If you had asked me in the summer of 2009 if I was going to write book, I would have said no. Silly me. I had successfully completed a demanding job and was sitting in front of my computer that September day with all this time on my hands. When the idea to write a book popped into my head, my first thoughts were I can’t, nobody would want to read it, and I don’t know how. I’d written short stories as a young girl, and wrote a play in college, but the idea of writing a full length novel was just too scary.
Never the less, I took the plunge, called my husband told him I was going to write a book and naturally he asked, “What about?”
“Vampires,” I said.
“Wow, didn’t see that coming,” he said. “But I will support you if that’s what you really want.”
Thrilled that the love of my life was in agreement, I called a friend of mine in Los Angeles. As a producer and screen writer, I figured he would be a good mentor. We talked, he agreed and set up some calls to discuss how to proceed. Later that week, I received a Facebook invitation from Ellen Snortland to participate in a writing club. I accepted knowing that now that I had committed to writing a novel the universe was lining up behind me. For the next three months, every week she would send out three or four lines and we had to create a story around them. The protocol that when we started writing we had to write until we finished the story – no interruptions, no phone calls, nothing. Just write. It was wonderful training as I learned that I could create from nothing and that focus was a good friend.
In January of 2010 I began writing, and with my mentor’s coaching, finished a VERY rough draft in September of that year. Then life happened. My back began giving me serious problems and my husband became gravely ill. I hardly worked on the manuscript in 2011 as I was in serious pain. My husband died in October of that year. Fortunately, I found an alternative answer to back surgery in the form of a stem cell procedure and by the end of 2011 was out of pain (physical).
2012 brought me an amazing writing coach, Kathrin Lake, and with her coaching began the process of rewrites. I came to love rewrites (resisting them was too stressful), and for the next three years we worked – hard. We had a brief interruption when I had a couple of heart attacks in 2013, but continued on with our work once I had recovered.
When Darkness Falls, the first book in the series, is now complete. In partnership with Kindle Scout a campaign was launched on November 26, 2015 to have my book chosen to be published by them, receive a five year contract with a guaranteed yearly sales amount and an advance. It’s exciting, nerve wracking, but most of all fulfilling to have completed my first novel. It is now out in the world and the second book is underway.
There are two pieces of coaching I received early on in this journey that I am passing on:
Never give up or say I can’t.
Just write, don’t edit, don’t second guess, don’t tell yourself ‘it’s not good enough’, just keep writing.
I’d love to hear from y’all.