So...this is the place where you're supposed to find out all about me, and I'm half-tempted to leave it blank simply because there isn't really that much to tell. On second thought, how about I just answer the usual questions?
Who am I?
I’m a woman (duh). I’m a lesbian (also duh). I’m single. (Sigh) I love animals, and I am currently the proud "parent" of three Yorkshire Terrorists, (not a typo), two cats, and all the fish swimming around in my seventy-two-gallon freshwater aquarium. Oh yeah, and I’m a writer of contemporary lesbian romance. Can't forget that.
Where Did I Come From? (Not with the same inflection used by ex-girlfriends.)
I was born and raised in Delaware, and I moved to Florida in 2004, mostly due to the fact that all the snow, ice, and gray skies were becoming a serious drag on my charming personality. :)
How Did I Come to be an Author? (Now to the boring stuff)
For as long as I can remember, I've written in my head. Now, my gray matter is a dark and scary place, but wearing a headlamp and being very, very quiet, I conjured up all kinds of stories over the years that no one ever knew about except me. Can you say lack of confidence? Yeah, that’s putting it mildly.
A few years after moving to Florida, I became hooked on a television show, and one night whilst scouring the Internet for information about said show, because that's what fans do (duh), I discovered fan fiction. Wow, talk about a jackpot! Hundreds of stories about my favorite show, and trust me, I read most of them. Some were unbelievably good and others, not so much, but they all had one thing in common. They were written by people just like me. Normal, everyday people who just wanted to write about what they loved, except they had the courage to do so. Me - I didn’t even have the courage to post a comment on a site, let alone write a story. Yep, that’s right. Back then, I was so terrified about even posting a comment, I almost got kicked off one of the major fan fiction sites simply because they had one strict rule that they stated must be followed: “Post a comment after you read.” I paid absolutely no attention to that little rule, believing they'd never know, but I was busted fairly quickly. Yep, they were circling me like buzzards over a fresh kill, so when I had the back of my hand slapped with a virtual ruler, I had to put on my big girl panties and do the deed. “Thank you for posting.” (Wine followed – trust me.)
So, now I was free to read and read I did, but all the while I was reading, a story was forming in my head. I’m sure most authors would agree that once a story enters our minds, all bets are off, so night and day, at work or at play, the story kept forming until one Saturday morning, I opened my laptop and began to write it. I had no idea what I was doing, but all those other fanfic authors had somehow given me the courage to at least try, so that’s what I did.
As my story kept becoming longer and longer (yeah, even back then I liked to go on and on...sort of like now), I posted on a thread about needing a beta reader. A lady from England with the nickname of Red Card held up her hand and volunteered to assist, and RC became my rock. She helped me find mistakes and keep on track, but more importantly, she became my friend, and when at one point, I wanted to chuck it all because of some behind-the-scenes backstabbing on the fan fiction site, RC is responsible for stopping me. If it weren't for her, I wouldn’t be here today. That I know for certain…and I will be forever in her debt. (Thanks, Nikki)
How Did I Get from There to Here?
Like I said, I really had no idea what I was doing when I started out, and when I look back at my first story, I cringe at all the mistakes and repetition. There are bucket loads of both, but even with all the errors, the story was a good one. It garnered quite a bit of attention, so I kept writing. After spending a few years enjoying the camaraderie of other fanfic writers and readers, and making some really good friends along the way, some of my readers began insisting that I try to get published. My first thought: “Wonder what they’re smoking?”
Well, whatever it was, it must have been in plentiful supply because more and more joined in, so at the end of 2011, I wrote my last fan fiction, and I began turning my second fan fic, Ice, into a novel. I had no expectations to ever have my book published or even purchased. I don’t do drugs, so I consider myself grounded and sober…well, most of the time, but I knew if I didn’t at least try to get published, I’d regret it and probably spend years mumbling inarticulately to myself.
It took me over six months to convert Ice into something more than a novice’s attempt at writing, and then holding my breath and gulping some wine, (not at the same time – that would be messy) I submitted it to one of the top lesfic publishers around. Much to my surprise, they wanted my book! Can you say OMG? Yeah, well add a few expletives, and I’m right with you.
Yet, there was a problem. After chatting with the publisher several times, I wasn't getting a warm and fuzzy feeling, and when you live in Florida, being warm is not usually a problem. I understand that publishing is a business, and I get that there are hordes of people with way more experience than I'll ever have, but the bottom line for me was fairly simple. If the words, plot, and characters weren't my own, then why bother? So, I did the unimaginable. I turned down a contract with a major publisher, and yes, I was stone cold sober at the time. Honestly, I think that truly does explain who I am more than anything. No matter what, I stand by my beliefs...and I'm a borderline control freak. :)
For a very short time, I thought that was it for my writing “career,” but luckily I have a great friend who introduced me to self-publishing, and in late 2012 I became an independent author and published Ice all by myself. And, in case you're wondering, and you've actually made it this far in this novella, I have absolutely no regrets about taking the independent road! Yes, it's harder when you're a one-woman show. Yes, there aren't always enough hours in the day, and yes, it's frustrating at times, but good or bad, typos or perfect, the words you read are my own…and for me, that’s what it’s all about.
What Do I Love Most About Writing?
There’s not much I don’t love. I adore creating characters who people can love, hate, cheer for, or want to bitch slap. I enjoy all the time spent coming up with plots that are both believable, but intriguing, and I relish the hours spent researching every little detail. My goal is to evoke the reader’s emotions. I want to make to make them laugh. I want to make them cry (not in an “OMG this is horrible writing” kind of way, mind you) and by the end of the book, if I’ve done my job right…I want them to want more.
I read somewhere that no one should ever go into writing for the money, and that’s the best advice I can give to those who want to become writers. Write because you love to write and never expect to make a dime from it. That way, you won't be disappointed if you don't sell a book, and thrilled if you do.
If anyone believes this to be a glamorous career – they’re wrong. If anyone thinks this is easy – they’ve apparently dipped into the plentiful supply (see above), and if anyone believes writing doesn’t take courage, stamina, and an extremely thick skin, when you receive your first bad review…get back to me. :)