It’s scary getting older and feeling like a technology idiot when my 14 year old can do any of this. It took me 3 days to get this blog-thing figured out and post something. The worst part? I spent 17 years of my life working in software development. But I made it! Anyway, here are my answers to the get to know you questions:
1) When did you start writing? Or if you've been writing all your life, then when and how did you decide to pursue publication?
I’d secretly always wanted to write. Fear and a full time job left me with no imagination or time to even think about writing. When my husband and I moved to Maryland from Delaware I was able to strike a deal with my manager to work three days a week from home. The other two days I had my 3 yr old home with me. This was in 1999, just before all the Y2K panic in the technology sector. From October until Feb 2000, we weren’t allowed to put any new jobs into our production environment. We could only work on emergency problems. Lucky for me, I worked on a very stable system. Suddenly, I had nothing to do while at work. I’d call up to my co-workers and they’d say they were just surfing the net. Inspiration struck! It was time to start writing. I joined RWA and started writing a western historical. Within a year I learned that westerns weren’t selling and started a regency set historical, which is where I’ve been ever since.
2) What books/authors have influenced you?
Time to fess up here. I can’t remember a title to save my life. Instead, I’ll give you a few of my favorite authors. Jane Austin, Kathleen Woodiwiss, Johanna Lindsey, and Julie Garwood.
3) Describe your writing process.
Am I supposed to have a writing process? Just kidding. I’m more of a pantser, but I usually have a clear idea where the plot is going when I start the book. I usually have a feel for who the character is, what they want and why, but they tend to grow on me as I start writing. I don’t have a problem when my hero or heroine finally tell me the reason for why they’re acting like they are as long as it’s not a huge edit to make. I tend to do only minor editing as I’m writing my first draft. I go back and do a couple of full edits after the draft is complete.
4) Tell us about your current Work In Progress and what is next for you?
My agent is currently sending out my Golden Heart finalist book so I’m on tenderhooks waiting for comments. I had started to get in a funk last year about writing. I attempted to write the sequel to the GH book but only made it half-way through, which is very unusual for me. In January of this year, I decided to try something completely different and write a contemporary paranormal. It really got my muse going. I’m almost half-way through the first draft and even as I write this I’m thinking, I should be working on my ms. After over a year of not writing much, I’m loving this!
5) Any advice for others or personal observations?
As another of our bloggers mentioned, writing is not for the faint of heart. It can make you crazy. You hear voices in your head and those voices will keep you awake at night, they’ll make you zone out during “normal” conversations and they don’t stop until you write their story. Then again, I’m never lonely. I can’t tell you how many people have asked me if I went to college for this. I don’t think college can teach you how to become a storyteller. College can teach you how to put your commas in the right place (something I still struggle with) and how to write a sentence. But a true writer is a storyteller. The road to publication may be filled with rejection but for me it makes you a stronger person.