A Writer's Journey
Although I enjoyed writing at an early age, writing was never a life-long ambition until 2002, when I happened upon and joined several author forums and writing/critique groups. There, I met many wonderfully talented writers. I studied the genre I love, mystery and suspense, and worked hard to fine-tune my craft. In the process, I formed a number of great relationships with other authors; I'm blessed that our friendships have withstood the test of time. I’ll always be grateful to those who have been so immensely supportive of my writing over the years.
By 2005, I had written several short stories, novellas, and attempted to write a couple of novels. The short stories were published online at one of the forums, but the remainder of my work served as practice runs while I polished my craft.
One of the forums I joined was owned by a British group who, in the early 2000s, turned their focus strictly to publishing paperbacks and e-books. I was fortunate this small British press agreed to publish the first two novels in my Sam Harper Crime Mystery series, Silenced Cry (2007) and The Devil Can Wait (2008) bronze medal winner of the 2009 IPPY award.
I developed an active online presence for several years by participating in social media sites and numerous blogs including Murder By 4, the popular authors blog, of which I am a founding member.
When the publishing firm closed in 2010, I acquired the rights to my novels. By then, I had nearly completed work on Shroud of Lies and was lucky to find an agent to represent it. After several months, the manuscript made its way through numerous New York sludge piles without success.
As painful as those rejections were, I considered each editor’s comments (good and bad) and applied much of the advice they offered to Shroud of Lies. I added several chapters, cut sections, rewrote characters, and changed the ending. I intended to immediately self-publish my books. By the fall of 2011 I wasn’t quite done with the edits when I was diagnosed with stage two breast cancer. My health issues coupled with my husband’s illness and passing in 2013 put my writing on hold for nearly six years.
Writing had become a huge part of my life. Ironically, I didn’t realized how much I missed it until the winter of 2017 when I blew the dust off of the Shroud of Lies manuscript and started working on it again. It was only then that I realized I had also been grieving the loss of the craft. I write for the joy of it and in the hopes my twisted tales will entertain and delight my readers. Everything else, is icing on the cake.
My advice to aspiring authors is that it’s never too late to follow your dream. Learn the craft until it becomes second nature, edit, edit, and edit again. And no matter what curve balls life tosses your way, grab them and throw them back.
In other words, never give up!