“There is only one reason to write,” says Sarasota author Anna Schmidt. “That is because you can’t not write.”
Anna, known to her friends as Jo, has written for therapy, but for most of her career, she’s written for publication. She is the author of several series of inspiration and romance, including ones set during World War II (All God’s Children), in Sarasota’s Pinecraft Mennonite community (A Sister’s Forgiveness) and in the Southwest (The Lawman).
She shared her experience this week with members of Sarasota Fiction Writers.
Her advice for emerging authors?
- Build a track record in your genre and develop a following
- Don’t chase trends (unless your agent and editor tell you to)
- During dry spells, attend events and conferences outside your area of expertise (for Jo, that’s mystery and suspense)
- Join book clubs and writers’ groups
- Read outside your genre.
She ended the program by giving away copies of her latest book. Surprised by her generosity, the moderator asked why. With a sly smile she said, “The publisher sent me forty copies. What else am I going to do with them?”