One of the best feelings I’ve had as an author is connecting with the person(s) who reads my story. I love it when one of my characters reminds them of an ex, or a friend. Pulling those feelings or memories out of someone while not even being in the same room (or sometimes country) is amazing to me.
My journey to writing was an odd one. I wasn’t the little girl who carried around the pen and paper waiting for something to strike my imagination. Sorry to say, but I wasn’t even a reader. ☹ I know, it’s sad.
Queue the long weekend I had to myself five years ago when my husband and my boys went hunting. For the first time in a long time, I was left alone for more than twenty-four hours. After cleaning my house top to bottom, I went grocery shopping. I know, I lived a luxurious life. Still do. ;) So I’m walking through the aisles and I see the book section. Of course, it was a small selection because I was in a grocery store. But they had the book of the decade. The one I’d heard ALL about, but hadn’t had the chance to read. I hate to admit it, but I think I was one of those people who thought they didn’t have time to read. So unfortunate, the ignorance.
On an impulse, I picked up Twilight and threw it in my cart. I peered in my cart on my way to check out and thought maybe I could finish it before my family got back home. I had three days, remember? Yeah, I had that book read in hours. At midnight, I got in my car, drove back to that same grocery store and bought the rest of the series. I don’t remember the exact date, but I know it was hunting season, so I’m guessing sometime in October. By November, I had written my first novel, Hooked.
I remember the first thought I had after finishing the Twilight series. I was so disappointed that I’d missed out on so many books. That book had to be one of many. I had gotten so invested in the story. It was as if I’d unlocked a combination of pure passion. I felt sad that I’d waited so long to find something I truly loved. Without thinking too much about the fact that I’d never written so much as a journal entry, I grabbed a spiral notebook and a pen and set out to write something I would have loved to read when I was a teen. I wanted something appealing to young girls so they didn’t wait as long as I did to find admiration in someone else’s world.
I started with my male character. Many years had passed since I was that fifteen-year-old girl, but I’d never forget what I felt like the first time I feel in love. The kind of love you get at that age is pure. It’s also dramatic. The first cut is the deepest and all of that. I thought about the memories I had and the emotions I had during my first dance, my first kiss and even my first break-up. It was awesome. It was dramatic. It also sucked at the end, but after all these years, I still hadn’t forgotten it. It had to mean something, right? I mean, more often than not, I can’t recall what I had for dinner the night before, but those things…those things I remembered.
I knew what I wanted him to look like, act like, even smell like. Then, I worked the female in. I thought about my family. My parents are still married after forty years. I wanted the story to be family oriented. I needed the young girl who read my book to know that sometimes families stick together. They push through the no money years. They find a way to deal with teenage hormones. Young girls may feel like they hate their parents, but do they really know their parents don’t like them just as much sometimes? You can love your family without liking them all the time. Everyone has experienced that feeling at some point.
Three weeks later, I had finished my book. I think my family, my husband and boys, probably thought I was mad. They’d never so much as seen me read a book, let alone write one. The point to all of that is… one thing. One book changed me. It wasn’t the book per se. I loved it, don’t get me wrong, but it took me to another place, which is what I hope my books do. I’m not trying to change the world with my books…just one person at a time. I love giving someone a few hours to escape. It makes me smile so big when someone tells me they couldn’t put my books down. As far as I’m concerned, success for me isn’t measured in how many books I sell. Even though that is a great feeling. To me, even if ten people pick my book up and connect with it, I’m successful.
If you like romance and great friendships, pick up one of my books. Give it a shot. Let’s connect! <3
Where to find me:
Dream Girls Series
Dream Girls: Piper
Dream Girls: Stephanie
Dream Girls: Nicole
Travesty—releasing October 4, 2016