I may not be an author yet, but I write like one.

I’ve published three novels since 2009. All three were sold internationally, including the most recent, Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend, which has been translated into 25 languages worldwide and is an international bestseller.

All three of my novels have been optioned for television or film.

My next novel, The Perfect Comeback of Caroline Jacobs, is in the final stages of revision with my editor.

I’ve even co-written a rock opera that was produced at a local theater last year.

Despite this success, I still don’t think of myself as an accomplished author. I feel like I have much to prove. I consider myself a rookie. A newbie. Possibly a pretender.

Maybe this is something all writers go through. I often wonder how many books I will need to publish before I don’t feel odd referring to myself as an author.

Oddly enough, it’s often not the success of any of my books that makes me feel most akin to other authors, but instead the discovery that we have something in common in terms of the craft.  

I read some facts about other authors much better than me recently that gave me hope that I might also be a real author, or at least I might begin thinking about myself as a real author.

Agatha Christie never owned a desk. She wrote 80 novels and 19 plays wherever she could sit down.

I own a desk in an unheated, insulated “office” off my living room. In the winter, the room is literally freezing. I don’t think I have ever written a single word of fiction while sitting at that desk. 

I do much of my writing on my dining room table, but I also write in libraries, bookstores, my children’s bedrooms, fast food restaurants, hotels, coffee shops, public transportation, the teacher’s lunchroom  and any other place that I can find.


I’m always amused by the writer who tells me that he or she can only write in a well appointed coffee shop while drinking a hazelnut latte. I’ve met many, many writers who claim that they can only under of specific conditions at specific times, but I have yet to meet a published author with such rigid requirements.

Stephen King writes every day of the year and aims for a goal of 2000 words each day.

I don’t have a daily word goal, mostly because I am often dividing my writing between two or three books plus this blog and another (and various other projects), so counting words would be hard.

But I have written every single day of my life for at least ten years, including my wedding day, every day of my honeymoon, and on the days that both of my children were born.

In fact, I worked on my second novel, Unexpectedly, Milo, in between my wife’s contractions in the delivery room.

When Anthony Trollope finished writing one book, he immediately started another. Henry James did the same thing.

When I finished my first novel, Something Missing, I resolved to take a three month break from writing and begin the process of finding an agent. I typed the final word of the book on a Saturday afternoon, closed the document, sat for about 30 seconds, pondering my next move, and then opened a new Word document and began my next book.

I have done the same for every book since.