I’m delighted to have Margot Kinberg as my guest today. I’ve been following her on Twitter and visiting her blog, Confessions of a Mystery Novelist, for quite a while, so it’s fun to learn how she began to write and then achieved publication of her mystery series. This is her story.
My Writing Life by Margot Kinberg
Some people know that they want to write fiction from the time they’re quite young. I’m not one of those people. I’d written a few (thankfully unpublished) short stories, and some (also thankfully unpublished) poetry. Most of my writing was academic; articles, scholarly books and conference presentations. But from the time I was young, I always loved mysteries. I’ve read all kinds of mysteries, too: Agatha Christie, Ellery Queen, P.D. James, Dorothy Sayers, Colin Dexter and lots more. I’d never thought much about writing a mystery myself, and then everything changed.
One evening, I was at the dinner table with my husband and daughter and we were talking about some of the ins and outs of academic life. I mentioned that it would make a great murder mystery, and both my husband and daughter said I should write one. We spent the rest of the meal talking about the characters, the victim and the plot. At first, I thought it was just a flight of fancy, but before long, I decided I really would try to write a murder mystery.
For the next year, I wrote whenever I could and created my first mystery novel. I got invaluable help from my beta-readers and support from my family. When my manuscript was finished, I sent it around to a few agents and publishers, but got rejected. I think that’s one thing that aspiring writers need to remember; rejection happens. I think one important key is finding the right publisher. A rejection may simply mean that one’s work isn’t a good fit for a publisher. But finally, my first novel, Publish or Perish, was accepted. I was thrilled that it had been accepted, and even more so when I saw the cover art and the final galley of the book.
After Publish or Perish was accepted, I decided to turn my book into a series and began to write the second book in my Joel Williams series, B-Very Flat. B-Very Flat was published in April, and right now, I’m on my third novel, which for right now I’m calling Dying to See You.
My writing life hasn’t exactly been a traditional one, but I’m very excited at how it’s been going. I’m greatly helped on this writing journey by the support and feedback I get from my beta readers; they always tell me the truth about my work, and that’s important. I also learn a great deal and get a lot of help from the online community of crime fiction fans and the online community of writers that I’ve been privileged to join. We all face similar challenges, and that’s immensely helpful to me. Finally, and most importantly, I value the support I get from my family, who started it all. ; )
Thanks a bunch, Margot, for sharing your story with us today. It’s a pleasure learning more about you and your writing.