Feeling nearly mad with power now that I've figured out how to post, I guess I'll take my first official turn at blogging.
I have written all of my life though my earliest efforts were composing a story about a wallflower....literally a flower on the wall LOL. My 5th grade teacher use to put a picture up each week and we wrote stories about the picture. It progressed from there to a rather ingenious rewrite of "The Little Match Girl" into "The Little Flashlight Girl". It was entered into a magazine contest by my 8th grade teacher. It did not win (always a mystery to me. I mean, the drama when the little heroine ran out of batteries) but I continued into my adolescence penning notebooks full of...you guessed it....romance stories.
The impetus to get serious and pursue publication came seven years ago at the death of my mother. I was feeling pretty lost. Grieving, reevaluating my own goals and life and accomplishments. When I heard that song "I Hope You Dance" by Lee Ann Womack I decided to get going and use the determination and grit I inherited from my Mom to follow my dream.
At the risk of revealing my age, my first influence was Kathleen Woodiwess. From there Shannon Drake/Heather Graham were at the top of my TBR list. I love historicals. I write historicals. It has only been in the last 6 years as I became involved with RWA that I read other wonderful authors like Nora Roberts, Suzanne Brockmann etc. My whole reading world has been opened up and I learn from everything I read.
My writing process is angst. Well, not exactly but close. I am a recovering pantser. On my first two mss. I knew generally what was going to happen but left it up to my characters to guide me along. That's fine if the characters are working with you, but my first ones were pretty darn elusive. It wasn't until I sat down in a marathon session to complete my latest one for the GH deadline that I actually could say I plotted. And then I was able to complete 100 pages in 3 weeks! But my crit partner still has to say "write it down!!!"
My current WIP is the third in my Patrician Series. It involves the brother of Book one's heroine who was captured and forced to be a gladiator. He fought and killed in order to survive to find his sister but at what price?
Advice. Hmmmm. Well, I'd have to say that that if you are pursuing publication you have to a) develop a thick skin...the kind that moisturizer can't penetrate b) learn patience and c) write, write, write. You NEVER stop learning in this business but you'll be a better writer for it.