By John M. Wills
Editor’s Note: Today’s guest blogger is a man of many talents and experiences. John M. Wills is a retired FBI agent and former Chicago police officer with military experience. He is also a writer—a subject John shares with us today. In short, he writes from experience. Mystery writers: Tuck away information about this guy as you slog your way through another crime mystery manuscript.You may need his help someday to make your cop character emerge as more than a comic-strip figure, or need a law enforcement scene to read like the real thing.
I’m a writer. I finally feel comfortable saying that in response to people who ask me what I do. It wasn’t always that way, and I would venture to say that many of us who write may be reluctant to describe ourselves as such. Why? My sense is that there is no clear definition of a writer, no bright line of delineation that marks the point when one may claim the title of writer.
If you’re expecting me to make clear the ambiguities as to when one becomes a writer, let me disabuse you of that notion immediately. I don’t know the answer. I do know that there are many questions from not only ourselves, but from others, as to what makes someone a writer. Is it when one is paid for a particular work? Or is it perhaps, when one becomes published, regardless of whether compensation has been received? Again, I don’t know. (Clear here for link to Hook'em and Book'em article)