Pamela Tracy here…
The first story I ever penned…. really was by pen.
It was junior high and I was in love with either Dan Decker or Scott Chadwick. My friend Debra felt the exact same way. If I took Dan (fictionally of course), she took Scott and vice versa.
I think I learned plotting with Debra. We'd get on the phone (a teen line) and we'd make up stories. I'd tell the story for about three minutes and then she'd tell the story for about three minutes. I, unfortunately, do not remember any of those stories except one had to do with being on a yacht. Something two landlocked Nebraska girls knew nothing about.
Most of the stories never got to the happily ever after because either her mother or mine would provide the black moment ending words thus not allowing us to get to the conclusion: "Get off the phone NOW."
Eventually I started writing alone, in a spiral notebook with a pen. I call those my David Cassidy stories, because yes, neither Dan nor Scott could compete with David. The only one who could was Bobby Sherman.
Eventually, I wrote my first fictional hero.
By then, I had no teen line, had long forgotten Scott and Dan, had outgrown David Cassidy (who had been followed by Peter Frampton and then Dwight Yaokim), and was in college.
I'd also given up romances for Sci Fi and was a Douglas Adams, Kurt Vonnegut kind of girl.
My first novel was Sci Fi and I never finished it. It was half-written on a machine much like the one above.
Because I was, by heart, a romance reader and writer who sometimes played in different neighborhoods (I loved horror back then, too.)
My June Romance, Small-Town Secrets, was typed on a computer (so much easier, no white out!)
It has a happily ever after (although I'd gladly change the ending just to hear my my mother shout "Get off the phone NOW" one more time).
The hero wasn't David Cassidy but patterned after Tim Daly (his Wings days) and Sandra Bullock (the bus movie girl).
First line in the book: There were two thing Yolanda Sanchez didn't want to see in her somewhat restored Queen Anne Victorian, whose ground floor now housed the Twice Told Tales used bookstore.
Last line in the book : Yolanda didn't care as long as Adam kissed her again.
Can you think of two things you wouldn't want to see in your bookstore were you the owner?