Thursday, August 1, 2013

Reinvention: A Writer's Tool

by Maggie Marr

I suppose as writers, in some ways, we reinvent ourselves every time we sit down to begin a new story.  We are creating a world inhabited by fictional characters and so, we are 'reinventing reality'.    I tend to subscribe to the idea that as authors we have a core story.  A story that we tell over and over and over again with different characters, settings, and dialogue in an attempt to make sense of our world.  Authorial reinvention, to me, doesn't mean changing that core story.  Authorial reinvention, to me, means trying on new genres, and with those new genres, perhaps pseudonyms.

If my definition of authorial reinvention is a writer attempting new names and/or new genres I guess so far I've been reinvented two times.

First there is Maggie Marr the Women's Fiction Writer.  Women's Fiction is the genre where I got my first deal as an author--that moment when I received 'the call.'

I love writing Women's Fiction.  I feel that this genre is where I express one of my deepest beliefs; that friends are the sustenance of female life.

Next there is Maggie Marr the Romance author.  This was my first authorial reinvention.   The foray into Romance was a result of my love of reading romance and also a writer friend *ahem* Ally Carter, suggesting that I write a romance book.  The first one was The Billionaire's Proud Mistress which became Can't Buy Me Love.  I entered this book into a Harlequin Presents contest and was first runner-up.   And my winning created quite a dust up!  I used a psuedonym and 2 out of the 4 winners were previously pubbed authors--which the rules allowed--however there were some disgruntled entrants.

Courting Trouble was my first foray into full-length contemporary Romance.  I love this book.  I wrote the hell out of it--seriously--used every tool in my box--which is interesting because while the reviews for Courting Trouble are excellent, the book's sales are relatively low.

Next up I ghostwrote a young adult book for an unnamed celebrity--actually I've done this twice.  The experiences have been ...  interesting.  And I can't show you the covers because well--that's what ghostwriting means.

What have I learned as an author by reinventing myself?  I've learned that each time I try something new I stretch my abilities, I become a better author, I maintain the excitement for my writing--which a reader truly can feel.  I gain confidence in my voice and with my mastery of my craft.  Reinventing, I guess, is also about growing as a writer.  My growth comes from using my solid craft foundation but placing that craft in different containers whether those containers be a screenplay, a TV pilot, a young adult book, romance book, or women's fiction book.  I will continue to expand and grow--I will try on different genres and in that way keep reinventing myself but the thing that remains solid and the same is that I will always be a writer.

What is my next reinvention?  Well I have a genre I'd like to try next ...  So I will.  Just as soon as I finish the latest book.

Margaret 'Maggie' Marr is an author, attorney, and independent producer.  She has written for TV and film.  She practices entertainment law in Los Angeles and specializes in representing authors, producers, screenplay writers, and directors.  Her next book--Hollywood Hit--Book 3 in the Hollywood Girls Club Series, publishes Summer 2013.


  1. Thanks for sharing your story. I feel like I continue to reinvent myself even when I think one of those reinventions is "retired writer" - lol! I keep trying something new - just can't stop writing. :)

  2. I think your byline says it all, 'Maggie' - author/producer/lawyer - you've got the reinvention thing down!

  3. Maggie, I so enjoyed this. Am eager and determined to read your books and watch how the style changes across genres, if at all. I'm amazed how prolific you've been. BTW, the ghost-writing thing fascinated me. I can see ghostwritten autobiographies, but ghost-writing fiction? That sets off all sorts of scenarios in my brain!
    Thanks for the post,

  4. Love this, Maggie!! And I love your covers.