Wednesday, 1 March 2023


 Hello fellow insecure writers. Is there any other kind? 

"As writers, we falter more often than not. We struggle to find narrative clarity, struggle with the purpose of why we write, struggle with beliefs that writing comes easier or more naturally for others, struggle with allowing who we really are to come through in our work, or that who we are, as we are, is enough. Sometimes words from other writers offer a lift."

And that, my friends, is the combined wisdom of best-selling authors of the ilk of Margaret Attwood, John Grisham, George R.R Martin et al from the inaugural Santa Fe Literary Festival (above)If these guys struggle, what chance do we have to be secure in our writing career? (If you have advice for me to the contrary, please drop it in the comments! I'd love to hear from you!)

So, peeps, it's April already. April is so busy with the A - Z challenge where writers gamely write every day. No thanks! Used to, but those frenzied days are over. I admire each and every one of you who succeeds. If you also write for WEP, you can find a way to combine both challenges.

The awesome co-hosts for the March 1 posting of the IWSG are Diedre Knight, Tonya Drecker, Bish Denham, Olga Godim, and JQ Rose!

March 1 question - Have you ever read a line in novel or a clever plot twist that caused you to have author envy?

Are you kidding?????

I am a super voracious reader, and always make time for it no matter how frenetic life is and it's more than frenetic atm, so I am full to overflowing with author envy and magical words that feed my soul. Those who're waiting for a review may understand me more. Sorry. That phrase you wish you'd thought of, that word, unique, (Pat Conroy is the master!) or that plot!! I'm especially devouring thrillers atm (along with womens' fiction and vampire books) and plotting in thrillers, especially, must be sooo hard unless the author has reached the level where they appear to use a formula and repeat it with different characters and settings. Readers don't mind, do we? Well, maybe sometimes. I don't read certain authors anymore as they so obviously repeat themselves. But usually when we admire an author they can't shoot out those books quickly enough for us. I hope I'll reach that level one day! But I'm definitely a sloooow writer. How about you?

I don't like to just mention one author/plot twist that still has me thinking months after I finished the book when there are several, too many to mention. Oh boy! But I Let You Go  by one of my fave thriller writers, Clare Mackintosh, has left the biggest impression on me and obviously a lot of people. Just saw she's got over 40,300 reviews! Crikey! I'm struggling to reach double figures). I'm shivering just thinking about her plot twists. Spoiler alert! Stop now if you're going to read it on my rec.

Somehow the author convinced the reader (or was it just dumb me?) she was talking about one person, but as the book rushes on you realize she's talking about a completely different person. (You're aware of them both.) That's pretty hard to pull off! It did me in. There is this vicious person out to kill one of these people. Shiver. Shiver. Police finally come to the starkly remote creepy beach in England where most of the story takes place. (I've noted in thrillers that the police are painted as pretty useless so the hero has to save themselves). Yeah, after a terrifying tussle she's already killed the killer by the time the cops arrive (girlpower!) - but the last line of the book has you asking - has she really? 

The killer has tracked her down where she's been eking out an existence writing and photographing Hallmark-type cards in the sand. Hmm. With him dead, finally she can reclaim her spot of beach without shaking in terror. So after she returns from hospital after being bashed to within an inch of her life by the killer - she finds -

"Jennifer - (her name of course)...

The sea doesn't falter. The next wave breaks over the marks in the sand, and they are gone. A gull gives a final sweep of the bay as the tide comes in, and the sun slips beneath the horizon.

And then it is dark."

I've already re-read to see where I missed the clues, but can't find it. Clare Mackintosh has done a great job. Author envy!!!!!

Have a great month, everyone! We at WEP have just finished our Gone With the Wind first challenge of the year. Currently on our blog the 3 winners are announced and have received their Oscars - Damyanti Biswas, Beth Camp and Dolarah (formerly Donna Hole).

You could receive an Oscar next. We'd love you to write for us in April ... check this out ...

Leave a comment and I'll get back to you!



  1. Hi Denise. I didn't look at this question the way you have. I have a long list of authors/books that I have loved. But author envy, I wasn't sure. Inspiration, yes! The desire to write like them? Yes!

