It all started with a bad ending. I have always loved writing. I have stories saved that I wrote on summer vacation when I was in third grade, but being an author was not a career choice ever presented to me. Instead, I went about my life and went to college first to be a teacher, and then to be a chef.
When my babies were tiny, and I was teaching full-time and living life a friend of mine was an avid reader and got me back into reading for pleasure. After many years of college, I forgot that was a possibility. We lived in a very rural area, so I devoured every book she had which was primarily romance and I loved it. It was a little slice of adulthood in the middle of diapers, and classroom décor. I was happy being a reader.
But then, came an ending. You know the kind, which makes you want to chuck the book against the wall? The kind of ending that left you completely unsatisfied and empty. I said to myself, I could write a better ending for that story, and I did. Suddenly it was like the clouds cleared after a storm and I saw the possibilities. That was all I needed to spark my first ideas and I was off.
Unfortunately, the early 2000s was still squarely situated in what I call the gate keeping netherworld of publishing. It would be several years before those first brave soles side stepped the publishing interns, and over worked editors and just published their work on their own, so I was doing what all other romance writers doing. I was attending all the conferences to get in front of an editor or agent, hoping for a request. Statistically, I did very well in this round of thunder dome. Often, I would get a request for the full manuscript. Then, I would wait. And wait. And wait. Only to get a rejection letter that read, we love your voice, but… your female characters are too strong to work in a Regency historical. If you have anything else anytime, I’d love to see it.
That was when in 2017 after writing my second novel and it still not getting picked up, I decided to grab onto the coat tails of the wave of authors where were also choosing to take their careers
into their own hands and I self-published. I didn’t know how to format, upload, market, advertise. I knew nothing but was willing to learn. I remained an active member in my local RWA chapter and at the national level, so I was aware of publishing trends and everything that still seems to change daily. If not for Romance Writers of America I would not have found the tools I needed. And today isn’t any different. I am always learning about the business.
Now the roadblocks are usually self-inflicted by lack of knowledge, or my refusal to either limit myself or my unwillingness to do the latest and greatest, but at the end of the day I have the reins and can steer this beast in whatever direction I choose and for that I am thankful.
Next up we have Brenda Margriet
And check out A Season for Love Anthology:
Sometimes forever begins after forty. A collection of fiery and passionate contemporary romances featuring characters in their 40’s, 50’s and beyond. These authors don’t close the bedroom door on the good stuff, so be prepared to get hot and bothered in the best of ways. After all, lust has no age limit!