I started on this crazy writing journey three years ago today...or this week, or next, or whatever. Anyhow, the day is close. I remember that by Thanksgiving in 2008, I'd already had a few chapters down the chute and my fingers were buzzing.
With each anniversary comes reflection and hopefully a little appreciation of how far you've come as a couple.
Me and my writing journey...we've come a long way.
I started writing with an idea: A girl who has visions of death before they happen. I thought I'd like to read a book like that. That's it. Nothing earth-shattering. I tossed around the idea for a couple weeks, but not once did I sit down at the keyboard to spit out a novel. The reason is simple: I wasn't spectacular at creative writing in college. I found myself so bogged down by the "rules" of the writing project (whatever it may have been at the time), that I never allowed myself the freedom I needed. (This is the reflection, part.) Write a poem using the five senses? Great. I'll do it. Write a short story using these very specific, and very random, fifty words. No problem. The writing was grammatically correct, structurally sound, and the stories flowed...but there was no meat to them, and the teachers could tell. (It wasn't until I tossed the rules that I *got* it.)
One day, Husband said, "Why don't you try writing a book?"
My response was something like, "I don't know if I can." (I was thinking something like holy hell, 400 pages would take FOREVER to write!)
"Well, why don't you sit down at the computer, no pressure, and see how far you get?" he said, like it was nothin'.
And it was nothing. I mean, writing a novel is SOMETHING. It's hard and tedious and strapping. But I had absolutely nothing to lose.
That story, set in Joliet, Illinois, about a marine who goes to war and a girl who finds herself through life (and death), was written in three months. I wrote late at night when the Husband and munchkins were sleeping. I wrote furiously. No holds barred.
It wasn't great. But it was a start. The writing bug got under my skin. I took the next step. How do I learn to write great books? Learn from the best! That's when I found RWA National and went to my first RWA conference (2009 Washington D.C), where I soaked up what the best of the best had to offer an enthusiastic newbie like me. I traveled by myself. I didn't know a single person there. I was focused on, not a writing career, but writing a single book that people loved to read.
That's where the journey really began...
Because I like lists, I'm gonna break down the timeline from there on out.
-First story written
-first story rejected by 100 agents
-Dark Tide Rising written
-half of Intervamption written
-Dark Tide Rising rejected by same 100 agents
-Dark Tide Rising given two offers of publication from e-publishers
-Dark Tide rising sold to The Wild Rose Press
-Offer of representation from agent for Intervamption query
-lost representation (agency closure)
-New offer of representation from agent (Hellooo Nalini!)
-half of Vamped Up written
-Intervamption and Vamped Up sold to Avon Impulse
-Dark Tide Rising published in February
-Vamped Up finished
-Intervamption published in July
-Claimed by Desire written
-Claimed by Desire and 2nd novella sold to Harlequin
*Vamped Up published in December
*Feralon novella 2 written
*Book 3 in Vampires of Crimson Bay series written
*Claimed by Desire published in Summer
*2nd novella published in Fall or Winter
(*'s are things to come, pending the stars aligning "just so" and the current path continuing as is.)
Quite a relationship we've had the past three years, isn't it? What that list doesn't include are the amount of wonderful writers I've become friends with. The critique partners who've helped shape my work. And how my becoming President of SFARWA this year has impacted my career. Since my first conference in D.C., I haven't missed a one. I still hope that people (or even one person) loves my work, but now I've got the bigger picture--this is my career.
And I can do this. (At least that's what I tell myself when I sit at the computer, staring at the blank screen!)
I only hope the next three years are as eventful as the last!