I always wanted to write a novel -- that’s been my dream ever since I was a little girl. In fact, was such a closely held dream that I almost didn’t do it, because I was afraid to put it to the test. I mean, it takes a lot of work to write a book; what if I did it, and it wasn’t any good? So I put it off. I worked in advertising and public relations, and built a pretty successful career.
I finally decided to get serious about writing a novel after I had my first child. It made me think big thoughts: what did I want for my daughter? Well, I wanted her to follow her dreams, and it made me painfully aware that I hadn't followed my own. Watching that little baby grow and change was like watching time fly, and it made me realize how easily my "someday" could turn into "never."
So I dove into writing headfirst-- I took a course, I bought lots of how-to books, I joined a local chapter of Romance Writers of America, I joined a critique group of other aspiring writers, but most importantly, I wrote. I sat down every day and put words on the computer.
I was intimidated by the length of the books I liked to read, so I decided to start writing category romances-- they’re about 200 pages instead of 400. It took me a year to write the first one. I sent it out, then started on another one right away. By the time I learned that my first book had been rejected by every possible publisher of the genre, I was already halfway through another one, so I told myself, “well, I need to keep going. Hopefully this one will sell.” And sure enough, it did!
That night, my family and I celebrated with a Chinese dinner. My fortune cookie read, “Romance moves you in a new direction.” It gave me shivers!
My advice to beginning writers is to just do it. Learn all you can, write and revise, and be persistent. Try to always have something in the mail so that you’ll always have the possibility of getting good news.