Bruce Robert Coffin here, manning the helm of the Murder Books Blog. This month I want to discuss a question I often field. Does it ever get old?
I have literally attended hundreds of speaking events in less than two years since my first novel, Among the Shadows, was released. The venues have varied widely from high school and college writing classes to libraries and mystery and thriller conferences. It seems as though I’m either packing to go on a trip or unpacking from one as I return. People often ask if I ever tire of appearing in front of another group of people. Does it ever get old? The short answer is no, it doesn’t.
As I have explained many times, writing was my first love. I’ve known I wanted to write novels since I was eleven. I had just finished reading Stephen King’s Salem’s Lot, and I knew. Don’t get me wrong, I had enjoyed reading books long before King but his second novel did something to me. It changed the way I thought about storytelling. I wanted to do what he had done. I wanted to write stories and create characters that people would love as much as I had his. Salem’s Lot left me wanting more, as I suspect good writing does to us all.
My writing, and the scholarships I earned, took me to college where I imagined I would learn everything there was to know about writing fiction while honing my craft. As is often the way in life, it didn’t turn out as I had planned. In fact my journey took me in an entirely different direction. I spent the next three decades in law enforcement, believing that my dream of becoming a published author was dead.
Near the end of my police career a series of seemingly unconnected events transpired that led me back to writing fiction. I quickly realized that the dream had not died. Perhaps it had simply been lying dormant until the well of my imagination was full. Whatever the reason, here I sit working on my fifth novel, and hopefully the fourth to be published.
Six years after retiring, I’m living my childhood dream. I’m writing the books I’d always dreamed I would write. Traveling far and wide to share my stories and the stories of the characters who occupy my Detective Byron mysteries.
Maybe it is because it has taken me so long to arrive at this moment. Or perhaps it’s because at this age I appreciate my good fortune in receiving another chance to live out the dreams of that eleven-year-old version of me. Either way the excitement is difficult to contain and I love and look forward to every opportunity to share it others.
Does it ever get old? It hasn’t yet. And I don’t anticipate that it will.
Happy 4th of July. Write on!