"If you could say one thing to aspiring novelists, what would you say?"
It sounds so cliche, but it's the truth: Be true to yourself. But what does that mean? It means don't write something just because you think other people will like it. If it doesn't inspire you, chances are it won't inspire other people either. Every day, I can't wait to sit down and start typing, and that gets me through the hard places along the winding road. I couldn't do that if I was trying to guess what people wanted. They'd probably want Chick Lit or something and I'd just butcher it anyway, so I'm way better off writing what I LIKE, which is THRILLERS. Forget "write what you know". Write what you LOVE. Write whatever gets you fired up enough to stay up all night fueled by nothing more than Mountain Dew and Twinkies and a blinding passion to find out what happens to your characters next. And write, dang-nab-it, write!! Stop telling all your friends about the book you're GOING TO WRITE, the one you're going to bang out after the entire world has stopped in silence long enough for you to get inspired and WRITE!!
I know it's hard. Believe me I know. I'm reading this back right now and wishing I was further ahead on my next book than I am. (But don't you worry, anyone from Thomas Nelson, if you read this, because I'm going to freaking ROCK this next book!) But just stick with it! Stay in front of that sheet of paper or computer screen or stone tablet or WHATEVER long enough for at least one sentence to make a landing. Because that's all it takes. Just a little at a time. It's not going to happen all at once, so just knock a little of the wall down every day, and soon the waters of creativity will flood. Ok, I know I'm rambling now, but it's just because I really care about this stuff and I know you do too. I never thought I had a chance in the world to get a book out there, and now that I do (pinch me) it just proves that anyone can do it! Anyone!! You...me...the neighbor's dog (provided the little mutt has the necessary verbal skills).......ANYONE!!
--Matt Bronleewe, author of Illuminated (Thomas Nelson) and the upcoming House of Wolves. Check out his website here and be sure to sign up to his mailing list so you can receive the free soundtracks. They're really cool.