When I turned 30, I took a long, hard look at where I was, and realized it wasn’t where I wanted to be. My whole life, I’d written. Whatever my age, growing up, I said I was going to be a writer. But at university, that started to change. I don’t know if it was any one thing, but I could see if I wanted to eat, buy a car, live anywhere but with my parents, I could not become a full-time writer. And my English literature major showed me very clearly I didn’t have even a quarter of the life experience I needed to say something interesting in my work. I didn’t feel ready.
So I went on to complete a Masters degree in languages, and started working as an editor and then later as a publisher. I was in the business of books, but not on the side I always thought I would be. But that was fine. I loved it. I’ll never regret it. And it helped me a great deal when I was ready to start writing seriously.
I don’t take rejection personally. How can I, when I myself have rejected writers, and know that when I did so, there was nothing personal in it? Sometimes, it was a purely financial decision, sometimes, it was just something we did not publish. I’m also good at editing my own work, and have a feel for how production in a publishing house works.
The time I spent working in IT I have never regretted, either. I use what I learned there every day. Not only the technical skills which have helped me with my websites, but the practice of running a small business, which is what you become when you are a writer.
After the epiphany at 30, that if I didn’t start writing, my dream would be just that, a dream, I started. And started again. And again. Slowly, writing became a habit. But it didn’t happen overnight. I had children, moved to the middle of nowhere. There were many things that slowed the process down, but also enriched it. Enriched me. Made my work more insightful, and better.
I also joined a writing organization. A critique group. I’m still with that group. Still with that writers’ organization. I know the road would have been harder, longer and far less satisfying without either.
And here we come to the release of my first book, IN A TREACHEROUS COURT. Many years, many rejections, many lessons learned, and many friends made later. I can look at my book and say a huge thank you to my agent and my editor, whose enthusiasm and love of the story keeps me going when I have moments of self-doubt, to the production, sales and publicity staff at Simon & Schuster for their work in getting this book out into the world, to my critique partners and my other friends for their enormous support and friendship, my family for their support and pride in me, and now, a new string to my bow, the reviewers and readers who have read my work and have been happy to share with others how much they enjoyed it.
I thank you all. I made my dream a reality, and there is no way I did it alone.