  2. Hi Denise - author envy ... no ... but I must admit I'd love to be able to feel I can write a novel. I congratulate you on your publications ... thanks for the Clare Mackintosh recommendation ... sadly I've way too many books to read here.

    Thanks for the WEP thumbs up ... I'll be over to congratulate the winners for February - cheers Hilary

  3. Writing mysteries and thrillers requires brain power I do not possess. Those twists like in I Let You Go are just stunning.

  4. I'm always amazed at the twists and turns authors create in mysteries and thrillers. I try not to be envious and just appreciate the good writing of authors I like. Though I do wish I could write faster like I think authors and writers do.

  5. Hi,
    there are many good authors that I enjoy. It is wonderful to read someone who can captivate me and draw me into their world, but I'm not emvious. I admire them.
    Shalom shalom

  6. I liked the opening quote. Deep down we're all writers trying to eke out the next story. So there should be no need to be envious, not really!

  7. Writing is definitely a struggle, and writing well doubly so. These notables you've pictured here give me hope that I might just be able to put a few well-written stories on the page if I keep working at it.

    I've been waylaid this month by a few setbacks, so I haven't been on social media much. Will try to catch up with the WEP this coming week.

    You have some great winners as always.

  8. Referencing all those best-selling authors gives us all hope, Denise. Thanks for that ;-) "She's already killed the killer..." Haha! Now that's descriptive ;-)

  9. I love the wisdom of other authors. When I was a teen, Margaret Atwood did a poetry reading here in town. She is brilliant!

  10. It's encouraging when I read about famous authors who have the same insecurities I have. We're all in this together.

  11. If the bestselling writers struggle, then it follows that we have to as well. Right?

  12. So many great authors. So little time.

  13. Hi, Denise! I did not read what you wrote about "I Let You Go." Two nights ago I finished my first reading of Clare Mackintosh's "I See You." It was wonderful, and I'm going to read it again to see how she worked her magic. Happy creating in March.

  14. Wow, love that review! Envy, I call it admiration. Love a truly good read and this one sounds fantastic! Thanks for the info. Happy March!

  15. Hey everybody! Thanks for the comment. Working on the premise that no one comes back to read a reply, I'll reply to you all here.

    Thanks for coming by and commenting. I value your input. And I'll visit you all!

  16. Great post, Denise! Envy or appreciation. Jealousy or work harder. You've made strong points for sure.

    The film Life Is Beautiful is a truly moving story. I cried. A lot. But the ending is spectacular. All best to you, Denise!

  17. Haha, Denise! I actually do come back to see if there was a reply!!!

  18. Yup, my author envy is the good kind, the kind that inspires me to want to be a better writer.

  19. Caught me FB.Glad you're going to read I Let You Go and I will read I See You.

  20. I suffer from author infatuation rather then envy I think, haha. (Did I ever tell you that I read Pat Conroy on your recommendation years ago? and loved him.) There's too much on my TBR and I'm not sorted enough for much new reading right now, but I'll be on the lookout for I Let You Go when my brain fog finally lifts.

  21. Pat Conroy is amazing with his descriptions. Glad you enjoyed him. I Let You Go is amazing with her plotting. Perfection! Geewhizzekers!

  22. It is a writer's lot to struggle :)
    Embrace the struggle

  23. I'm feeling a little author envy toward those with big teams helping them do launches and checking edits and everything. But I'm also glad I'm an indie author, so that's life.

    It's April, so I'm focused on the #AtoZChallenge.
    Proof of Existence, book two in my dark urban fantasy series, is out this month. Very exciting.

    J Lenni Dorner (he/him 👨🏽 or 🧑🏽 they/them) ~ Reference& Speculative Fiction Author, OperationAwesome6 Debut Author Interviewer, and Co-host of the #AtoZchallenge

  24. I used to suffer from author envy years ago. It was during a time when I was desperate to get published. The envy has eased up. I don't even think I have it anymore. Maybe I do. I haven't read as much fiction the past few years. I've read more non-fiction, as well as graphic novels and children's books.


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