I'm tickled to be here. Several writing friends have pressured me to blog over the years, but only Elisabeth managed to lure me to the dark side. (Her words!)
In October of 2004, I read an article in The Oregonian about NaNoWriMo and thought, "Huh. I can do that." I read tons of books; therefore, I should be able to write one. Right? So most evenings in November I shut myself in my husband's office and wrote a book on the computer we shared. I didn't make the 50K goal of NaNoWriMo, but I was hooked. I finished the book in a few months, bought a laptop, and started a second book. My husband asked when I'd earn some money.
I joined RWA and Rose City Romance Writers in summer 2005 and was stunned to learn I had an instant group of friends and supporters. These people loved to write and read as much as I did. And I was brushing shoulders with real authors. Normal people who had books sitting on shelves in bookstores. That was my goal. To read my name on a spine on a shelf at my local Borders.
My first conference was at Emerald City in Seattle that October. I'd done some querying with the first book and now was ready to pitch. I came home on cloud nine with requests for partials and an addiction to conferences. I loved the workshops, I loved the writers, and I loved socializing in the bar with these people who talked books nonstop. It was hard to come home. I sent off my partials, continued querying, and moaned as my rejections started to stack up. I started a file. Again my husband asked when I'd earn some money.
I do have a job. I've been a dental hygienist for twelve years working part time and raising my three daughters. I often tell people I'm a part time hygienist, part time writer, and full time mother. No, that's a lie. That's only a description in my head. I can count on one hand the number of people (outside of family) that I've told I write. And I didn't tell the family members. My mother did.
What a struggle to balance writing time and family. And house cleaning, grocery shopping, yard work, and laundry. My husband wanted to know when the big bucks would start rolling in. I showed him websites and articles that revealed what a majority of writers earn. His reply was something along the lines of "That works out to ten cents an hour. Or less."
I've been a voracious reader all my life. SMALL PIG is the first book I remember reading when I was in kindergarten. I can still see the cute pig rolling in the mud. After that it was Laura Ingalls, Nancy Drew, and Trixie Belden. I would read each book at least ten times and then I graduated to Stephen King, Danielle Steel, and Anne McCaffrey. I majored in Journalism at U of O, intending to go into advertising. I finished and discovered that entry level advertising agency jobs paid about the same as McDonalds. I didn't write for fourteen years. Instead I read and read and read. I loved to visit the used paperback shop and buy shopping bags full of dollar books. The thicker the book, the better. I was miffed when they raised the price to $1.50 a book.
Now I purchase stacks of books at Borders and Amazon. (Tax write-offs, honey!) I read it all. Historical, paranormal, thrillers, and a little sci-fi. Just a few of my favorite authors include Diana Gabaldon, Lee Child, Robert Crais, Tami Hoag, JR Ward, and James Rollins. New-to-me authors who have recently amazed me are Karen Rose and Sharon Sala. I've been ordering their backlists.
I write romantic suspense. I can't write a romance without including a pile of dead bodies and creating twisted villains. I'm in the editing stage of my fourth MS and plan to pitch it at Nationals this summer. I can't wait for San Francisco. This will be my first Nationals. I'm pumped to meet in person all the people I've met online. And I get to have breakfast with Brenda Novak and her editor which I won at her marvelous online auction for juvenile diabetes. I'm dragging Elisabeth to breakfast to fill those dreaded empty conversation moments when I get tongue tied in Brenda's vivacious presence.
Enough about me. I'm thrilled to join this blog and look forward to meeting everyone. Many of you I met on the beach retreat, but I still have several people to get to know. Introduce yourselves to me! What do you write or love to read?