some of them out for my own works. We writers like to talk about how and why we write as much as we like to get our favorite characters on the page.
Very inspiring for writers to see the same doubts and worries they experience in their writing when discussed by writers who have succeeded in having their work published.