Thursday, August 18, 2011

Fall down seven times, get up eight

First, I apologize for not updating my blog with Dream Cruise photos like I promised. I did get a few pictures around town, but I plan to take more Friday and Saturday when things are in full swing. Woodward Avenue has been hopping all week, with lawn chairs, old cars, party tents, and advertising banners everywhere. It's quite a sight!

You may notice the buy links to HARD BARGAIN are gone. Sadly, I'm no longer promoting the book. I'm sorry I can't explain further, but I want to let people know that I really appreciated your support during my short stint as a published author! Stay tuned, though, because I have plenty of other stories in the hopper. It's been a crazy two months on the writing front, and I've learned so much. The biggest lesson so far: writing for publication isn't for the easily discouraged. I learned I'm tougher than I thought. No matter how many times I fall, I will get up.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

How I started writing romance

There was this boy.

Isn't that how it always is? Actually, there were many boys. I was a boy-crazy teenager who went through a string of crushes through middle and high school. Unfortunately, I was also a nerdy girl, which meant I couldn't get a single date even when I mustered the courage to ask someone out. The only time I had a boyfriend was at summer camp, which presented its own unique set of problems, such as going home to different states when summer ended.

So I wrote stories of how I wished my life would be. I fantasized about road trips to reunite with my camp boyfriend. I wrote stories about how boys finally noticed me after I switched from glasses to contacts. I imagined losing weight and becoming beautiful. I wished I could be a drum major, homecoming queen, and valedictorian all rolled in one (and this actually described someone in the class ahead of me). I scribbled in spiral notebooks and typed on an Apple IIe.

I was lucky to have loving parents and a relatively drama-free life with a few friends, but I also knew I was on the social fringes, which was a big deal to the teenaged me. Writing those stories gave me, in a small and probably pathetic way, the happy ending I craved. It was also a more constructive way to deal with unrequited love instead of moping and crying, even though I did a lot of that too. At the time, I didn't realize the stories would also be part of my training as a fiction writer.

I have no idea how much my teen writing contributed to the requisite 1 million words of crap or 10,000 hours of practice. At the time, being an author wasn't even on the radar -- I was just writing to make myself feel better. I'm so glad I put in all that effort. I was a hopeful romantic then and I still am now, and I'm thrilled I can share that hope with my readers.

Monday, August 8, 2011

What a party! Thank you!

It's time to put away the party tents for the Aspen Mountain Press blog tour. THANK YOU to everyone who visited. I loved reading your comments and great car stories. Also, congratulations to books4me for winning the random drawing for a copy of HARD BARGAIN! I've forwarded your e-mail information to the publisher so you can get your free book.

Over the next two weeks, I'll share photos of the Dream Cruise and other local spots appearing in my book. Come back for a peek into Jenna and Brad's world.