In the beginning…
As a veterinarian I built a career around treating animals and loved it. Still do. It’s challenging, rewarding, and never the same. So, how does one go from diagnosing and treating creatures who
cannot speak for themselves to writing romance?
Veterinary work causes a bit of brain bruising after several long days in a row. So much thinking, contemplating and synthesizing of facts for hours on end forced me to find something to relax my brain. Turned out romance novels worked. I could read through an author’s book backlog in a week (that’s sometimes oodles of books). At the same time story lines had been going on in my head since I was a little kid. Didn’t everyone have complicated never-ending stories with characters jabbering in their brain? Turned out, not so much.
The first book…
Putting words on paper, or realistically typing on a blank screen, is hard. Butt in chair…typing. There’s a lot to learn when thinking of putting 70-90K words into a story when you’re not an english major and you never took a creative writing class. Passive writing. Active writing. Obfuscation. Plotting. Likable characters. Appropriate pacing. My first book took two years to finish.
Then I sent it off. Started with agents because that’s the right thing to do, isn’t it? Got a lot of rejections, a few nibbles but no takers. My book wasn’t mainstream vampire or shifter paranormal romance. It was unique. And, unfortunately, I chose to write a paranormal romance at the exact moment the market for this type of romance tanked. The market hit rock bottom and publishers weren’t buying. So, I went direct to publishers and got a taker from a small press. Ups and downs with this type of publisher, but that’s for another post. Bottom line, I got a contract. And a wonderful, patient editor
who helped me fix all those things I hadn’t learned in school to make it a solid, kickass story.
Boom…I was a published. But I didn’t feel like a real author. I still don’t after 9 novels.
When do you feel like a real author? You tell me.