To back up, I have no regrets about where I am in life and what I am doing as a career. I was a Marriage and Family Therapist in a clinic setting, then worked in In-Home Therapy for families who were at risk of losing their children to the foster care system. It was extremely stressful work, but after four years (which I believe in social work equates to 12) it was time for me to do something that would be less stressful on our whole family.
|Even my work office has a library!|
In January of 2012, I was reading a book and had a revelation. I have always liked Historical Fiction (sometimes called Western Romance or similar), but when I started reading Kaki Warner's books late last year, I discovered this is the genre I actually love. She brings humor into her books and I think that is what tied it together for me. In becoming a follower of her blog, I started hearing about other new authors that she supports. One of these was Genevieve Graham. When Genevieve released her debut book, Under the Same Sky, she did a "blog tour" on a ton of different blogs, giving away her book and talking about her own journey. I was so inspired by her, I stalked her on the blogs and entered every giveaway. I still can't believe I didn't win that book! Anyway, I loved hearing her story and got to witness through social media the sheer excitement she had of seeing her first book in print. She's a really nice person, too. She signed a sticker and sent it to me so I could put it in the book- that I did end up happily buying. (UPDATE: But then I did win it - insert evil laugh- so I gave it to my sister).
My revelation: If I like these books so much, I should try to write my own. It has been YEARS since I actually attempted to sit down and write a story, but why not try it and see what happens? The words have been flowing out of me ever since. Years of reading books has such an advantage. I thought about my favorite books and what I liked about them, saw some common themes, then figured out how I could put them into my story. I've also been reading some excellent books on writing: The Fire in Fiction by Donald Maass and Creating Characters by Dwight V. Swain are two of them. I also bought a huge dictionary/thesaurus wordfinder. I couldn't believe how nerdy I felt getting excited for this to arrive in the mail!
One of the things that I love about books are the characters. Isn't that generally why I keep reading into the night? I have seen many, many characters in real life. They are combining traits to make appearances into my book. You know that blurb you read about how "any resemblance to persons living or dead is coincidental"? I don't think I can truthfully put that in my book at this time. I'll have to figure that one out.
The hardest part is finding time, especially when kids demand it and I have to give to them first because that's the priority. So in return, it means staying up very late at night to get my thoughts down before they elude me. I find that the story follows me all day long, and even if I'm not writing on paper, I'm writing in my head. It's a long process, but so far even the journey along the way has been fun. I've met new people, and continue to learn amazing things.
Thank you to all my inspirations over the years as well-- friends who went to the library with me and discussed books, teachers who encouraged my writing, and my parents, who put the first book into my hands. I also have to thank my husband, who always supports me 100% in everything I do.