Tuesday, September 9, 2014

After years of working in diverse areas as a nonfiction writer—journalist, ghostwriter, newspaper features writer, editor—I dove into fiction writing without a platform. Gasp! Without a platform! 
I just thought I could write a book. Wrong! The books on how to write books spoke of platforms, niches, genres. 
As a hybrid—Fiction and Nonfiction—author, I didn’t have a niche. And worse, Crooked Lines didn’t fit into any genre. I had the general market in mind, but after publishing Crooked Lines, I’ve had reviewers on Amazon call it: Literary Fiction, Christian Fiction, Romance, and even “a book that can’t be assigned to any genre.” 
So….was I doomed? 
Hope not! 
Backing up….While writing Crooked Lines, I decided to at least try to get a platform going by starting a blog. But what kind of a blog? Everyone was doing writing blogs. Without a defined genre, I wasn’t sure what to do.  
I ended up naming my blog Holly Michael’s Writing Straight @ www.writingstraight.com Writing Straight is from the maxim: God Writes Straight with Crooked lines. Crooked Lines, of course, being the title of my first novel. Through life’s crooked lines and learning curves, people are the dots that connect. I wanted to create a website to connect people and to inspire and share about life and writing. 
Sometimes I blog about family, sometimes faith, sometimes my books, sometimes travel, and sometimes football. Yes, football. So, I have a blog, but it’s not really a platform. BUT…..maybe it is. See, here’s how I tied it all together (at least in my mind)… 
Faith, Family, Travel, Football: I have a traditionally published devotional coming out in 2015 co-authored with my son, an NFL player who is also a type 1 diabetic. My fiction is spiritually themed. My husband is an Anglican Bishop. We travel a lot and the locations we travel to become settings in my books. 

So, my point in this article is that you just need to write what you want. I understand the plusses of having a platform, niche, and genre, but if you don’t, it’s okay. The writing police won’t arrest you. First, write what you love and write it well. If you find you can write to a niche and genre, all the better. Your platform is ready made. Get your blog going, and blog away. But if you’re like me, an ADD hybrid author who’s all over the place, it’ll all work out fine. So far, it’s working for me.

I’m a kaleidoscope, twisted and turned by the hand of God through a beautiful life of writing, traveling, and other incredible opportunities. I’m the wife of Rt. Rev. Leo Michael, an Anglican Bishop in the Holy Catholic Church-Anglican Rite. Mom to three great kids: Sweet Betsy and my two #81’s: Jake Byrne (San Diego Chargers) and Nick Byrne (Ragin Cajuns). I’ve been blessed to be able to travel extensively across the United States and internationally to India, England, Scotland, and Canada.

Make sure to stop by Friday for a chance to win a free copy of Holly's novel Crooked Lines!


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