Sell a book and you’ll be rolling in dough. I’ll say it straight out—what a hoot. Fame and fortune probably go to 1 or 2 percent of all romance writers. And I’m willing to bet those perks didn’t come quickly, because writing a book that sells takes time. It’s a craft you have to learn. And it takes dedication to stick it out and write through self-doubt and rejection. Writing to sell requires giving up precious free time with family. It sometimes means juggling demands of a paying job with the pull of fictional characters waiting impatiently on your home computer. If the vision of easy money is what’s enticing you to give romance writing a try, chances are you’ll opt out about the time your spaghetti boils over on the stove and the dog barfs on the kitchen floor as you follow your fictional characters into a better world. Writing is usually a second job. It’s hard work. You begin with a desire to publish—to see your name on a book jacket. To complete a manuscript takes drive, discipline and dedication. You have all that, you say? Good. You produce a book. Yay! You send it out. You wait. A week. Two weeks. A month. Maybe six. Then comes a form letter saying your characters are cardboard. Your story lacks depth. There’s little conflict between your hero and heroine, and by the way, good luck placing this elsewhere. The notion of easy money fades a bit. But, you’re stubborn, and besides you like writing and darn it, you have talent. So you dig in. You invest money in writing classes, in workshops and conferences. You find your voice, your style. You learn how to mix dialogue and narrative. You return to your computer, bleary-eyed, but armed with information. Now you’re on the road to fame, fortune and glamour. Write a second book. Send it out. Again you wait. Ah ha, this time the letter says your characters are warm, your dialogue is fresh, your plot unique, but…two problems. You aren’t agented, and if you were you’d know this book isn’t the type we publish. By this time if you don’t give up, you’ve learned that writing a romance isn’t so easy. And now you add another “D” word to your repertoire—disappointment. You blunt the old visions, and add determination. You say, I wrote a book. In fact, I wrote two books. I am a writer. I have stories inside burning to be told. Writing is in my blood. It’s who I am. Oh, and isn’t it fortunate I don’t really need money from this endeavor to put food on my table or a roof over my family’s head? I know glamour, fame and fortune sits just around the corner. But maybe I should have said I also still believe in Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy. Writing isn’t easy. The rewards are most often personal satisfaction when even one reader says they like what you’ve done.