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I've been published since 1996, and I had probably been writing about 5 years before that, trying to get published. I knew I wanted to be a writer when I started reading romance. Before that, I hadn't read much of anything. Cereal boxes, occasional make-up advice in a magazine. I can't remember my exact age when I first started, but I was grown and already had 3 kids before it occurred to me to write.
What do you find most rewarding about being a successful author that you never expected when you started writing?
I used to be horribly shy. I know, if you've met me, that's hard to believe. I got tunnel vision in high school and wanted to faint if the teacher called on me. No way would I have ever stood in front of a group of ladies and spoke about writing.
Now I love meeting new people and friends and sharing our love or stories. It's so wonderful when I meet someone who tells me that her favorite historical novel is the same one I love - Honor's Splendor by Julie Garwood. And when someone tells me her favorite book is one I wrote - it thrills me so much, it's almost devastating.
What was the biggest misconception you had about writing when you started?
That I would just be able to write. There's so much more involved - promotion, editing, phone calls, travel. It's overwhelming at times. Also, one of the things I noticed early on in this business that sort of threw me for a loop and disillusioned me for a time, was the negativity.
Lots of angst and people talking like they "bleed on the page" to write. It was all suffering and woe and it beat me down. But because I'm a writer, I couldn't just walk away from it all. Instead, I've tried to keep it more upbeat, to show that SOME of us are feeling remarkably blessed and are very happy. Even when things don't go 100% right - and they often don't in this biz - I still can't think of anything else I'd rather do.
Of course it's hard work. And very time consuming and often filled with disappointments. But anything worthwhile requires work. For me, though, there's work and then there's work . I've worked other jobs that were just to make money. There was no personal reward. This is different. This is rewarding in so many ways, I can't even list them all.
I get to sit at my desk in my comfy clothes with my dogs in my lap or nearby and my kids coming in and out and coffee in front of me - hey, it's a no brainer. This is what I was meant to do. And lucky for me, I've met others who feel the same way. There will always be those who suffer for their art. But others are having a great time with this writing gig and they're not afraid to share the happiness.
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