On Becoming A Writer -- Another Throwback Thursday Blog Post

CI + CU Take 2 _6-17-16_for-WebThis post originally appeared on Everafter Romance on Feb. 12, 2016. I became a writer on November 6, 2001 at approximately 8:45 p.m.

Although I’m a rabid Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan, I didn’t begin watching it until it went into syndication in September 2001. By the time the musical came along I was hooked. So there I was, along with all the other Buffy fans in the world watching it air (because, of course, back then everyone actually watched when the shows were on), and I realized that one of my favorite characters wasn’t there. Having become a shipper before knowing the definition of the term, I realized with dismay that my man was gone.

So out I went onto the Interwebs, trying to find out what had happened. And, apparently, he had gone and gotten himself addicted to vampires. Not the future I had in mind.

Completely unable to grasp this new reality, I kept on searching and I came across this thing called—What? Fan fiction?

Like as in fans writing their own stories? Did they not have anything better to do?

But, you know, some of it was good. Some of it was actually amazing. And in some of it, my favorite character (okay, okay—if you know Buffy at all you know by now that, yes, I am one of the 342 people in the world who define themselves as a Buffy/Riley shipper; bear with me, however) had a much better ending than the one on the show. Still not the ending I wanted; much better, however.

Screen Shot 2016-08-18 at 8.56.40 PMAnd yet, as November turned into December, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I found myself inspired. I’d found my muse, it appeared, although I had no idea at the time that that’s what it was called.

A story came alive in my head.

I’d never written before. Not fiction, at least. Not that wasn’t required in Freshman English, that is. Yet the words poured out of me. They flowed from my head to my hands.

It wasn’t perfect. In fact, it kind of sucked. But it was there.

On January 17, 2002, I put it out into the world. It was one of the most terrifying things I’ve ever done. Never had I done something so instinctually. I was a perfectionist, a planner. (That was back before I had three kids.) I liked to be behind the scenes, not out in front. And here was a universe that I’d barely begun to uncover, not to mention a discipline the rules of which I didn’t know.

On January 23rd, however, I got my first review:

A new WIP to salivate and obsess over. The first four chapters…have me in an absolute lather to see the rest.

Shazaam. A writer was born.

My path may have been different from that of other authors—though, also, likely the same as some. Thirteen years later, I am proud to say that my debut book was published by Carina Press in April 2016. And I'm so happy to be sharing this ride with you.

And Here We Go...

THREE MONTHS FROM TODAY my debut book comes out. Wow. It's still hard to believe. It was a little less hard to believe on Friday, when I received a draft of the cover in my inbox and it was...spectacular.

I've heard horror stories, I have to admit. And although I had absolutely zero ability to explain what I hoped it would look like, my expectations were high:

  • Sexy, but not so embarrassing that I couldn't show it to my kids, or post it on Facebook where my friends from, say, high school will see.
  • Something that somehow showed baseball, and Iowa, and the couple I'd fallen in love with (and hope everyone else will, too) without being heavy-handed about showing baseball, Iowa, and the couple I'd fallen in love with.
  • A cover that I liked enough that if it weren't mind, I'd add it to my "Judging A Book By Its Cover" board on Pinterest (because, yes, we all do).

Oh, and although I didn't realize they'd come hand in hand, I wanted the amazing title that I hadn't quite been able to come up with on my own.

Well, guess what, folks. The Carina team delivered. BIG time. Several days later, I still pull up the picture on my phone so I can look at it and cry.

So, thank you, Heather Goldberg and crew. There will be other books and other covers, but this will always be my first and it will always be incredible.