This entire week, we are featuring the work of author Lester Picker. I'm so excited to announce we are giving away 5 autographed copies of The First Pharaoh and 5 autographed copies of The Dagger of Isis! All you have to do to win is leave a comment on this post and include your email address. After July 7th, Lester will choose the winners from the copies and contact you directly.
Now sit back and enjoy learning more about Lester and the real reason why he loves writing so much!
The 'Real' Reason I Write
“I write for the same reason I breathe; because if I didn’t I would die."
If I could get away with just that Asimov quote as my entire blog I would, because nothing sums up how I feel about my craft as does that snippet. I’ve been writing since I’ve been a child. In the fifth grade I won a city-wide writing contest and since then I was hooked. Perhaps addicted would be a better word.
I currently have more than 650 published articles in dozens of major national magazines and newspapers, as well as two non-fiction books and four novels, plus some chapters for anthologies. Oh, and a lengthy and utterly b-o-r-i-n-g doctoral dissertation thrown in for good measure. I’ve been a weekly columnist for a major newspaper, a monthly columnist for several magazines… thankfully, the list goes on since my first sports reporting for a hometown newspaper way back in 1969 and my first magazine cover story in ‘74.
I love the art of writing, whether fiction or non-fiction. I like to think that my writing has evolved. Today I prefer the rigors and joys of fiction writing to the non-fiction, reportorial variety. But no matter the form, give me an idea, the Internet and a deadline and my heart starts pumping adrenalin like that cub reporter I was in my twenties.
I could say that I feel good about educating the reader about some medical advance or perhaps a new financial instrument to help send their kid to college, as I’ve done countless times in my career. But, deep down I’d be lying to myself.
On the other hand, I could easily put up the argument that what I love most is the crafting of the fictional story arc, the background research, the plotting, the character development, the internal conflict, creating the story momentum, the climax, the ending. Lies, lies and more lies.
The unadulterated fact is that I write because if I didn’t I would die. Okay, not a dramatic, real-life denouement, but surely an interior one. The death of my soul, life force, chi, call it what you will. There have been times in my life when life itself came between me and my writing for weeks or months. During those times my nerves feel raw, I feel listless, aimless. Not a pretty picture. Not fun to have around.
Then an idea starts to percolate. I wake at night and jot down a few illegible scrawls. An internal buzz begins to simmer deep down. I type a few words and they magically morph into sentences, then paragraphs. I’m in the flow. I can breathe.