Greetings, to my fellow blog readers. I’m not sure why Char chose this “Tells All” tag for me as it sounds like I have a wealth of wisdom to share. Maybe I do, but as a mother of four daughters I’m used to having my advice ignored. Instead I’ll reveal a bit of my writer journey for my first post as a Soul Mate Author.
I’ve pursued many career paths, with hope to be a professional within the world of books and, to avoid becoming a novelist. I love reading, I love authors, and I’m fascinated to be living in the most turbulent and innovative time in the history of publishing. I love writing my stories because I am the deity, in total control, and I can make all my characters nice. I’ve got a stack of rejection letters that all say the same thing – not enough conflict and drama. This became my mantra, and excuse, for years as an aspiring novelist. “I’ll be published when I get the conflict and drama out of my life and into my books.”
I decided to write books as a child, when I lived in Cleveland, Ohio, because I grew up in the world of Narnia and took adventures with The Hardy Boys and Hobbits. My teens were flavored with Mary Stewart and Gothic novels and somehow I ended up in an accounting career, but at least it was at a newspaper. At the age of 24, when I had two toddlers and was living in New Jersey, I was handed my first grocery bag stacked to the brim with romance novels. Finally, books I enjoyed reading that were like the stories I had written for myself. I decided to submit my stories to be published. The editors at the Harlequin American Romance line were very nice about telling me which aspect of crafting a novel I needed to learn, before submitting another story. Eventually they recommended I join RWA, which I did, and I learned a lot. Then I dropped out of romance writing with a cross country move to Oregon. Nonfiction was lots easier to write and tech writing paid well.
My novel Checkmate First Mate, scheduled for a September release, was drafted in 2003 as a distraction from being unemployed. I wrote it on a PDA with a fold out keyboard. My husband was recovering from a nasty car accident but his job required extensive travel, so I was his driver and pack mule. Since I was already hauling our luggage, his laptop, and a bunch of books, adding another laptop to the pile would have been too much as they were big, heavy, and expensive. If only I’d known about the Alphasmart keyboards, then. Still, I wrote to The End and began the query-submission process while also serving as Treasurer and Contest Coordinator for my local RWA chapter. I was determined that this time I would remain active in romance world.
However, all my fiction projects were shelved in 2005 when my parents died and my journey in memoir writing began. I’ve now attended three parental funerals, three daughters’ weddings, and our third grandchild is due in August. During these same years, our family has been involved in one cancer survival, one major surgery, a variety of graduations and minor issues, and five property purchases. I’ve continued to attend writing workshops and conferences, and each year I pulled one of my romance novels off the shelf and rewrote it for a month or three, before tucking it away while family chaos reigned and I remained in the research zone of conflict and drama.
When I announced my pending transition to published novelist the congratulations I received, from friends and family, included the acknowledgement that I had held true to my dreams without killing anyone, or disappearing, or imploding. So now I’m confident I’ve gotten the conflict and drama into my books where it belongs and out of my life forever more. I am poised and ready to become an overnight sensation in the world of romance fiction.
For even more about my journey to avoid being a novelist, my website devoted to my memoir is theresepatrick.com. My advice for authors is balanced with professionalism from my partner Morgan at AuthorMarketing101.com.
I’ve been blogging since 2009 at terripatrick.wordpress.com where you can view wedding and grandson pictures, books and movies I like, and all kinds of random thoughts. Some of these posts have been featured in Oregon Woman’s Report. I’m currently the VP of Programs for Rose City Romance Writers.
My activity on Facebook is confined to family and close friends, I’m dabbling in Google+, and I am lazy with LinkedIn. I don’t Tweet, Pin, or Tumble. I’m savoring this quiet moment in my life to read and write.