I started writing in 1992, after I met Lyn Cote and Judy Roemerman and then joined their critique group. Neither of them had sold, but Lyn was already really productive, with a number of full manuscripts and a strong focus on being a published writer. I often wonder–if I hadn’t ever met these two lovely people, would I have even thought of writing? And even if I had, would I have ever made any progress?
Our big revelation came when Lyn went to the local library to hear an author speak. When she learned about RWA (Romance Writers of America) and what it had to offer, we all immediately joined RWA and suddenly had a wealth of information available through the RWR monthly journal, news about writing contests, and information about local, regional and national writers conferences. And boy, did we study and use these opportunities! We were so excited and dedicated–here we are at our first RWA conference in Hawaii, 1995. Judy is the left, Lyn is on the right, and I am in the middle.
Eventually, Judy became the owner and publisher of a very successful horse magazine. Lyn made her first sale and became a prolific, successful, award-winning author who continues to write wonderful historical romance, romantic suspense and contemporary romance novels for the Indie and traditional Christian market. And a year later, I made my first sale as well.
It’s funny how unexpected things can happen in your life. For me, it was truly a God Thing, meeting Lyn and Judy. Even then, I started out thinking that I was only writing for pleasure without any expectations that I would ever, ever sell. The idea of ever actually selling a book was as unbelievable as me hiking the Himalayas barefoot, in winter. Yet now, I have over thirty-five published book under my belt and cannot imagine wanting to stop writing. Does it get any easier? In some ways yes–though I sadly learned that taking a break from writing, after my mom died, decimated my productivity level when I finally got back to the keyboard. It took a long while to get back those skills.
Does the excitement of a new sale fade after a few books? There is nothing like a first sale–that phone call you’ve been praying for, working hard for, seems like an impossible dream, and then…it happens and the sheer joy is second only to the joy of having your babies. Yet later, when you are busy writing toward deadlines and this is your job, there are still no guarantees in this business–publishers fail, the editor who loves you might retire, entire lines (like several at Harlequin have recently) are closed. So yes–there are no guarantees, you can’t take the future for granted, and every new sale is exciting. Just yesterday, my agent Danielle called to let me know that my Love Inspired editor is buying my newest proposal–a contemporary ranching series set in Montana, so you can bet that I am thrilled!
Those who leave a comment will be in a drawing for a free E-copy of FALLING FOR THE RANCHER, my June release….or a different ebook of mine, if the winner already has it!
Wishes you all blessings,