I had more thoughts to share on my writing journey as things have progressed since I started this blog. Isn’t it always that way? You spend so much time writing something, but then after you post it for the world to read, you think of so many other things you really wanted to say, but didn’t think of until after the fact. So for now I say “oh well” and carry on. I may repeat things or elaborate more on them, but that is the fun of having your own blog…you get to say what you want whenever you want to say it.
I honestly don’t know why I never thought I would be a writer as I was growing up. I had always loved to read, my spelling and grammar had always been good, and my comprehension skills were well above par. All my life, I have loved to play word games and solve word puzzles. Over the last ten years or so, I have been posting articles on forums, guest blogging on some different websites, and doing interviews for a print magazine. I even had a job for over five years writing responses to complaint letters. Two years ago, I started my own blog. Four years ago, I wrote a ‘How To’ book. So why was it that when someone mentioned to me that I should try writing a novel, I cringed at the thought? It was such an intimidating prospect to me. I was like a gypsy that never really landed in one place when it came to my writing. I was everywhere.
It was only recently that the metamorphosis came. I was editing a story for an author friend and he was telling me all about his experiences with writing and self-publishing and that I should give it a try. I told him he was crazy and went on to edit his book. As I was reading, it was one of those “aha” moments. I realized how relatively easy it was and I thought to myself, “I can do this!”
So the bug was planted in my brain and I decided to try becoming a romance novelist. I chose the romance genre, because to be quite honest, those are the only books I have read on a consistent basis. It was something I knew a lot about from my extensive reading history. My next thought was “What type of romance do I want to do? What am I going to have fun with?” It was then that I chose to write in the Time Travel sub-genre. When I read those styles of stories, I really enjoyed them and some of the humorous aspects of people living in different times and experiencing the wonders of those times.
My next step was to pick some characters and choose a setting/location. For my first book, I decided I should stick to an area that I knew about, so I chose Laguna Beach, since I had lived there for over 25 years. I made my main character a struggling artist and Laguna Beach, being an artist community, would be the perfect setting for her to live. It also helped that I knew many of the little tourist spots and the different businesses in Laguna Beach, along with some of the local folklore that I could use in my storyline.
How did I pick my characters? I chose their looks based on what I considered beautiful from other stories I had read. The woman was tall and well built, with fiery long red hair and emerald green eyes. Her counterpart, the man in the story from another time, was tall and lean, with black hair and dark sapphire blue eyes. When it came to their names, I wanted something slightly Irish for her last name to hint at her ancestry as a redhead. For her first and middle names, I just chose very feminine names that flowed together. For the man’s name, I just chose something traditional and easy, which just fell together. This is where Gabriella (Gabby) Elizabeth Kincaid and Jacob (Jake) Michael Evans were born.
For my second book, I decided to give a contemporary romance a try and see what I could do with writing something in modern day times. I wanted it to be based in the south, so pulled up a map and started looking at small towns that were close to larger city’s that everyone knew of. I pulled up a map of Georgia and noted a small town called Gordon, which was just outside of Macon and close to Atlanta. I did some research on the town itself and found that it was famous for its nearby local Kaolin mines and the town was named after the Gordon family, who had been running the local train depot since it was established in the 1800s. I decided that one of my characters was going to be a distant relative of the Gordon family and that I would mention something about the local mining business. Other than using a couple of names of local lakes in the story as well, I made up the rest about the town.
My distant Gordon relative was not the main character of the story, but he was the one that started it all. For his background, I borrowed some of the details from my husband’s family: his grandfather disowned his dad for joining the Marines to fight in WWII and the character’s name was Charlie, which was one of his dad’s brothers.
My main character was a young southern girl living a tough life and dreaming of becoming a published author. Charlie enters her life and changes it forever. During the course of that change, she comes across the other main character, Drew Dalton. Drew is the typical southern boy with lots of good looks and plenty of charm to go along with it. Together, they face the legacy of Charlie’s gold, murder and kidnapping while slowly falling in love.
I am now working on my third romance novel and this one is about as far from the other two as I could possibly be. One day I was sitting here at my desk contemplating what I should write next when I looked over at a large dragon globe lamp that I have on a nearby table and the thought of doing something with a dragon type of creature stuck in my brain. After some thought, I decided to do a fantasy type romance novel with Viking/Valkyrie type main characters and a creature called a Derigon, which is a cross between a dragon and a raven. The shape and characteristics are of a dragon, but it is covered in the downy soft black feathers of a raven. The time and location settings for this story are completely fictional and all made up from the depths of my mind. It is definitely a slower process for this one. I wanted to work harder on the word count, so I am using more time to do that instead of rushing to get the story all down as fast as I can and editing from there. I am also working harder on the storyline to get more depth and detail out of it.
In the meantime, during my slow writing phase of this latest novel, I still have been crazy busy. I have spent the last month or so building up myself as an author and creating a brand online for myself and my books. Had I known this was important, I would have done it first, but I am still learning all this madness, as you can read in my other blog posts. I have not let my writing stall out though. I have since entered a couple of contests and I am hoping to hear some great results from that. For one of the contests, it is comprised of an anthology published through one of the Facebook writing groups that I recently joined. The category for this one was called A.C.O.W.-A Contract of Words. The rules were that the story needed to contain a contract of some sorts in the story line. I really stepped out of my genre for this one and did a murder/mystery/thriller type of story. It was definitely unfamiliar ground, so I am skeptical about just how well I did and if I will make it into the anthology, also considering the competition I am up against. But I am not going to get dejected if I am rejected. I will just improve on the story and make it another novel at a later time.
So as I wait on pins and needles to find out about these contests, I am slowly getting back into the fantasy novel little by little. The holidays are upon us, so there are slim pickings on the spare time to get some writing done. So for now, I did this blog and I am working on a new one for my darts blog page. But most importantly, I have evolved in my thinking. I may still have to work a full time job to pay the bills, but my journey has begun. I am now calling myself a writer.
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