As you can see I am a USA TODAY and NEW YORK TIMES best seller!!
Wow, that still gives me thrills and chills to say that! My writing journey has not been an easy one, but perhaps the 20 plus years it took to get me here has made my appreciation that much greater. You see I never went to college, don’t have a degree in journalism or any real qualifications to write. After high school I worked for a couple of years, then traveled around Europe, and returned to my home town, in Vancouver, Canada. It was the early seventies and I was lucky enough to get a fabulous job as a flight attendant for seventeen years, and see the world that I wanted to write about.
I was twelve years old when I knew I wanted to be a writer, and give back the magic of diving into a book and discovering new worlds, and wonderful people to care about. My love of reading fed my desire to give back the same joy that books had given me. Oh, I knew I wasn’t overly smart or talented, but it didn’t stop me from dreaming about writing and making readers laugh or cry, or hopefully both!!
Yes, I was a little girl with big dreams, and it wasn’t until I was forty that I decided to do something about them. So while my children were in school, I sat down and wrote my first romance — in long hand! It took a year, and I had quite a mess going. Finally, I told my husband at the time that I needed a typewriter so I could put this mess into one piece, and he brought me home a computer and his secretary to show me how to use it. It was a very simple romance, meant for Harlequin– about a flight attendant and a married pilot who had an affair. Brilliant! Imagine my surprise when they very nicely wrote back and said they didn’t publish books with married heroes!! Well, my oh my, it was the late eighties, for heaven’s sake! Get with the times, I thought, and continued to write my second book and sent it to them once again.
This ignorance went on for quite some time–years to be exact, and we moved around the world — from Canada to Australia to England, then ended up in New Jersey. I continued to write and learn my craft, one ugly book at a time. In New Jersey I joined RWA and they taught me that I didn’t know anything about writing at all! What is point of view, I wondered? Why can’t I head-hop! I knew exactly whose head it was!
After years and years of rejection, I started to get better, and then I got a wonderful agent with my chick lit, REPLACING BARNIE. Jumping for joy, I just knew I was going to get published at last! But alas, Chick lit died and so did that dream. I did manage to sell it to a small pub and made about a hundred sales over two years.
Then in year 201l, I was literally done. My agent had stood with me, my writing was good, gosh darn, because all the big New York editors were telling me so, along with a but…
Those buts all but killed me. Or killed my love for writing. I hated it. It was breaking my heart. I was so very seriously considering giving up because I couldn’t write anything better, but it was never enough. And then — guess what happened!!!
You guessed it! Along came self publishing, and I put little old Barnie up for sale for the whopping price of $0.99 and it started selling off the shelves. Readers had found me, and they liked me, they really, really liked me! My little book was a hit! I was an instant over-night success! Right.
Well, that wasn’t the only reject I had in my closet! I soon had six books up for sale, and as they say the rest is history.
If you leave a comment, I will give two e-books to two lovely readers.
And please join me, next week, for another update, how I became a NY Times best seller! See you all then!