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I'll tell you right off that I'm not great at reading my own bios, let alone writing them! But if you'd like to know something about me, how about I break some ‘writers have a glamourous life' myths?
Myth 1: Writers have always been writers.
Not me. I was a licensed cosmotologist for years, and didn't even put pen to paper until I was thirty (with an infant and three year old). It took me three years to write my first book, and while it taught me a lot, it was dreadful! It got rejected six times flat out. I burned it in the back yard when I sold my twentieth book. I've kept the first pages to remind myself of how far I've come.
Myth 2: Writers have a staff to take care of them and their homes while they write.
I wish! I don't have a maid, a cook, or anyone who works for me, except maybe Shelley, who maintains my website. Like most women out there, I do all the cooking, cleaning, bills, shopping, etc. Sometimes I can be seen driving the riding lawnmower over our two acres. Not that I'm complaining – I'm a Marine's wife, and my husband was gone a lot, so I had to do it. I'm the only female in a house of men, so I pretty much rule too. And as the daughter, wife, and now the mother of US Marines, believe me, I can give orders when need be.
Myth 3. Writers work when the muse hits them.
If I did, I'd never meet a deadline. Writing isn't about the muse coming to you; it's about unleashing bottled creativity and giving it freedom on paper. Every writer I know feels a deep internal need to tell their particular story and hope you're entertained. Writers HAVE to write. Yeah, sure, sometimes the creativity isn't moving like we want, but like everyone who faces some problem, I go to my friends and they come through in a punch. By the way, I work at my job from about 7am till 4pm, sometimes later if it's going great and I don't want to stop. Weekends are for playing, projects or gardening. I actually love pulling weeds; it makes my mind drift to good places.
Myth 4: Writers get paid oodles of money.
Oodles?? If I did, I'd have a staff and a better-looking office. But I get to go to work in the worlds' sloppiest clothes.
Myth 5: Once a writer sells a book, they can sell anything else.
Want to see my rejection file? I could wallpaper a bathroom with it. To keep selling is the really hard part of this job. However, my idea of a great story isn't often blending with the editors which can be frustrating, since the books a writer creates undoubtedly have a piece of them inside. But then, if you can't take it, then this isn't the business for you.
My second book (#1 being so dreadful I burned it) My Timeswept Heart was a finalist in the Romance Writers of America, Golden Heart contest for unpublished works. I didn't win, but it got my work before my Kensington editor. It came out in '93 and I've sold over thirty since. With numerous rejections in between.
Right now, I'm writing books I've wanted to write for three years – romantic thrillers. Think Peacemaker or Chain Reaction with a little more romance in them. Lots of action and danger. After writing books in five sub-genres of romance, this new one is the chance for me to use all this military knowledge I've stored up for years. I've fired weapons, rappelled, ridden in an Armored Personnel Carrier, and did some Scuba diving in the East China Sea. It hasn't been boring, and because I write, it never will be.
Now that my Sergeant Major husband is retired and my sons are grown and towering over their mother, we don't have the same need to move around like we used to, so we get to stay in one place. How average. I love it. When I feel the itch to move every three years, I just redecorate.