When I first started writing, I wasn’t prepared for the ebs and flows of confidence.

One minute I’ll be feeling positively cocky and the next like a fraud.

I’ve heard many authors talk about this, even famous ones! So I’ve learned to basically–at the risk of sounding cliche–go with the flow.

Just finished a novel that’s a bit risky for me. Like Wanting Mor it’s based on a true story, but the problem is a true story doesn’t happen in a vacuum. It takes a certain set of circumstances to make it come about.

That’s why the old adage ‘truth is stranger than fiction’ is so true. Things can happen in real life because people have all kinds of characters and motivations that make them act a certain way under the right conditions.

The trick is recreating those conditions so that the scenario is not only plausible, but completely understandable, in fiction.

And sometimes this requires going outside your own comfort zone.

This novel is about a boy who does something so shameful that he thinks he deserves to die.

When I tell kids about it, you should see their eyes light up. They want to read it.

It was very difficult to write but I think I’ve got the villain’s motivations down right. (Funny how his character spoke to me so strongly. Not sure what that says about me!)

It’s the victim’s character I’m more concerned about.

I’ll give it my best. I always do.

You should see the files of stories I have that never worked out. I’m really really hoping this one doesn’t join them.

It’s possible but somehow I doubt I’ll give up on it.

My son, who’s fifteen, read it and proclaimed that although children shouldn’t read it, every boy above thirteen should.

And my daughter also read it. She’s about as conservative a Muslim as they come, and she actually thought it was better than Wanting Mor (high praise indeed since she LOVED Wanting Mor!).

Sometimes people just see the finished product (book) and don’t see the agonizing process that went into it. The highs and lows in terms of writerly confidence.

That’s why, in the end,  perseverence is so much more important than raw talent.