by Aunty Cindy
As soon as I learned how to read (around the age of five) I became one of THOSE kind of kids -- the one with her nose stuck in a book. But being the bossy, first-born that I am, I took it one step further. If I didn't like the ending of the story, I made up my own! In retrospect, I suppose I was writing/imagining one of the earliest forms of fan fic. Who knew?
Way back when I was growing up, an author was someone up there on a pedestal. An exhaulted being that a mere mortal like me could never aspire to be, no matter how many creative writing classes I took. Then I took a writing class through a community service program for adults. (My son was an infant and I was desperate to get out of the house and away from his adorable self for an hour or two per week!) My instructor was a tiny gray-haired grandmother who announced, "Other people get paid for their writing and you can too!"
This was a revelation! I'm sure I sat with my eyes the size of saucers and my mouth hanging open for the entire first class. Thus began my long and very circuitous route to publication. I dabbled in all kinds of writing for a lot of years -- short stories, non-fiction articles, even poetry, and more journals in spiral bound notebooks than I know what to do with.
I wrote my first novel when my son was three years old. He's (KOFF! KOFF!) considerably older than that now! But I didn't get SERIOUS about novel writing until the beginning of 2004. That was when I finally decided to give up my Dreaded Day Job and concentrate on the two things I love most -- writing and travel. I love to set my books in some of the romantic and exotic places I have visited (like Venice, the Isle of Capri, and Northern Ireland) and I try to make the setting as much a character in the story as the hero and heroine.
When I was about half-way through the first draft of the manuscript that became The Wild Sight, I told my critique partners that if this book didn't sell, I wasn't sure I could write one that would. Luckily, I didn't have to worry about that because the book sold to the very first editor (OUR wonderful editor!) who looked at it!
I suppose this post is a very round about, convoluted way of saying that I'm living proof of something... bad dip in the gene pool, flat learning curve, pure dumb-luck, or all of the above! All I know is that right now I'm living my dream and I'm LOVING IT!
Did you have a childhood dream? Or even a more grown-up one that you pursued? Or wish you had? Tell Aunty all about it! Confession is good for the soul, or so they say.