Saturday, August 25, 2018

Proud to be Living My Writing Dream

The Author of that marvelous
fairy tale

What am I the most proud of in regard to my writing?

The fact that I have twenty five books published and people besides me actually read them. I love notes and comments from readers about how they’ve enjoyed the books!

I’ve always written, since I was seven and did my first self-illustrated fairy tale about a princess with many sisters, flying cats, flying horses and a riverboat captain hero.

My image of a successful writer at that age was Jo from Little Women, writing in a drafty attic. I never understood how she could make a living at a penny a word though, and her choice of Professor Baer always puzzled me.

I envied (and admired) Andre Norton, who was one of my favorite authors and I had the feeling I could write stories too, with science fiction and a lot more romance. Which of course is what I do now.

Not the Author
I NEVER once thought I could make a living as an author. I went through wanting to be a nurse (hello Cherry Ames, RN), an astronaut (hello geometry and trigonometry and goodbye dreams of being a scientist because I can’t “math the sh*t” out of anything), a teacher (because I idolized several of my high school teachers, which led to a disastrous choice of a college which led to my dropping out after a major illness to marry my high school sweetie – ok, there were a LOT of other factors involved in the situation and the marriage part was the BEST thing I ever did….where was I?!)

I got a business degree because my late husband and I were partners and he was so good at long range planning, which started with both of us having degrees, good jobs, then our first house, then a station wagon, then a baby…
I went to work at NASA/JPL because I loved all things to do with the space program, I could work in contracts and related business areas for them…and stayed for a fulfilling and challenging career full of new experiences.

Yes, they got off the roof. Published
many years later, much revised!
But I never stopped writing. Sometimes it went on hiatus for a long time due to life happening, as when my husband was killed in a bicycle-truck accident when the children were 3 and 5…yeah, it’s a family joke how many years my poor characters were stuck on a temple roof under attack by bad guys because I didn’t touch the writing for so long after being widowed…The stories never went away - I was always thinking about plots and ideas because that's how writers are, but all my energy had to go into the daily effort to keep going and keep the family going.

And in 2010 when I had an empty nest after a LOT of life happened, I dug in and decided to make a real effort at becoming published. I had a few rejection slips here and there over the years when  I got brave enough to send something off into the void but had never made a serious, let’s-get-our-craft-skillz-up-to-par effort and attempted to conquer show vs tell and head hopping and a number of other things…

First book sold in 2011.
Published by Carina Press in January 2012.
Self published my first scifi romance in March 2012.
Left JPL to become a full time author in February 2015.

Not writing in a drafty attic for a penny a word, no difficult professors on the horizon to date or court or be courted by…but living the dream! Of course Jo didn't have to deal with the challenges of promo and marketing and social media and the vicissitudes of various ebook seller platforms and all the other things an author of today must juggle...but in general I get to spend the majority of my time working on my novels and I enjoy a lot of the 'other' activities. Twitter is my favorite thing! I just can't let them eat up too much time or I never do get the words on the page.

So there you have it.