I have been a voracious reader for years, going through stages, like most people, reading the genres that best suited me at the time. In college I devoured thrillers by authors like Stephen King and Dean Koontz. In search of my identity, I went through a highbrow phase and sought out novels like Toole's A Confederacy of Dunces and Eliot's Middlemarch. As a young professional I went through a faithful non-fiction phase (Sun Tzu's The Art of War? Why??) in order to learn more about the world and to become a well-rounded person.
Shortly thereafter I dedicated my reading time to consuming the classics, and fell in love again with Pride and Prejudice. (Darcy was a brooding hottie way before Christian Gray came along, mkayyyy... And, truth be told, he probably did enjoy a little BDSM in the betroom.)
But as a full-time mother, I found my life to be a little too real, and dove right into fantasy and science fiction, which had actually always been a favorite. Nearly 10 years later, I can safely say that fantasy--whether it be of the urban or paranormal or romantic fantasy genre (think Karen M. Moning's Fever series. )--is my true love.
As I neared the age of 35, I decided that the time to write the novels that floated around in my head was now or never. That 'someday' that I always pledged to write wasn't going to just happen; I had to MAKE it happen. And so, I sat behind a laptop and put fingertips to keyboard. But what to write? Straight romance novels just aren't my thing. And while I ADORE Martin's Game of Thrones books, I really wanted to write something sexier. Gabaldon's Outlander was phenomenal, but you can't recreate that genius. Ultimately, I decided that if I was really going to do this author thing, I had to be true to myself. So, the first of the novels in my head that I'm actually "putting to paper" will be what I would love to read myself: a fantasy novel with a heavy romance angle. I'm about 33,000 words in and loving every minute of it. Wish me luck!
I took a week-long intermission from writing my first novel to complete a short romantic fiction story for an anthology tentatively called Rogue Hearts: Erotic Romance for Women.
The anthology is being compiled by best selling author Delilah Devlin, whom I met through the Diamond State Romance Authors group, an affiliate of Romance Writers of America. Rogue Hearts will include stories about special types of heroes: outlaws and bad boys with hearts of gold. Sounds exciting, right? Entries were limited to 5,000 words, and I found this limitation tough! My entry was, no kidding, 4,997 words. The hardest part, though, was saying goodbye to characters that I grew to love. Once I had created Char and Rex, I wanted to write more of their story. Maybe someday I will. It's in my head, and I made outlines for future reference.
For now, though, fingers crossed that Ms. Devlin and her publishers like my entry and that it is chosen for inclusion. Another tough part? I won't know until February or March! Ugh; how will I survive?!