College student (Go Blue!).
Unfortunately, of all the careers I’ve had, I was never a butcher or a candlestick maker…but that doesn’t mean I won’t give it a try if given the opportunity!
The first romance novel I read was “The Flame and the Flower” by Kathleen Woodiwiss. It was 1972 and I must have been around 14 years old. (Yes, I’m that old!) It was considered revolutionary, featuring an epic historical romance with a strong heroine and actual sex scenes. My mother never knew I had it hidden in my bedroom—she thought it too racy for a teenager to read. (I can’t imagine what she would think if she read any of my writing today!) I gobbled up each book as it was released by Ms. Woodiwiss and also discovered Rosemary Rogers, Jackie Collins, LaVyrle Spencer and other wonderful novelists that inspired me to make up my own stories in my head. Of course, they all starred a perfect and beautiful me as the heroine and whichever crush I had at the time as the hero. Alas, I never wrote them down, instead letting them percolate in my brain for years. I just continued to read and read and read.
It wasn’t until I read Kristen Ashley’s Colorado Mountain series and Sylvia Day’s Crossfire series that I realized that if I could write down my own stories maybe, just maybe, in this day of self-publishing, e-books and social media marketing, someone else might actually want to read them. Once again, as I played around at my keyboard with plot ideas, I waited to allow the idea to sink in. And I continued to read. E.L James. Colleen Hoover. Cora Carmack. Anne Calhoun. J. Kenner. Stephen King. An eclectic group of authors to say the least.
Then I asked my husband what he thought.
He told me if I wrote half as many books as I read, we’d save enough money to vacation anywhere in the world we wanted to go.
He frowned for a moment after I kicked him and then asked if I was serious. One look at my face and he said, “Do whatever you need to do to make it happen, babe.” (I knew there was a reason I stayed married to him for 30 years besides…ahh… you know.)
So I researched author’s websites. I prowled their blogs. I lurked on Facebook and Twitter. I googled Romance Writers of America and went to a chapter meeting in Austin. And I got hooked when the authors welcomed me with open and helpful arms. I joined in June, 2013.
Then I learned about critique and querying and synopsis-writing. Character ARC. Line edits. GMC.
So here I am with two completed manuscripts, two more in the works and another in the process of being plotted. Oh, and a kick-ass website if I do say so myself, thanks to Cheryl Rae, my sister in ARWA. Hopefully I’ll soon get a response to the full MS’s that have been requested, but if not, I’ll continue to query while honing my craft and enjoy sharing with the wonderful authors that I’ve met as I continue this journey. And I’ll read.
That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!