When I said I neglected my education I am not joking. I was asked not to return for my sophomore year (Catholic school) because my teachers and the principal thought I had a substance abuse problem. "No," my mother told the principal during a parent teacher conference. "She has a book problem." I could not stop reading. I could not stop writing. The stories got longer, the plots more intricate (and convoluted), the characters expanded beyond myself and morphed into new creations I could make dance at the tip of my pen (before computers took over the universe). Writing these stories became the focus of my world although I did manage to graduate with a pretty good GPA; I learned my lesson, although who thought I had to take sewing to be successful was very much mistaken. I meandered through college, a binder filled with lined paper with textbooks and homework a second thought. I'd sit in class and keep writing my stories, determined to be a writer. Except...
|photo from 4vector.com|
I never would have signed my first contract with Harlequin a few short weeks ago.
Yes, it took a long time to get to where I needed to be. I had to join RWA, join my local chapter, find the perfect critique partners and mentor (ahem, Melinda Curtis). I had to learn the craft by taking classes and attending conferences, by reworking the same pages over and over until my voice emerged and I was battling tears. I had to fight mental barriers and decide if being a writer was what I really wanted, and if so, what did being published mean to me? What was my definition of success at a time when there are knock-down-drag out arguments over who is "published"? This industry, this business, this being a writer is NOT for the faint hearted. But it's exactly where I want to--and need to--be. So to all those who started me on this path, to those who helped me along the way and to those who continue to have my back day after day and refused to let me quit...thank you. And thank you to the Harlequin Heartwarming authors for welcoming me with open arms and an enthusiasm I can only hope to pass on.
So let's get down to it...what favorite rock star or celebrity would have starred in YOUR mini-romance? I'll confess, after starting with a member of Duran Duran (stop laughing!), I moved on to Jon Bon Jovi (swoon) --who I readily admit, still makes regular appearances as my hero inspiration.