Today’s post is by returning guest Jess Steven Hughes, author of four meticulously researched historical fiction books. I saw this inspirational, straight-from-the-heart post on Facebook and knew I had to share it. Here it is, reprinted with permission.
Some thoughts on being a writer, and other things
by Jess Steven Hughes
I hope this doesn’t bore you. Many of you know me on FB as a writer of historical novels. You may also know I am one who likes model railroading, Roman history, horses, weight lifting, etc.
For many years my first passion has been writing. I realize a lot of you have no interest in that or any other literary activities. I respect that, we all have different interests. But at age seventy-five, like my other activities, it gives me reason to live and keep going on. I’m not one to sit around doing nothing.
I have a confession to make. I am not a natural-born writer. Every page I write is a struggle of creation. Every page means re-writing and more re-writing. And I am not the most eloquent writer. I am slow, a plodder. It takes me a long time to produce a compelling (I hope), readable work. It is why I continue to attend the writers support group, Red Ink Fictioneers, for so many years. This group of established authors keeps me honest, learning about writing fiction.
Over the years I have observed many prospective writers who were endowed with far greater talent than mine, who gave up before completing what would have been great books. Why? Because they were quitters; they lacked self-discipline and persistence.
In the meantime, I kept plugging away, continuing to learn from my mistakes, despite one set-back and rejection after another.
I am grateful to have found a publisher, Sunbury Press (www.sunburypress.com), a traditional small press, who believed in me and gave me a chance to succeed. Even then, the editors assigned to my novels made sure to get the best out of me. In each one of my four published novels, I did major rewrites of chapters, added new chapters, and changed endings. The goal was not a good novel but a great novel.
Whether or not I have succeeded, I am not sure. However, I will continue to promote my novels (some of you FB friends find it boring) and will continue to write. This is my passion, and with the support of my wife, Liz, and my other interests, writing keeps an old guy like me going.
I hope I haven’t bored you too much. I know the writers out there will understand, if no one else does.
Hover cursor over photos for descriptions.
Never boring, Jess!
Jess explains in his first interview, “I have written three historical novels: The Wolf of Britannia, Part I, The Wolf of Britannia, Part II and The Sign of the Eagle. The novels are set in ancient Rome and Celtic Britain between 27 – 71 A.D. The books are targeted for readers age 16 and above. Not only are they for those who like historical fiction but for a general audience as well who like to learn more about Rome and Celtic Britain … Always keep in mind, I don’t write HISTORY. I use historical events and backdrops for my stories.”
Jess’ fourth book, The Broken Lance, launched in 2017. The Broken Lance and The Peacekeeper (releasing soon), published by Sunbury Press, are a duology set in the wilds of 1st Century AD Celtic Britain at the time of the Roman invasion (44 AD) and among the incredible opulence and deplorable poverty of Imperial Rome (44 – 69 AD).
Books by Jess Steven Hughes (Jess’ website)
The Sign of the Eagle is Sunbury Press’ all time number 4 best-seller in fiction. For the month of October, 2017, it was number three in fiction. The Broken Lance was number 4 in fiction for the month of October.