Novelist Emma Bowd

Is an author born or made? It's a big question. Over to guest blogger Emma Bowd, author of The Shoe Princess's Guide to the Galaxy, who explains what can (and can't) be taught. Going by what she says below, do you think you have the personality traits of an author?


I honestly believe you are born to be an author. It is within you and not made. The feedback I consistently got from readers (editors paid to critique your work) during early drafts of The Shoe Princess's Guide was that I had a distinctive authorial voice and that this cannot be taught, while other technical things, like characters and plotting, can be.

Personality characteristics which I think help you to be an author are: discipline; ability to seek and accept feedback and be open to having your work critiqued; self-belief; persistence; flexibility; intuition; imagination; and organisation.

I wholeheartedly believe you can be a good writer and not get published.

If you want to get published, don’t sit in an ivory tower with your ‘writing’. You need to cold call agents, editors, publishers and make your own opportunities. No one will come knocking on your door asking to see your manuscript. Of that, I am certain!

Very best, Emma