Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Write What You Know? Or Love?

By Andrea R. Cooper (Guest Blogger)

I have heard the words ‘write what you know’ often. However, there is another side to that. 


I know the 21st century, Texas, my children, housework (even if I do hate cleaning, but love the result), etc. But if I wrote about these topics, I would be bored as a writer. Why? Because as much as I love my kids, my state, and the wonderful gadgets we have, I do not love these from the aspect of being a writer.

If I wrote these ‘known’ things, I would have given up writing because the passion would be absent.

However, if I love something from a writing aspect, the motivation would (hopefully) be evident within the text and my enthusiasm translated to the reader.

If you love something, I believe that will come through in your writing. For example, when I lived with my parents, I was not allowed to watch or read anything with magic, fantasy, or paranormal.

Not even Disney.

So naturally, I was addicted to them. However, I never read J.R.R. Tolkien, George R.R. Martin, R.A. Salvator, or even C.S. Lewis. Instead, I created characters and stories on my own. I was an adult and had finished writing all four books in my Legends of Oblivion Series before I read these great authors. Yet, a few wonderful reviewers have compared my debut novel to theirs. Which I am humbled and honored.

Some of my fantasy world was instinctual. I remember as a child watching at school (because I could not watch it at home) the tale of the Shoemaker and the Elves. However, I did not like the idea of Elves being tiny. To me, they were the size of people or maybe slightly taller. 

When I saw Lord of the Rings in the theater, I got excited that one of the world’s best fantasy authors had the same vision of Elves that I did. 

I also adore historical fiction and especially historical romance. I turned to these books in my teens because my favorite genre (fantasy, paranormal) were forbidden. It also helped that I had a wonderful 9th grade World History teacher ;)

Though I have never been part of history before I was born, the ‘love’ of ancient times has given me enough of the ‘know’ to write. To me, it is the story and characters, which come first, and then I research everything that I need to put the story together.

Sometimes history is full of plot twists. My first novel I wrote was a Native American historical romance set in the late 1830’s. Then I started thinking about the parents of these characters—since the hero’s mother was French. How did she arrive here and married to a Native American?

This promoted me to write the prequel and in answering this and other questions, I found out about the War of 1812. Even though it was not originally part of my plot, when I read that the English burned the President’s House (the White House now), I had to add it into the story.

So I say, if you love something, then you will not only create the ‘know’ from facts and research, but have the desire to discover and write. And that will translate from the pages to your readers.

What about you? Do you believe in one or the other or both?

[All photos are from Google Images with License: Free to use, share or modify, even commercially]

The Garnet Dagger Blurb

Everyone knows what happens when a vampire bites a human…but what if the victim is Elvin?

Forbidden to cross the Elvin barrier into human lands, Brock cannot sate his curiosity. Cursed by a vampyre bite that forces him to feed on the life-essence of others, he is unable to touch another without taking their life. Chained by prophesy, he must find a witch, pierce her heart, and draw her blood for his cure.

Celeste must escape the monks who have held her prisoner for years. Her magic has been kept dormant by her captors. An ancient powerful Warloc craves her powers. If he succeeds in devouring her magic, she and his world will die.

When Brock falls in love with Celeste before realizing her demise is his cure, will love triumph over his desire to be healed? Will he risk everything to save her from a Warloc, an oath breaker, who also wants her dead?

Viking Fire Blurb

In 856 CE, Ireland is a land of myth, magic, and blood. Viking raiders have fought the Irish for over half a century. Rival Irish clans promise only betrayal and carnage.

Kaireen, daughter of Laird Liannon, is suddenly forced into an arranged marriage with her sworn enemy, a Viking. She refuses to submit. With no mention of love, only land and the protection of her clan, she endeavors to get her betrothed banished from her country. Will love find its way around her stubborn heart?

Bram, the Viking, finds himself without future or inheritance as a younger son in his family. A marriage to the Laird’s daughter would grant him land if he swears fidelity and if his men will fight along with the Liannons against any foe—Irish or Viking. However, the Laird’s feisty daughter only holds animosity for him and his kind. Is marriage worth the battle scars of such a relentless opponent?

With the blame for a rival laird’s death treacherously set against the Liannons, Kaireen and Bram must find a way to lay aside their differences as an unforeseen darkness sends death snapping at their heels.

Excerpt from Viking Fire

“I renounce Father for this.” Kaireen threw the elderberry gown.

