I’m giving a talk tomorrow at Bracknell Library in Berkshire, Hampshire, and I am looking forward to it. It is always good to connect with people, and at these types of events to discuss books (not only mine but other writers) and to discover what people like and why they like them. It also helps to provide me with ideas for possible future books, plays and screenplays. And it reminds me who my audience are i.e. who I am writing for and why I write. So what has this got to do with how writers see themselves? Bear with me.
In my previous career, before becoming a full time writer, I ran my own marketing and training consultancy. I used to advise businesses and the public sector on their marketing strategies and devise marketing and PR campaigns for them as well giving seminars, presentations and talks at conferences on a variety of topics from understanding motivation and personalities, to marketing, selling, communicating and leadership. I have always enjoyed public speaking and entertaining people, so I welcome any opportunity to stand up in front of a group of people and talk. I also enjoy helping people, so if my audience are budding writers then I aim to pass on any practical advice and tips I can. When I was learning the craft of writing (and let’s face it you never stop learning) I was always keen to hear how other writers approached their work and still am. All this interaction is very valuable to me.
So who do I write for? I consider that I write for the man (or woman) on the Clapham omnibus i.e. the person in the street, who is in no way ‘ordinary’ because as humans we are all extraordinary! I write for people who want a good entertaining read; something they could become engrossed in on a wet afternoon, while waiting at a hospital appointment, curled up in bed after a long and hard day’s work, on the beach, in the garden or while travelling on tube, train or plane. I write for both men and women of all ages from early twenties to nineties. For readers who want to escape into a world of action, betrayal, revenge who enjoy complicated plots, complex characters, motivations and dark secrets. Readers who want to be thrilled and entertained.
And why do I write? Simple. Because I love it. I have written all my life, in my jobs and in my personal life. I adore the act of creating characters and making up and telling stories. I love the power of words, both as a speaker and a writer. I am fascinated by how words can create worlds and destroy them. How they can evoke passion, pain, joy, fear and excitement. For me writing is an act of creating something and producing a tangible product (a book, play, television series or a film) which can be enjoyed by people. That is what gives me great pleasure and motivation. And that is how I see myself not as a writer but as an entertainer.