"...Someone just like you who made her dreams come true."
In December, 2003, shortly after I received "The Call," and sold Daddy in Waiting, the manuscript that started life as The Old Fashioned Way and finalled in RWA's Golden Heart competition, I was asked to speak to a group of librarians about what it was like to write and sell a book.
For weeks I struggled to find a title for my talk but could never come up with just the right one. Instead, I led with the subtitle that I felt said it all...Someone just like you who made her dreams come true. That this bit of wisdom rhymes is probably no accident. I started my literary career writing very bad poetry.
I was born in rural central Kentucky, in a small town of 7,000, where everyone not only knew your name, but knew your family's personal business all the way back to the flood.
I attended local schools, eventually graduating from the same high school as my father had twenty-eight years before, then went off to the University of Kentucky where the freshman class was more than three times the size of the town I'd left. I high-tailed it to junior college, then to Kentucky Wesleyan in Owensboro, where I graduated with a BA in English.
All the while I read...fiction, non-fiction, the classics, with a concentration in Nancy Drew and Shakespeare. For a time I aspired to grow up to be a sleuth, to drive a blue roadster and wear white gloves to luncheon. I outgrew that, though, because as much as I love mysteries and detective stories I can never keep the clues in my head long enough to solve the crime, and at the end of the book I always find myself saying, "I never saw that coming!"
But how did you get to be a romance writer, you ask?
By being a voracious romance reader.
One day I was talking with a co-worker about the romances we were currently reading and I joked that someday I ought to write a story about a gorgeous flame-haired librarian and her hunky chairman of the board who "did it" on the circulation desk. Now, this was in the days before my library got it's automated system and there were no check-out computers, back when there was room to "do it" on the circulation desk, if indeed one wanted to, in front of a bank of very large windows. But, regardless of the inconvenience and modesty factors, the seed was sown. Or, I guess I should say the idea was planted in my head. That book (yes, I actually did write it, but it still needs some major tweaking) was just the beginning.
Today I still work as a librarian and dream of the day I can write full-time. I have characters of all sorts and descriptions living in my head, distracting me from mundane things like cleaning my house and washing my car and sticking to my diet. I like to travel to exotic places and spend time with my family and watch my nieces and nephews grow up. I dream of writing a "keeper," of making the New York Times best seller list, or the USA Today best seller list, or, heck, any list. I want someday for a reader to tell me, "I just love your books."
I am...just like you.
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