We’re so excited to have C. W. Gortner with us today. He’s the international best-selling author of seven historical novels based on the lives of maligned women in history, as well as The Elizabeth I Spymaster Trilogy. A former fashion executive, he has an MFA in Writing with an emphasis on History from the New College of San Francisco. His most recent novel is MADEMOISELLE CHANEL, (William Morrow, HarperCollins), about the ambitious, gifted woman who revolutionized fashion, built an international empire, and become one of the most influential and controversial figures of the twentieth century. His books have been translated in over twenty languages.
Booklist has this to say:
Gortner brings history to life in a fascinating study of one woman’s unstoppable ambition.
Making the Jump: From Reigning Queens to the Queen of Fashion
Taking a chance is always nerve-wracking for a writer. We spend so much time perfecting our craft and banging on publisher doors that when we’re finally let inside, we’re so relieved and elated we’ll do just about anything to stay. Once our book hits the stores, harsh reality sets in. However, those of us who succeed in overcoming reader attrition, chain-store extinction, and myriad of other woes can find ourselves in an enviable position. We’re being paid to write. Now, how do we keep doing it?
We’re often told to write what we know. I also believe we must write what we feel. You can research what you need to know, but if you don’t feel it, there is no point. Published writers are also increasingly told to write within their brand, which basically means our houses want us to stay in our comfort zone. If you write thrillers and your books are selling, keep doing it. Or, as in my case, if you write about 16th century queens, don’t stop. Why mess with what works? Your readers expect a certain type of book from you. Do you want to jeopardize all the sacrifice, the missed meals, the parties and outings you didn’t attend because you were on deadline? Unless sales decline or your editor moves or some other catastrophe obliges you to reconsider your trajectory, stay the course.