Writing journey

What I write:

I write clean contemporary romantic suspense, heavy on the romance and horses, with the occasional dog working itself to center stage. I love to develop strong heroines who have overcome difficulties in life and who meet dream worthy heroes. And of course, an equestrian setting is my favorite.

When Did I Begin?

It seems like I have written forever. My first byline was in 1969 in a newspaper called, The MoKan Horseman. I’ve written countless newsletters for horse businesses and organizations, curriculum for riding programs, and I’ve blogged almost since "blog" became a word. I even self-published a children’s story about a pony.

But I did not consider writing as a career until 2015, when I retired from teaching riding. My life since that time has been an ongoing education. I walked blindly into my first writing contest and had the good fortune of a kind contest judge who taught me about formatting. 

Whoa! Rules!

It shocked me to learn there were “rules for writing.” And some very special people pointed me in the correct direction. Repeatedly. I joined writing organizations and took part in critique groups. Critiques also came via contests, and I entered a slew. My entries went from pitiful to winning, to the point of receiving a request from the editor of my favorite publishing house. I studied craft books and took lots of courses.

I quickly shoved the niggling I should self-publish into my subconscious. After the shock of learning how much I didn’t know, I believed I needed the traditional route for publishing. I wanted the validation that a publishing house considered me “good enough”, but I really wanted the opportunity to work with a superior editor. 

So Close

The request for Remember Not helped me to sign with an agent. In the years we worked together, I learned I disliked the structure, hierarchy, and rules in the current publishing industry. Admittedly, I was disgusted by the lack of consideration from publishers who couldn’t bother to send a rejection or when they did, wouldn’t say why my story was rejected. After all, authors spend hours, months, and even years pouring themselves into a manuscript. And I really appreciated the editors who gave me tips or a reason my story didn’t suit them.

The Big Decision

After several years, my editor and I agreed we didn't work the way we had hoped, and I looked at other methods of publishing. I embarked on a new learning path to self-publishing. I began with a tight budget and a perfectionist’s spirit, so it took a while before I could let my story out into the world again. (That perfectionist spirit can stop you in your tracks.) Once again, friends and family stepped in to help me with critiques, opinions, and ideas. My newsletter subscribers became a valuable sounding board for cover ideas and direction on publishing since many of them are authors.

The result is publishing Remember Not, the first book in For Love & Horses on June 10, 2023 in ebook form. I’m excited.

One Word

If I chose one word to represent the world of writing and publishing, it would be “Learning,” as the whole business requires a teachable spirit. And here I am again, learning about marketing.

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