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Member Spotlights

Member Spotlight: Mitzi Szereto

author Mitzi Szereto and an image of her book Women Who Murder

Why is writing important to you and why do you think it’s an important medium for the world? I can’t imagine a world without books and the people who write them. Now, more than ever, we need to keep writing alive and encourage more people to read, especially young people. It’s worrying to see the direction we’re heading in, particularly with regard to AI-generated content. The whole point of writing a book is to share your creativity with others, your ideas and knowledge, be it fiction or nonfiction. Each writer has a unique voice and their own special way of telling a story. It’s up to us, as readers and as a culture, to continue to allow this to flourish.

What are your tried and tested remedies to cure writer’s block? I find that stepping away from a project for a little while can help get things moving again. I like to get immersed in a good book (I really enjoy psychological thrillers) or an addictive crime thriller TV series, especially those from the UK and Scandinavia. It’s strange how even reading or watching something completely unrelated to what I’m working on can trigger an idea or a scene. I’ve yet to figure out how it works, but it works, so I’m not complaining!

What is your favorite time to write? Although I don’t have a preference, I always seem to end up writing in the afternoons. Much of this is due to needing to get all my other book-related and personal business out of the way first so it’s not hanging over me. Then I can finally go into “the zone.”

What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever received and would like to impart to other writers? To be honest, I can’t remember receiving any writing advice. I tend to follow my own advice, which is to believe in yourself and your talent and ability. Don’t give up – keep at it. Work hard and aim high, but also be realistic about your talent and ability. Remember too, that it’s hard to sell a book. A lot of great books are rejected by publishers and agents. It’s a sad reality, but it’s a reality writers have to live with every day. But if this is genuinely what you want to do and what you’re good at doing, you’ll find a way to make it happen.

What excites you most about being a writer in today’s age? A lot of interesting things are happening in publishing now. While the doors close still further when it comes to the usual suspects in the publishing business, this is also giving rise to independent publishers. These indie publishers are more inclined to take a chance on writers who aren’t in the “instant bestseller” category. Better yet, some of these publishers are offering different royalty options than what we’ve been seeing in the past. Writers have always been given the smallest piece of the pie, and yet we’re the ones doing the most work. This unfairness is finally starting to be addressed. We still need to do a bit of sitting back and watching to see how well all these independent startups actually do, but having more publishers out there is definitely a plus.

Mitzi Szereto’s Women Who Murder: An International Collection of Deadly True Crime Tales is out now with Mango.