It’s a question that I get a lot, as I’m sure most authors do.
I have wanted to be a writer since I was a little girl. The desire was born from my love of reading. I can remember going to the library and coming home with stacks and stacks of books that I would voraciously consume before going back for another stack.
One day, when I was about 8, my father asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up and I said, “A writer!”. He told me that writers have to be very observant and be a student of human nature and of their surroundings. So I got a notebook and wrote down everything for a time, just like Harriet the Spy. At twelve or so I wrote my first “book”…well, my first attempt at a book, anyway. It was called The Barncat Chronicles and was, unsurprisingly, about the cats on my father’s hobby farm.
At 22 I wrote my first full-length novel, a historical romance. It was doorstopper, weighing in at 120k, and I couldn’t quuuuite keep the paranormal aspect out of it. It found an agent (miraculously), but never found a home. And rightly so, since I made just about every rookie writing mistake known to man in that book. I spent the next few years rewriting it and rewriting it…and rewriting it. That’s how I learned to write the right way.
For awhile I gave up hope that I would ever succeed as a writer and put down my pen. I pursued degrees in English and Psychology and then went through a period of flirtation with several graduate degree progams, trying to find one that fit me.
In the meantime, 9/11 happened. My husband and I were in Belgium when it occurred. We were locked out of the country for a few days and were on one of the first planes allowed back into the U.S. We flew past NY, (modified route), into Dulles. Dulles was freaky and quiet. Armed guards led us through customs and to our next plane connection. There was little speaking. Do not pass go. Do not collect $100.
Ironically, on that plane ride back was when I decided to take up writing again. I still remember the conversation I had in my head about it. Can still remember gazing out the window as we passed NY while I had it. Why, I asked myself, when life was so uncertain, was I not doing the one thing I loved most? Because I was afraid to fail? Please. Life is far too short to let fear rule.
So, I wrote another book.
Just at the same time I found a graduate degree program that fit (hallelujah!), I sold my first book. Knowing I couldn’t work full-time, attend grad school in the evenings AND write, I took a chance on a lifelong dream and chose writing.
I would love to know the stories of a few other bloggers, so I’m tagging…
Melany Logen (the both of them), Daisy Dexter Dobbs and Patrice Michelle. I’m also tagging any other authors who wants to take up the challenge. Leave me a link to your post, if you answer, please.