TO WRITE WHAT YOU LOVE

From the time I was a child I loved country living, country life and especially cowboys and horses.  Even as a teen I was upset when my mother moved into a small town after my father passed away.  I longed for the freedom of roaming outdoors in spaces only imagined to some – but a  definitive reality to keep me focused and sane.

I was forced to move to cities in order to work.  I continued to dream of the freedom I knew when I was young.  I married an ‘asphalt’ cowboy (a long-haul truck driver) and often I remained at home raising our children.  But sometimes I went with him and travelling became a form of freedom again.

When I lived in Calgary I discovered many ways to escape –  from going to Fish Creek Park to visiting  forts in the near regions of the city.  There were many options to listen to and enjoy my lovely country music as well.  The Calgary Stampede, although crowded, offered me the thrill of watching cowboys, bucking bronco’s and races.  In all my travels Calgary became my city of choice – followed by San Antonio in Texas.

As I dreamed I discovered another fascinating concept.  I could write my dreams down – and escape into that world I loved so much.  I was often at home and my children were now in school.  So my writing career began. I took courses, joined groups, attended conventions and edited/critiqued other works.  Now, I can escape into my perfect world, regardless of where I am.  I can create an atmosphere and relieve stress by becoming involved with my characters.

Forever an optimist with hope in my heart, I love creating stories with happy endings and overcoming severe conflicts to obtain that end.  I have written three historical romances, set in the colorful, little known Canadian West which makes Hawk’s Gift, (Canada’s Civil War) Alberta Wild Rose (fabled Lost Lemon Gold Mine in Crowsnest Pass)  and Paradise on the Horizon (homesteading in the wilderness) true romance stories, using a unique setting. My latest published romance is a contemporary romance and set in the cowboy atmosphere of Calgary, Alberta. They are all available in Soft Cover as well as e-books at Amazon.com or Amazon.ca Kindle and other bookstores on the internet.

I am presently working on a romance suspense “Angels Among Us” which I hope to have available in the fall of 2012.

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WRITING, EDITING, MARKETING AND BALANCE

I take writing very seriously.  I don’t just say I am going to write and flounder around, never completing a manuscript. I have created my ‘prized babies’ and I have also edited, made corrections and honed my stories.  And so my learning experiences began.

First I received various rejections – all form letters and all saying they do not accept unsolicited manuscripts.  After I rush to the dictionary to see what they mean (and discover there is no meaning there) I find out they merely mean they want agents to submit – but not authors.  I then write a number of agents, so sure my work will be the next ‘Great American Novel’ and am puzzled and confused.  Agent’s rejections are similar to publishing companies – the wording is different.  They are not accepting new authors.  Dejected and depressed, I wonder how on earth I am going to publish my novels.

Publishing companies rarely take unsolicited manuscripts.  Agents rarely take on a new author.  Should I wait for an opening – and especially should I continue writing?  Of course I will continue writing – it is my passion, my greatest enjoyment in life.  The question to ask myself – can you eliminate writing from your life?  To encourage my badly damaged ego – I cheered myself up.  I chose to think of my writing as a hobby – somewhat like doing crafts.  Perhaps I could write journals or maybe even get a job working for a local newspaper.  All that stayed in my mind as the confusion whirled around, not settling anywhere.  I finally accept one fact – I must write.  I have just been formulating another wonderful idea in my head and it is taking shape so nicely.

My next thoughts center on ‘learning my trade’ as I write this new story..  Perhaps I am doing it wrong.  So I loaded my arms with ‘how-do’ and other research books – I read and read until I discover there is no one definite way to write.  Also I am already proficient in spelling, grammar and have a vivid imagination that goes in a chronological manner – I learned that when I created my first baby.  But, nonetheless I check my plot, my flow and transitions, I check my point-of-view and everything else others advise. Still searching through the books for something I have skimmed over I see – read your genre. See what sells.  Back to the library I go – loading my arms with my ‘genre’ – romance.  But disappointments continue to nag inside.  Yes, there are some fantastic books in my genre.  Yes, there are many that are much better than mine.  But it is those multitudes that are worse also – that makes me wonder why I’m not published and they are published.   Meanwhile I have finished my second baby.

As the depression sets in more firmly this time – I repeat the process – and also finish my third novel – a romance that needs writing, because it consumed my mind.  Only to be followed by another as I wonder what I can do.

Then I receive advice from a ‘fellow author’.  Self publish – she did and it was a successful proposition.  Well, not considering personality differences, I spend thousands of dollars I don’t have, I am no further ahead. I can’t sell a toilet to a person who needs one – is what I discovered about myself.  I can’t brag or sell myself either.  I cannot even make myself try and convince another person of anything if they shake their head and say no. So another failure is under my belt, this one a very costly endeavor.  So I settle down to writing another book.

I am a ‘computer geek’ of sorts.  Because I can sit in front of a computer all day and type my stories with much more ease than a typewriter – I learned much pertaining to computers but there is much more to learn.  I have learned about Amazon, Kindle and Create Space –wonderful opportunities for writer’s who have written a novel or many novels at very little cost.  They will do both ‘Print on Demand’ for those people who want to hold a book in their hands – and for those people who will read books on their Kindle. They list your books on their sites to purchase. This does not cost an author much unless you sell books and even then they take a reasonable percentage for themselves.

Now, all that is left is to learn my ‘marketing’ strategy.  But after many past mistakes, I will not let it consume my time to such a point I won’t write.  Already I am writing another story.  I have learned much throughout this process.  I will learn how to market my books as well.

But, especially, I have learned a very valuable lesson –balance.  I have every intention of writing my stories as well as learning how to market.