On November 1st, I was fortunate enough to celebrate my twentieth anniversary as a published author. Since then, I’ve had so many starts and stops in my career even I wasn’t sure where it was going.
I sold my first book within months of attending the 1996 RWA conference in Dallas, TX. Courting Trouble, part of the quickly-defunct Precious Gems line (a joint effort between the publisher and Wal-Mart Corp), became my foot in the door to the inner sanctum of published authors.
It was a different publishing world back then. Manuscripts were submitted in hard-copy. Edits were really done in red ink with mark-ups (editor’s shorthand) and everything was sent back and forth via the U.S. Postal Service. For those of you who are fairly new to this crazy profession, back in the 90’s they didn’t use stock photo sites. The publishers held their own photo shoots and some even commissioned artists to create their cover. Mine was painted by the renowned romance cover artist, Pino.
Unfortunately, the euphoria of becoming published stalled out quickly following an amicable divorce and the need to return to a full-time job in order to support myself. Still, I never actually stopped writing, I just took longer and longer to finish a book.
I wouldn’t sell my next book until 2006. My friend and writing partner, the late Patti Shenberger, and I sold one of our joint projects to a newly minted publisher. I was skeptical … especially after the quick demise of the Precious Gems line. However, hoping for the best, I signed on. Ten years later, I still write for that publisher.
Books three through six came quickly, gleaned from manuscripts I’d been working on slowly over the previous years. I was on a roll … or so I thought.
Everything came to yet a second screeching halt in 2010 when health issues intervened! Again that writing career I longed for was put on hold. But only for awhile. In 2013 I began writing and selling again and, much to my delight, became part of the Soul Mate Publishing family in 2014.
As we approach tomorrow’s “turkey day” and then the holidays that follow, I find myself replaying my bumpy ride over and over in my head. I’m thankful for having a career…as chaotic as it turned out to be…and for the honor of being able to entertain people with my writing.
Since that very first book twenty years ago, I’ve sold 24 more, my most recent release an Egyptian-themed, time travel romance, Eye of the Pharaoh, from Soul Mate.
I sometimes wonder how many more years…how many more books…I’ve got in me as a writer. I’d like to think I’m just getting started. My intent is to be that crazy old lady in the nursing home, one hand on her computer and the other on her oxygen mask and still writing steamy prose. I hope you’ll all stick it out with me!
Thank you for stopping by today. Wishing everyone a safe and joyous holiday season!