I’m often asked how and when I became a writer and my response is always the same – “I have no idea”. I have been writing as long as I can remember, and we’re not talking grade school, we’re talking maybe 2 or 3. Of course I was no Pulitzer winner back then but I have vague memories of coming up with stories and characters in my head. This déjà vu is often proven by the fact that my mother and grandmother have collections of “books” that I gifted them over the years. The earlier ones were picture books, put together using scraps of paper with an elegant staple or tape binding. As I learned to actually write, these books became more elaborate, with odd plots (often including a lost horse for some reason) and vivid characters.
I started to write honest to goodness stories in junior high. Somewhere in my attic is a box with notebooks filled with much of the same… vivid characters and odd plots (not many horses though) and many more details and descriptions as I slowly learned to observe my surroundings and mark their effect on my emotions.
I became yearbook editor and wrote poems and short stories for any number of school booklets for creative writing classes. In high school, this became much more intense as I eagerly tried to join every writing class and club available and lead them if I could, and I did. At one point I had even become a student teacher for an AP writing class.
With college, I had decided to go into journalism and again focused on becoming head writer of everything… and now away from home for the first time and experiencing the real world; my writing took on a whole new life. I had fallen into a dungeons and dragons roleplay group, which did suck up a lot of my free time but gave me a whole new outlet to test ideas, plots and characters. I began writing medieval fantasy fiction. It was the early 80s so this was something entirely new and I loved it. From there I delved into cyberpunk, a type of post apocalyptic fiction and after that the sky was the limit.
When I got out of school and started my career (not in Journalism unfortunately), writing became an escape for me as it always has. As I became more entrenched in real life and real life drama, my stories took on a more realistic approach and I began writing stories of regular women and their lives with drama and romance thrown in. I couldn’t call them romance entirely as the plots weren’t geared toward the love story. They focused on the struggles of women living in the real world, much like I was.
And then I started to read romance…. I started with Medieval since that was my original love, Celtic mostly. Lynn Kurland and Jaclyn Reding were two of my favorites. I also started to write stories of my own and in 1999 I managed to finish my very first novel called “A Warrior’s Heart”. I pitched it to hundreds of agents and publishers and have a box of rejection letters to prove it. I still have the manuscript, digitally now, and I read it on occasion to try to see where I went wrong, but how can you hate your first child?
Shortly thereafter I began to read Jane Austen and that’s when my writing changed. I put away the armor and the swords and began writing of cotillions and carriages. By then I had joined and even lead several writers groups and began making friends in the literary world. In 2007 I was asked to participate in a charity anthology and it was my first break into publishing. My story “A Toast to the Bride and Groom” was part of “No Law Against Love”, which became an immediate hit. Suddenly I had to put together a website, attend book signings and do interviews. It was the most amazing time of my career. It was then that I buckled down to finish my first Regency “Earl of My Heart”. The book was published in 2009 by Lulu Publishing. It has since been re-released through Amazon and is seeing new life there, which thrills me.
The next volume in this four book Lambourne Legacy series, “Love in the Stars”, was just recently released. It, and the subsequent volumes to come will follow each of the siblings in the Lambourne clan. I hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoy writing them.