My life as a writer evolved, I wasn’t born this way.
It all started when I was a child and would tell my younger siblings stories to occupy them. The Internet wasn’t discovered yet and we had no TV!
I should have seen the signs of my future self through my love of books, reading and penmanship classes; I was taught calligraphy and other forms of writing styles in junior high, and I used these styles when I wrote book reports or essays, two other loves of mine.
As an adult, I made up stories to tell my children and it was with children in mind that I decided to try to write children’s books. What a disaster! I found that it’s harder to write for children then to make it up in the moment.
My interest in this genre didn’t last long but my interest in writing stayed with me.
With the arrival of the eBook and online publishing in many venues, my first manuscript was published…another disaster. I didn’t see the errors of my writing and submitted a second manuscript to the same, now de-funked, eBook publisher and all was well in my writer’s world.
I sold a few copies to family who were excited for me, but no more than that and it was years later, on reflection, that I was thankful that I went with a pen name! I had too many chapters in too few pages, incorrect use of backstory, endless sentences and no consistency with regards to places, time and character description.
Needless to say, I could no longer advance my career with that pseudonym. I had no writing education and knew that If I wanted to succeed, I would have to learn the craft.
I searched for free online courses and found many but my favorite was Writer’s Village University, where I learned to hone my skill. I subscribed to newsletters like creative writing and sites like Writers Digest. I started to journal on a daily basis so I would get into the habit of writing every day.
After years of writing, submitting and rejection letters, I studied more, wrote more, and received more rejection letters. It was only after I changed what I wrote that I finally hit my stride. Instead of a novel as my first attempt at publication, I began with articles online and in newspapers. I wrote a few short stories and as my confidence grew, I started to submit them to anthologies. When my first story was accepted and published, I felt like a super star!
I went on to have four more stories published in other anthologies and then decided I wanted the pages between the cover all to myself so I began to work on a novel.
I wrote many, none of them ever completed. My ideas petered out, I didn’t like my characters and they, for sure, didn’t like me. I kept at it though; jotted down ideas, took pictures of places I could use as a setting, bounced ideas off of family and friends. I made scene cards and cut pictures from magazines that looked like and helped me to describe the characters in my book. I even created chapter outlines so I knew where I was going and how I would get there.
Writer’s block is the bane of every author’s existence; how it resolved itself differed with each episode. I woke in the middle of one night with such a vivid idea for a book that I wrote the first three chapters right then and there. I went on to complete and submit the book and it was published in December 2016, the name of the book – With Clear Intent
My second novel, The Pleasures of Deceit, was not as spontaneous; it took a few years to complete. It was picked up by Austin Macauley in NYC and will be released in late 2020.
I am at work on a third novel, one of the many I started all those years ago but never finished.
So, now you know a bit about my writer’s life. I hope you enjoyed the read and will come back for more.
All my best to you…