I wrote my first book when I was about twelve. A romance novel. I shudder to think what a twelve year old could know about romance. I have no idea what happened to the manuscript. I suppose my mother found it, and burned it while screaming in horror, but I’ve always been afraid to ask. Was it a hundred pages? Two? I have no idea, but I seem to remember just writing FOREVER! So I’m guessing two pages long at least.
As a new bride I marched straight out of journalism school and into the kitchen, I did a lot of scribbling. I still have those heartbreaking works of staggering genius, Ode to Roast Beef, things like that, all born out of the ‘Write What You Know’ school of literature.
I began writing more seriously when my baby went to kindergarten. Not writing well of course, but just putting words on paper. No one does anything well the first time. I’m sure Babe Ruth missed the first ball pitched to him. I’m sure Picasso smeared pages with paint-y fingers when he was a kid—as I remember he went back to that later in life. I’m sure Beethoven played the eighteenth century version of Chopsticks before went for the sonatas.
My writing journey is similar to a lot of others. Boil it down to persistence, oh, go ahead and call it stubbornness. I just kept typing away. I think the reason I did it was because I’m more or less a dunce around people—prone to sit silently when I really ought to speak up(or far worse, speak up when I ought to sit silently).
So, I have all these things, I want to say, in my head; the perfect zinger to the rude cashier, which you think of an hour after you’ve left the store, the perfect bit of wisdom when someone needs help, which doesn’t occur to you until they solve their problems themselves, the perfect guilt trip for the kids, which you don’t say because you’re not an idiot. I keep all this wit to myself, much to the relief of all who know me, and then I write all my great ideas into books. It’s therapeutic if nothing else, and more affordable than a psychiatrist.
So then a very nice, oh so nice publishing company like Barbour Heartsong comes along and says, “Hey, we’ll pay you money for this 45,000 word therapy session.” That’s as sweet as it gets.
My journey to publication is the same as everyone’s except for a few geniuses out there who make it hard for all of us. And even they probably have an Ode to Roast Beef or two in their past.
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