Happily married to a firefighter, I’m a California beach girl who learned some valuable things on the way to becoming a writer. I waited way too long to submit, until the kids were away at college. Big mistake.
Furthermore, I also learned:
1. Check your pen name early on. I didn’t and now share cyberspace with a porn star of the same name.
2. Remember that nobody dies from rejection. Gnash your teeth for a day, then move on.
3. Write what you love, not what’s trendy at the moment. If you don’t, writing’s a chore and what’s the point?
4. Enter contests. It’s such a feel-good thing when you do well, and the comments are helpful if you don’t. It might open some doors. And practically speaking, having to follow directions and prepare a perfect manuscript is great training.
(For example, my entry in the Hearts Crossing Contest at White Rose Publishing led to an eight-book series contract! And I was just the runner-up! The third book, Sanctuary, is now available and deals with cancer-survivor hero and heroine. Guess what…it’s as romantic and hopeful a love story as you’ll ever see.)
5. Read! I got a recumbent bike both for exercise and for a dedicated time for reading. Reading good literature helps remind you how to vary sentence beginnings and structures, increases vocabulary, and improves grammar skills. (Can you tell I taught high school English forever?)
Thanks for spending time with me today. I’ll be awarding e-copies of my two summer releases, Sanctuary and Faithful Danger, my first suspense novella.