Syrie James, author of The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen, discusses the best writing advice she’s been given and what she hopes readers will enjoy about her newest book.
What is the best writing advice you've ever been given?
The best writing advice I ever received came from my mother. I was a screenwriter for many years, and although I did well in that industry, the whole time my mother kept telling me: "You're supposed to be writing books." It wasn't until I returned to novel writing that I found my true calling, the kind of writing I’m the most passionate about. Which proves that you should always listen to your mother.
The best advice I've learned about work in general (which I've applied to writing) comes not from anyone I knew personally, but from the great and famous. Thomas Edison said: “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” Steve Jobs echoed that thought. He said: “I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.”
I was stalled in my writing career on many, many occasions. Every time, I could have quit, but I didn't. I persevered. I wrote one more script, or one more book—until finally, I achieved the success I had been aiming for. Which brings me to the advice I always give aspiring writers:
Read, read, read. The more you read, the better writer you’ll become someday. Believe in yourself. Get advice and input from the best and the brightest, but always go with your gut instinct. And never give up. The keys to success are the three P’s: passion, patience, and perseverance.
What do you hope readers will take away from your book?
I hope readers will enjoy the read. For those who aren't yet Austen fans, I'll be thrilled if they come away with a better appreciation for her and her work, and are inspired to read more. But most importantly, for anyone who feels stuck in some way in their life, who dreams of change but has been reluctant or afraid to move forward—I hope this book, with its theme about the value of change, will inspire them to take that first, vital step!
Syrie James is the bestselling author of eight critically acclaimed novels, including The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen, The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen, The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Brontë, Dracula My Love, Nocturne, Forbidden, and The Harrison Duet: Songbird and Propositions. Her books have been translated into eighteen foreign languages. In addition to her work as a novelist, she is a screenwriter, a member of the Writers Guild of America, and a life member of the Jane Austen Society of North America. She lives with her family in Los Angeles, California. Connect with her on her website, Facebook, and Twitter.
GIVEAWAY!!! Syrie James brings with her today a lovely new copy of The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen to giveaway to ONE lucky winner today!
To win this LOVELY prize all you have to do is comment with what you love about Syrie's novels below. (If you haven't read any yet, share what novels by Syrie you are interested in reading in the future).
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- The giveaway is open to US residents.
- This giveaway ends January 19th.
If you are interested in DOUBLING your chances to win, come back Tuesday and read my review of The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen!