Know Where You Live – Nowhere, you live.
When Kelly Wyre first used the phrase, “Know where you live,” my initial thought was to start checking my mail for discrepancies. Obviously, I told myself, I’ve given Kelly the wrong address somewhere along the line. My next line of reasoning was that Kelly had gone Yoda on me: “Nowhere, you live.” (That led to a lengthy pondering over possible meanings, let me tell you. Had I ceased to exist? Did I live on some plane of existence that the normal person didn’t?) However, while introspective thought is most definitely a Kelly thing, Kelly doesn’t usually resort to channelling small green folk with pointed ears and questionable grammar to do it. So what, exactly, did Kelly mean?
Kelly Wyre: A question I’ve heard a time or two. I swear, I’m not that difficult to understand.
It’s true. And given the opportunity Kelly is usually quite happy to explain if you want. In detail.
Kelly Wyre: Hey, wait a minute…
Anyway, the concept it seems (and understand that these are my conclusions and quite possibly not what Kelly had in mind at all—
Kelly Wyre: It’s all right, Henley. I’m more than used to your misinterpretations by now. It’s kind of adorable.
—however…) It’s about where you want to be with respect to your craft and whether or not those destinations are reasonable and obtainable. Because here’s the thing I’ve read/been told/figured out a hundred different times since I started writing: a mainstream focus in a niche genre marketplace will get you nowhere. (Nowhere, you live.)
Kelly Wyre: I am NOT Yoda. Stop it. *threatens to throw another orange*
Your produce abuse is positively frightening. And wasteful.
Kelly Wyre: *eyes Henley*
I spent a lot of time worried about the fact that I had no clear direction of where I wanted to plant roots in this crazy environment known as authoring. I wandered between the peaceful but tiny place wherein I was doing what I loved to do and the larger, scarier shores where I could watch waves of royalties flow and look up at major critics circling overhead while they cawed their praises and disgust. Though mainstream fiction resides in a vast and mighty ocean where a person might think there would be tons of room, as it is with many places, the more posh the environment, the more space people hoard within it. And they don’t like tourists.
The problem for me is that I was entranced by both views. I still am. I want the option of spending my summers at the seaside of prosperity and my winters in my cozy little pond. Unfortunately, though there is a well-worn path between the two worlds it seems as though seasonal residency is difficult to obtain.
Kelly Wyre: Henley, authors do not get paid by the adverb, or the metaphor. We’ve had this discussion…
*is grateful that Kelly has decided to eat the orange at this point*
I’ve heard this countless times, and for those that write in niche genre fiction this will be a common comment as well: “But, when are you going to start writing the real stuff?” We’ve read the interviews and the how-tos and they all say the same thing – if you want to write mainstream fiction, get out of the kiddy’s pool, get yourself some diving gear and a map to the biggest body of water you can find, and get in. If you’re not comfortable with the idea of swimming with the sharks and checking your gauges, then be happy that you’ve chosen a spot where the waters are calmer and the fishes friendlier. It’s one or the other, it’s never both. Make a choice and live with it. Grow yourself and your craft around that decision.
Or… Know where you live. The problem is, I don’t. Some days I want the diving suit that costs eight-hundred and forty bucks, and some days I just want to swim in the cut-off Levi shorts that look like they’ve been around since 1994.
Kelly Wyre: That HAVE been around since 1994…
Some days I have no problem grabbing the harpoon and getting ready to fight to the death, and some days I want to know that the worst thing swimming beside me is an inquisitive sunfish. Is there a world out there where I can have a coffee with Stephen King, afternoon tea with Queen Elizabeth, and then spend the night doing shots with Kelly Wyre? I’d like to think so.
See, I want to write love and horror. Fluffy happily-ever-afters and vicious conclusions. Beautiful prose and disjointed sentences. Poetry and novels; comic book heroes, drama queens and space junkies; fiction and biographies; contemporary, historical, and the fantastical. Men… and women.
I want to run with whatever jumps into my head at any given time. I want to reach for the stars and still have the option to keep my feet on the ground.
I don’t know where I live and I don’t know where I want to live and I think I’m okay with that. Maybe I’m nomadic. Let’s blame it on my DNA and the fact that my forefathers still whisper in my ear that although there are new men staking claims on these waters, laying down railroad tracks, and planting fields of corn, that doesn’t mean we have to stop wandering (at least figuratively. Gods know that progress and settlement have succeeded in destroying the literal aspect of that thought. But that’s a discussion for another time.).
~queue the Spirit – Stallion of the Cimarron soundtrack~
Kelly Wyre: *starts to sing along with Bryan*
Maybe I do know where I live after all – it just happens to be a land without boundaries.
Until next time!
About the Author
Henley was born with a full-blown passion for run-on sentences, a zealous indulgence in all words descriptive, and the endearing tendency to overuse punctuation. Since the early years Henley has been an enthusiastic writer, from the first few I-love-my-dog stories to the current leap into erotica. A self-professed Google genius, Henley lives for the hours spent digging through the Internet for ‘research purposes’ which, more often than not, lead seven thousand miles away from first intentions but bring Henley to new discoveries and ideas that, once seeded, tend to flourish.
Henley has been proudly publishing with Less Than Three Press since 2012, and has been writing like mad ever since—an indentured servant to the belief that romance and true love can mend the most broken soul. Even when presented in prose.
For more information please stop by for a visit at afhenley.com.