Unlike most novelists you read about, I didn’t start writing at a young age. Oh, there was a story about a "Happy Bear" I wrote in first grade that wasn’t half bad. And then a few years later, there was a poem about Thomas Edison that went on for nine or ten verses. But I didn’t write story after story.
I always loved to read, though. Disney books featuring Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and Uncle Remus characters were favorites. As was Black Beauty and Classics Illustrated issues like A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Romeo and Juliet.
But during my rebellious days in high school in the suburbs of Chicago, I developed an intense desire to become an actress. I adored the thought of acting out compelling stories. I loved dramatic production. The theater, I had determined, was my life. New York and Broadway were my destination.
Unfortunately, or perhaps luckily, I had an overprotective mother who warned me about Hollywood’s infamous "casting couch." (I never could make her understand it was the East coast I was headed for, not the West coast. But I surmised there were probably lecherous producers in both directions.) She also reminded me often enough of the impoverished living conditions would-be actors had to endure, to squelch my zeal. Ah, what might have been.
And so instead I went to college, got married, got a regular job, and pursued a career working with computers. That, after all, was where the money was. But my suppressed dramatic spirit wanted more. I longed to create. I began to write novels in my spare time.
That was several years ago. Today I’m a proud PRO member of RWA, GRW, and KOD with several finished manuscripts under my belt.
I’m thankful to those organizations for teaching me our beloved craft, giving encouragement along the way, and offering opportunities to stretch and grow as a writer. Most of all, for helping me rediscover and embrace my love of stories.
Writing is my passion, my addiction, my best friend, at times, my worst enemy. With the support, friendship, and role models in RWA and its chapters, I don’t intend to ever let anyone convince me to abandon my dreams again.
Don’t you let them, either.