Because Confession is Good for the Heart…
1.) It took me 17 years to write my first historical romance. Although it (the first 3 chapters) was nominated for RWA’s Golden Heart in 1989, the story itself was utterly unpublishable. Like a repository of bad writing, I keep the manuscript in the attic like an embarrassing uncle, where it takes up three computer paper boxes.
2.) I won the Golden Heart the next time I was nominated (with a totally different story) and sold it, as well as one other book, to Avon Books six weeks later. All because I finally understood that old advice about romantic conflict: if he’s a firefighter, then she has to be an arsonist. Metaphorically, speaking, of course. And that she must be acting out of an excess of virtue.
3.) I am a plotter, never been a pantser. Character first, a hero and heroine who will carry the theme and tell the story that I need to tell. By then I’m ready to apply the Hero’s Journey — the clash of their Ordinary Worlds in the Call to Adventure, the motivation to Cross the Threshold into the Special World of their relationship, the Supreme Ordeal, the Reward, the Dark Night of the Soul where each makes a sacrifice, choosing to give and receive unconditional love. Makes it sound easy, but each new book seems harder to write, has different issues than the one before.
4.) The release of a new book continues to thrill me. A 5-star review sends me over the moon — “you like me! You really like me!” And I won’t consider myself a truly successful author until I see someone reading one of my books on a plane or in an airport.
5.) I deliberately used the surnames of 26 friends in one of my books: A SCANDAL TO REMEMBER. While I was on a singing tour of the Baltic Countries I was also researching the history of small countries, duchies in the 18th century. To memorialize our 3 week bus tour from town to town, I thought it would be fun to include the members of the choir. Some are characters, one is a statue of a local hero, one is the name of a village another is the name of a plant species in the heroine’s greenhouse! Great fun! FYI-SCANDAL is currently only available from 3rd party sellers, but I’ll be re-issuing it in digital and print format in December 2020.