When I was seventeen, I dreamed of the day I’d see my name on a cover of a published book. Back then, I was pretty idealistic about a lot of things. I planned to go to college and become a social studies teacher. I’d written my first book and of course, as soon as it was rewritten (I’d written the original in two notebooks) it would become a best-seller. George Bush was president… Not W but H. Big hair—really BIG hair was in style. Al Gore hadn’t invented the internet yet. Home computers took up over half of your desk space—a really BIG desk—cost a small fortune. And arcade Pac Man on the Atari and the Rubrics Cube were the games of choice.
Of course, I never dreamed I wouldn’t be able to find a job after graduating college with that secondary social studies education degree, or that I’d end up changing careers which meant going to college—again. Nor did I count on not having time to rewrite that “masterpiece” in those two notebooks by typing them in my brand new internet capable computer. School, working two jobs, kids and life got in the way of my writing. And for twenty years I’d put the dream of being a writer out of my head—but never out of my heart and soul.
Then, I dreamed up a story that wouldn’t let me alone. It wasn’t an original story; it was my first Star Wars fan fiction novel, a romance titled Always Have, Always Will. I still remember the exact day I posted the first chapter on the fan fiction forum board on the fan supported site, The Force. Net. It was December 15, 2005. I’d written the story months before in a notebook. It is full of mistakes—both technical and craft, but fan fiction readers don’t really care about those if the story is good. And I have the comments to let me know the story was at least decent enough.
Writing that story and the roughly forty others that came after it, some of them winning fan voted awards, gave me the confidence I needed to make my dream come true.
I’m thrilled to say today is my forty-third birthday, and my dream has come true. I not only have my name on one book cover, but I have my name (or pen name) on three book covers. With more to come.
No, I may not be on the New York Times Bestsellers list, but I’m published. I’ve gotten reviews that have made me cry because of how much the reviewer/reader loved my characters and stories. I’ve met some wonderful fellow writers who have become lifelong friends.
With everything life has thrown at me between my seventeenth year of life to now, I never ever really gave up on becoming a writer. It didn’t happen the way I thought it would. I’m not even writing the fiction I always dreamed I would. I thought I’d write mainstream historical stuff in the vein of John Jakes, James Michener, Alex Haley and Margaret Mitchell. I’d write sweeping historical sagas, not contemporary and paranormal romance novels. I never dreamed I’d be a romance writer. Heck, I didn’t even read romance until about ten years ago. But that is exactly what I am and proud of it!
So, if I have one motto it is never give up, never stop trying, and never stop learning. You never know just how your dream will come true, but if you don’t give up, it will.