A Writer’s Journey – Part II

First year2013

I don’t know if I would say I spent a lot of time studying the industry like some people do when they start out. I wrote books that appealed to me. My first one hitting the paranormal genre because of my love of shifters and I’ve always felt like a cat person inside. Yes, that sounds weird but I can’t help but think I was a big cat in a previous life. 😂 (Shhh just go with it.)

Original Cover

Next, I decided to try my hand at contemporary and without thinking about it, the sports romance genre. My hubby was a paratrooper for a lot of his years in the military, so it felt natural. (Wait, military? Why didn’t I write that? That’s a question for a different time.)

My paranormal did better than contemporary and if I’d had taken the time think before hitting publish the second time (that contemporary book), I wonder if I would have realized that I should have stuck with one genre until things started taking off. But I was excited and thrilled to enter the fray.

I was of the “shiny” and “squirrel” mentality at the time. I did what I wanted, when I wanted, and didn’t think of the long term career aspects.

Updated Cover – 2020

I published 4 books that first year: Craving More (paranormal), Caught in the Moment (contemporary), Claiming More (paranormal), and Dallas & Kacie (paranormal).

I was on a high but struggling to get my thoughts in order. To come up with a schedule or even an inkling of a plan. I let whatever whim took hold me dictate what and when I wrote. Things kind of crumbled after that.


A Writer’s Journey – Part I

That sounds kind of ominous, doesn’t it? Like “Oh, is she going to say that her journey into writing is over?” or “Is she giving up on this after 7 years of not making an impression with readers or building a huge following?” I’m not, by the way. I’m not giving up. It’s actually quite the opposite. So, what kind of journey am I talking about?

My journey of getting into this industry and what I’ve learned along the way (this might need to be a multiple part post now that I’m thinking about it).

For me it all started with my good friend, Priscilla, introducing me to romance books at the ripe age of thirty-three (or something like that). I’d read a couple of my mother’s Doubleday books back in the day. One I vividly remember is That Girl by Catherine Cookson. I still want to find a copy for my library.

Anyway, after Priscilla let me borrow and devour a bunch of her books – can anyone not fall in love with Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton series – I found myself on the internet immersing myself in the romance world. I joined a couple Yahoo Groups (Lordy that was a long time ago) and glommed on to the Writeminded group (there was another one I really liked but my memory fails me). 

I became friends with author Melissa Schroeder on there. We lived in that same-ish area and we met up for the first time at a Barnes & Noble in Woodbridge, VA. It was amazing. She was beyond friendly and we totally connected. Both military wives, we knew what that nomad lifestyle was like and how finding someone you clicked with was actually pretty damn hard.

Over time, I ended up working for Mel as her PA. I didn’t set out to be a writer or look for ways she could help be break into the industry. I was happy to help her with her writing career and see her successes. 

Eventually, though, I did do NaNoWriMo. I don’t remember if it was on a whim or what, but Mel read it and I think maybe someone else (Laurie?) and they said it didn’t suck. (I still have that story in my WIP files. It has never been published and would need major polishing.) With those encouraging words, I decided to dive headfirst into the writing industry.I made some mistakes in the time leading up to publishing my first and second book. I didn’t manage my time well enough between writing and being Mel’s PA. On that front, we parted ways and went from employer/employee to author/newbie. We’ve always remained friends though (if you can’t tell).