I get asked a lot how I got started writing… *grin* So here’s a little bit of my writing past history:
I really can’t remember a time I DIDN’T want to be a writer. When I was wee little (before I even learned what an alphabet was), I would create stories in my head of fascinating, mythical places and strange creatures. I scribbled in the blank (and sometimes NOT so blank… forgive me, I was a baby…*GRIN*) pages of every book I could find, until my parents finally decided it would be safer to give me a notebook I could mess up all I wanted, and leave the rest of the reading material alone. And so began the creation of a writer. I carried that notebook everywhere with me (never mind that even the most talented handwriting expert in the world wouldn’t have been able to decipher it).
Then, when I was about 3, I grew determined to actually be able to read what I wrote (remember, I still thought I was writing words), so I sat down with children’s versions of Gawain and the Green Knight and Beowulf (the pictures in those books always fascinated me), and painstakingly (and with the help of my then-kindergarten-aged brother) taught myself to read. Imagine my surprise (and dismay) when I discovered that what I’d been scribbling all along was just that… scribbles!! Well, that just wasn’t good enough, anymore.
So out came the pencil and crayons and, for hours at a time, I sat and carefully replicated my letters, using the children’s books I loved. Being a perfectionist, even then, I naturally spent more time being frustrated by the fact that I wasn’t mastering it fast enough. I had no clue that, at my age (not even 4, yet), no one expected me to be able to read even a single word, let alone string sentences together and actually WRITE them!
Eventually, I felt I mastered my letters well enough. I turned to vocabulary, then, determined to know as many words as I possibly could. I carried the dictionary with me everywhere, and taught myself 5 new words every day.
By the time I actually started school, I’d mastered reading, and writing my basic alphabet in block letters. And I was hungry for creative expression. Unfortunately, kindergarten does not provide for that kind of expression… So, to cover my disappointment, I buried my desire to write and plodded through school. Until 3rd grade.
My 3rd grade teacher, bless him, saw something in me that most of my teachers thus far hadn’t. He encouraged me to write essays, and then, short little stories where I put myself in the place of an inanimate object (yes, I still have those stories… these days, I wince at how juvenile and uncrafted they sound, but at the time, I was damned proud of those stories! …). And that was when my desire to write was reborn completely, and I made up my mind. No matter what else I did in life, I wanted to be a writer. I was GOING to be a writer.
When I was nine, I went back to my very first literary love… Arthurian Legend. I read everything I could find ever published on Arthurian Legend, from Celtic mythology to Sir Tomas Mallory and beyond. And I grew increasingly more attached to Celtic mythology, and began to form my own views of the legend. Shortly before my tenth birthday, I decided it was time to write down my version… So I got together notebooks, and undertook an epic that I’m still, to this day, hard at work on. So was born my Chronicles of a Dragon’s Realm (now a 17-book series, as yet unpublished, because I haven’t found the right market for it).
At the age of eight, I’d discovered the world of Romance, thanks to a little book by Christine Smith called Murder Most Strange. And I was already deep into reading the works of Tom Clancy and Leonard B. Scott. So, after a while of writing historicals (and after my first meeting with a group of very dear friends of mine who were all Active Duty military), my interest broadened, and I began drafting the first pages of what would eventually become my first published novel, Tamia.
Tamia, the first book of my Underground Futuristic series, was originally published in January of 2004. And so began my rocky road with publishing, the first round. After three years of ups and downs with a single publisher, that publisher went bankrupt in July of 2007, and a court battle to regain my copyrights later, I was ready to face the publishing world again – excited, weary, and a good bit wiser to the ways of the publishing world. Since then, I’ve had two books published with a different publisher (you can check them out here ), and Underground may soon be making its way back to the market with another publisher.
That sums up my writing life, to the present. Stay tuned for more announcements about upcoming releases! 🙂