I have been writing as a hobby for decades. Before the ease of a computer, I wrote inside notebooks during class, as far back as elementary school. Teachers submitted my short stories into school contests, but I never took writing seriously beyond that even though it was something I loved to do. I kept many of my unfinished “books” in a container with all my school mementos.
And I love to write romance…
Just after college, I started my first real book—(at that time) a contemporary romance with a little mystery involved—again, as a hobby and something for myself. (I tend to read a lot of mysteries/psychological thrillers but prefer to write romance.) I spent a couple of years on it and was three-quarters of the way done. I told so many family members and friends about the book, in every detail. They liked it and told me to go for it. But I didn’t.
Near the end of 2009, I began my second novel, A Brush With Fame, with the concept that I’d be okay if it were edited and torn apart. The first revision was finished in 2010. Friends critiqued it and placed sticky notes on every page where a suggestion was made. This feedback was vital and helped me to be a better writer.
Then my mother was terminally ill at the end of 2013. She’d never asked me about my books. But I sat beside her hospital bed, opening up about this dream I had to be a writer (and so scared to be in a world without her). My mother told me, “Get your book done.”
By the end of 2017, A Brush With Fame was nearly ready, four long years later, but certainly not wasted. Those years allowed me time for countless revisions, edits, getting the word count back down, cleaning up the text, having it read and critiqued by many who love the same romance authors as me, more adjustments, attending monthly romance writing group chapter meetings, gathering more information from editors, agents, and guest speakers, applying all tips suggested, and deciding that self-publishing would be the best route for me. A Brush With Fame has been edited three times by three different people, a second edition was put on Amazon (in 2020), and it’s had four different covers. It was the novel to test the waters, to tweak, try different formats, and pretty much experiment with so that things would be easier by the time I had to deal with my second novel, Edge of Eighteen (a summer camp love story).
If I had to say what my specialty is, it would be character development—having a heroine and hero who are loved and who you as the reader care about. We want the two together. Their dialogue is witty and very natural—what a couple might talk about—but keeping it fresh, fun, and flirtatious. I’m about the strong foundation a couple possesses and the obstacles thrown at them to deal with.
A little trivia about my books… So far, in all of my novels, my heroes names end with the letter n and my heroines end with the letter a. I choose to use a beta male, or as I see it, the nice guy who others might not notice at first but the heroine does and falls for. A nice hero doesn’t mean he’s boring but can be quite the opposite. Two of my books (one’s published, one’s not) focus on the heroine being involved with a celebrity because that subject has always fascinated me. What would it be like to have someone famous want you? And I find songs that remind me of my characters as I’m writing the novel. For my first two, I made it a point to have songs placed periodically throughout the stories. For my other three (one out, two not), there are just a few choice songs mentioned. Also, I write books that I’d like to read because everything happens in them that I want to have happen.
I’ve written two more novels within nine months, one which is published and another which is being edited. Heart Wreck (a summer vacation romance) is available as of late 2022. Presently, I’ve returned to the college-era one that I’d put aside and am attempting to finish it.
I’m from the Southwest, and my job is substitute teaching. I have a B.S. in family studies and have worked most of my life with children of all ages. Photography is a passion of mine and was a side job for a time. I love the movie The Notebook. And I never skip going to Disneyland (my happiest place on Earth) with my teen son every year, if I can help it.
Like they say, authors should always be writing…
Romance Writers of America (RWA) member
Saguaro Romance Writers (Tucson RWA) board member
Valley of the Sun Romance Writers (Phoenix RWA) member