I think I've been shy since I was born. So naturally, I had no idea there was such a thing as a writers' group. That being other people with similar goals who will listen, understand, commiserate and support as needed. When I decided to pen my first Harlequin Intrigue, all I had were the standard guidelines and a deep well of hope. Oh, and I was also madly in love with Dark Shadows, Frank Langella's Dracula and just about every Alfred Hitchcock movie out there.
But first things first. Before I jumped into the writing pool, I read as many Intrigues as I possibly could. I knew I'd struck gold when I picked up Anne Stuart's Hand In Glove. There it was, my idea of the perfect Intrigue. It was this story that prompted me to go dark and spooky. I set my first Intrigue in a Massachusetts wax museum, followed the guidelines, boxed up my 70,000 plus word manuscript and sent it off to New York. Four nail biting months and one horrific postal strike later, I figured that poor manuscript was probably lying in pieces at the bottom of a Dumpster. Imagine my shock when, out of the blue, I got 'the phone call'. Harlequin wanted my book! Was I good or what?
Well, let's say I was good enough for the moment. But tastes change, and a few years later, I wasn't the flavor of the month any more. Ouch, that hurt. It also completely undermined my confidence. Maybe I couldn't write after all. Maybe the whole thing had been a huge cosmic joke. I have to say, it was a great relief when the publishing wheel began to turn for me again.
It took a while, but in time I found one of those writers' groups I mentioned earlier. Unfortunately, I was still so very shy -- which is frustrating but difficult to overcome. Thank God for on-line connections and Patricia Rosemoor in particular. She invited me to join a really great group -- which led to another and another and -- you get the idea.
In the traditional publishing world, my 32 Intrigues have run the gamut from Jack the Ripper to a Paris Puppet Theater. Two of my Intrigues earned the Romantic Times Certificate of Excellence. Two others were named Best Intrigue of the Year. I've also been honored with a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award for Romantic Mystery.
Although I haven't self-published a book yet, I'm excited to let everyone know that my very dark, supernatural, romantic thriller, THE ARISING will be ready to go in early 2013.
|Available at Amazon.com|
|Coming March 5, 2013|
For anyone who has recently connected with the Ink Jockeys site, have fun checking out the Book Derby, December 5 & 6 with its Prizes, Discounts and Free Books. You won't be disappointed!