What advice do you have for the new writer?
Write because you love to write and for no other reason. Never force it. You can always tell when something isn’t coming out right. And if writing is what you want to do, never give up. It is extremely hard to find an agent, the right publisher, or an audience. But if you stop looking, you’ll NEVER find him/it/them, right? Believe in what you do. Not everyone will love every word you lay out there, but if you love it, others will too. You just have to find them! It may feel like a needle in a haystack at times, but I guarantee you’ll never run across the needle if you stop looking. Write write write and love it and you’ve already won!
How long have you been writing and why did you start?
Oh, just since birth. Haha. Okay, I’m not THAT talented! But practically! When I was a kid, I used to cut pictures out of the newspaper (much to my dad’s chagrin when he hadn’t read it yet) paste the pictures onto blank paper, and then write a story about the picture. I’d then sell my “magazines” to my parents for a nickel. I should have known then what I was meant to do. I didn’t try my hand at novel writing until about a year after I graduated college. I was working in radio full time, but I was so compelled by a scene that formed and stuck in my mind that I couldn’t NOT write it. Once I had that scene out, I felt I owed it to the characters to see what happened. So I wrote “Someone Always Loved You.” I searched for an agent and publisher for months without any luck and became highly discouraged. I didn’t write anything other than radio scripts for a full decade. And I’m sad by all the time I lost. Eventually, I put that book out on my own for fun and it’s been a bestseller in its category on a number of occasions. I got back into writing two years after my oldest daughter was born. I was still in radio, though on a VERY part time basis. I wanted to leave radio and do something from home and writing seemed the natural fit. I started gathering writing jobs and clients and creating a freelance writing business at home. This fueled my love of writing and I segued back into novel writing again.