Frequently Asked Question: Are You a Risk Taker?

Hi, everyone. It’s the first Wednesday of the month, which means it’s time for a question from the Insecure Writers Support Group.

Are you a risk-taker when writing? Do you try something radically different in style/POV/etc. or add controversial topics to your work?

I guess the answer is: it depends on what you mean by risk.

I wrote The Rock Star in the Mirror in second person present POV. Honestly, it was an experiment. However, I wound up loving both the immediacy and the conversational tone it gave to Joe the Lion.

Several  of my books (the Seen Through the Phantom’s Eyes series and Down on the Corner of Love, just to name a couple of examples) deal with racism and prejudice — which has somehow become controversial to call out, but not to perform. Bayou Fire‘s female protagonist, Diana, lives with an invisible illness.

Some people might say that by writing about these issues, I’m doing something risky. I don’t think so. All art is intended to be thought-provoking.

Honestly, I think I took a bigger risk when I took a sternwheeler ride on the Mississippi River when researching Bayou Fire than in anything I’ve ever written. I’m a lousy sailor, but I got on that boat anyway so that I could see what it was like to ride one and understand how it worked.

At the end of the day, shouldn’t we all be extending ourselves just a little bit for our art?

2 thoughts on “Frequently Asked Question: Are You a Risk Taker?

    1. Oddly enough, I enjoyed it. Like I said, I’m a lousy sailor … and a mediocre swimmer at best, so in the unlikely event that I went overboard, well, I wouldn’t be here to tell the tale. Still, it was far more pleasant than my worry-wort self thought it would be. There was a historian on board, because we were going out to Chalmette to see the site of the Battle of New Orleans. Honestly, I recommend the experience if you ever have the opportunity.

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