Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Ask Andrew - Writing Education

Dear Andrew,
The French writer Emile Zola said "The artist is nothing without the gift, but the gift is nothing without work."
You definitely have a gift, but how did you learn your craft? Did you take writing lessons or are you an autodidact?
Dear Madeleine
My education consisted of American High School followed by 4 years of college where I studied business.  I did my post graduate work in Management Information Systems.    I know that seems about as exciting as reading a telephone book.  At the time I thought that was where my passion was.  I've always been a good student and I did well.  But other than composition classes where they taught us how to write papers, letters, and all that sort of thing, I never took any other type of writing class. 
I discovered my gift for storytelling quite by accident.  I got an idea in early 2007 and sat down to see if I could write the story.  My first draft read more like a research paper than a narrative, but I had actually done it.  I wrote an entire novel length story and it was reasonably cohesive.  The thing was, I had actually done it and of course, right after that I wrote another and then a third.  Dominic worked with me a lot to help refine my language skills.  (That's a nice way of saying he pointed out what I was doing wrong so all my sentences didn't sound the same.)  And we talked over story ideas and plots. 
At the beginning I wrote very slowly and it wasn't until a few years later that the stories began to pile up inside and then sort of fall out of me.  I have attended craft talks as well as given a few, I've spoken to other writers in order to get their insight, but mostly when it comes to honing my craft, I owe a great deal to my editors and the people I work with a Dreamspinner.  They published my early work and took a chance on me. 
So for anyone out there with the urge to give story telling a try, I say got for it.  You never know what you're capable of until you try!!!!
Hugs and Love
Ask Andrew is your chance to ask questions of a gay romance author.  The questions can be about the writing process in general, writing sex scenes, gay men, sex, characters in romance, characters having sex... okay you probably get the picture.    I promise to answer your questions as frankly and with as much humor as I possibly can.

So if you have a question, please send it to  This is different from my usual email so your questions don't get lost.  I will answer one question a week.

Please remember this is meant to be all in fun.  (I was going to say good, clean fun, but who wants that.)    So send me your questions and let's see what mischief we can get into.

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  1. Great question and response! I enjoy learning about how authors do that wonderful thing they do. :-)

  2. Thank you for sharing your background info with us.

  3. Thank you so much for this interesting answer, Andrew. It confirms that you (that's a general you) can achieve a lot by yourself, but so much more when you share, talk, work with others. That's also something you always show in your books, and one of the reasons I love them so much.