“Shame on you and your children for speaking such.” Her handmaid, Elva, gathered the damask and then dusted off the rushes. “It’s a wonder one of the clim has not scolded you from your hearth for such talk.”

“No, curse Father for a fool.” She plopped on her bed and a goose feather floated away. With a huff, she leaned against the oak headboard. Red curtains puffed like a robin’s chest around oak poles supporting her wooden canopy.

Her bare feet brushed against the stone floor.

“You know your da arranged a marriage within a season.” Elva smirked.

Kaireen shook her head. “To another land holder,” and waved a hand in disgust, “not t-this heathen. Twice they raided our land in the last month alone. Now father wants me as wife to one of them?” She clenched her fists. “No, I will not marry this Viking.”

Elva smiled, reminding Kaireen of the rumors of her handmaid’s uncanny foresight.
Whispers of Elva making strange things happen and often blamed as the cause of
Kaireen’s stubborn refusal to behave as a laird’s daughter should.

“You’ve not seen him yet.” Elva wiggled her brows.

“So?” Kaireen shrugged. “I would like to never see him.”

“Well then, would you not like to know if you have a handsome husband or not?” She waited for her response, but Kaireen scowled. Elva chuckled. “I would rather get a good look at him now than the morning after.”

Kaireen’s ears heated. “I am not marrying.” She shook her head for emphasis. “So there will be no morning, nor night, nor wedding.”

“If he is handsome, I may fight you for him.” Elva smiled, deepening the wrinkles around her eyes.

“Welcome to him either way.” Kaireen laughed.

About Andrea

Growing up in Houston, Texas, Andrea has always created characters and stories. But it wasn't until she was in her late twenties that she started writing novels.

What happened that ignited the writing flame in her fingers? Divorced, and disillusioned by love songs and stories. They exaggerate. She thought. Love and Romance are not like that in the real world. Then she met her husband and realized, yes love and romance are exactly like the songs and stories say. She is now a happy wife, and a mom to three kids (two boys and a girl).

Andrea writes paranormal and historical romance. When not writing or reading, one may find Andrea dancing in Zumba.

She believes in the power of change and counting each moment as a blessing. But most importantly, she believes in love.

The Garnet Dagger Book Trailer
Viking Fire Book Trailer:

Author Website:

Buy Links:
The Garnet Dagger Amazon:
The Garnet Dagger B & N:
The Garnet Dagger iTunes:
Viking Fire Amazon:
Viking Fire B & N:
Viking Fire iTunes:


Andrea Cooper said...

Thank you for having me on your blog :)

Anonymous said...

Excellent points. I believe in BOTH.

Daryl Devore said...

I say write what you want to write - if we only wrote what we knew- where would all the vampire stories come from. And if I only wrote what I loved - everything would be chocolate.

Andrea Cooper said...

Both is the best ;) Thank you for coming by.

Andrea Cooper said...

Good points. Thank you for stopping by.

Neva Brown said...

I try to "know" what I write by doing research to be sure I'm not totally out in left field. But my muse and I take lots of liberties. We elaborate and embellish to create stories that I hope take the reader on a vicarious journey that enthralls.

Andrea Cooper said...

I agree and love research, but at some point I have to let my muse take over - or I wouldn't get anything written. ;) Thank you for coming by.

Melissa Keir said...

I agree with Daryl. I write what I want to read. I write about people that are important to me and maybe are people I'd like to be... They should excite me and keep me entertained!

Lisabet Sarai said...

Greetings, Andrea! Welcome to Beyond Romance! So sorry I couldn't be here earlier. I had a tough 24 hours with work and couldn't "be" Lisabet Sarai!

I totally agree that you have to write from your own passions. Readers can tell when you're faking it. This causes me some trouble, because my passions don't necessarily correspond well to theirs LOL.

I really love Kaireen, even from this short excerpt.

Best of luck with both your historical and your fantasy work.

D'Ann said...

I have a couple thoughts about this. I'm cowboy born and bred, so that's what I write. I hate when I pick up a book by an author who doesn't know which end of a cow eats. However, I can see that you can't possibly know everything. I write about crime, which luckily, I don't know much about, so I guess I hope an FBI agent doesn't hate my books.

Ella Quinn - Romance Novelist said...

Wonderful post!! I tweeted.

Liza O'Connor said...

I write whatever my characters tell me to.

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