If you would've told me four years ago I'd sell my first novel before I turned thirty, I'd have called you a liar.
A little over two years ago, I started to write fanfiction. No, I won't tell you what characters it was based around, but I will tell you it was horrible. Like AWFUL. I'll never forget this one "comment" I received from a reader. It crushed me, to the point my writing career almost came to a grinding halt before I could ever get into fourth gear.
Because I'd never been to college, I felt embarassed of my writing. I mean, I truly believed I couldn't write a book unless I'd at least obtained my Associates Degree. Add to it I write romance, albeit sweet romance, but romance none-the-less...I hung my head at the thought of anyone unearthing my secret. So, when Josh found out what I'd been up to, I was mortified. There the chips lay of my emotional stability, displayed on the table for Josh to see.
But to my surprise, Josh only encouraged me to keep writing, and to find a group I could join. By having his blessing, my confidence began to grow. Though my stuff was nowhere near the caliber it needed to be for him to read it, the fact he supported me was, not to sound corney, but the wind beneath my wings. He helped guide me on my first flight into the wonderful world of writing. Two nights later I discovered a national organization called the Romance Writers of America, and the local chapter was only a city away.
So, the following week, I packed my computer and headed into the unknown. I had no idea what to expect and could only hope that the women and men attendees would welcome me with open arms. I hadn't even gotten a chance to set down my bags before Christine, a sweet woman, introduced herself to me. It felt great, to not have been there five minutes and to have made a friend. I got so much out of the lecture that day. When I left, I felt energized to write. Most importantly, I left with a belief that "I can do this".
My drive started out with the desire to finish a book. Halfway through the novel, it changed to wanting to show my children you can do anything you put your mind to. Towards the end, it evolved into "I can make a living at this".
The following month I went to the RWA meeting and met my now good friend, Erin. Between her pushing me in my writing, and RWA challenging me to think outside of the box, the next year was spent in growing my craft. This year promised new and exciting things on the horizon. I felt the book I'd started the previous July would be "the one". Little did I know that, by the end of the year, how true my premonition would be.
Now here I sit, having my first book published, and in the sequel submitted to my publisher. It's been a crazy three years and I'm thankful for my journey along the way. There has been some amazing women in my life who have helped me grow in ways I couldn't have without them. Erin and Laura are two of the many of those wonderful women.
Thank you to my husband, my friends, and everybody who has been a continuous support to me. Without you, I'd still be saying "One day I'll write a book."