I grew up in what I considered the south, in a small town. It’s where I developed my love of reading. I spent hours escaping to new places and having adventures. All the other kids went back to school with summer tans – I had thicker glasses.
My first romance novels belonged to my grandmother. My mother loved garage sales, and books for a quarter were heaven. As a tween, I found the romances at the library.
I went to college, and then to grad school. Someone broke my heart. I got divorced; and I got my heart broken several more times. Work kept me frantically busy. I turned my back on romance for a long time. Then I picked up a novel and it was like discovering buried treasure. But I kept it my secret. I was a closet romance reader.
Somewhere along my education, someone told me I wasn’t creative. I never tried to write fiction after that. And then, one day in 2011, I decided I’d try. If it didn’t work, no one needed to know. If I was a closet romance reader, I could be a closet romance writer.
Yeah – no. There is no such thing as a closet writer. It grabs you by the nose and leads you around until it’s all you can talk about. And that “lack of creativity”? I wasn’t Mark Twain or Jane Austen at age fifteen. Neither were they. Creativity is like math – it takes practice and education. It’s a skill as much as it’s a gift.
After spending over half my life drafting legal documents, I left when story ideas began to drown out the tick of the billable hour clock. I do still have a day job – and I love almost every minute of it. I use my creative skills every day in a variety of projects. And the energy I used to spend worrying is now spent plotting, scheming, researching, and writing.
I now live farther south than my home town – close enough for my family to visit, but far enough that they can’t drive by and catch me at my computer in my pajamas at noon on a Saturday.