Doing things my way.

Good or bad, right or wrong, I tend to do things my way…… Don’t we all.

As I was saying, last Tuesday, I started sending  out query letters. I sent out queries for about a year, all the time trying to get better at my new found craft.

I was contacted by a publisher who was interested in my work. Yippee! as we all say. I started working with publisher and things were looking good until they asked me to change a very significant element of the story. Not a rather significant element, but a very significant element. For anyone who has read the story you may be able to guess, but let’s just say, (so as to not spoil it for those of you with it on your TBR list) it would have changed the whole outcome of the intended result. It would have changed the way the Teressa and Rory got together.

I wanted to be published, but not at the expense of writing a story I didn’t want to read. There were plenty of those kinds of book already being published. I wanted to write the book I wanted to read and this was it.

So as hard as it was, I said thank you so much for your time and consideration, but I need to respectfully decline the request to kill my baby.

At that same moment, and I do mean that same moment, I got a call from Balboa Press saying they would publish my story. And I didn’t need to change a thing. (Well, a few things, like it needed some more copy editing, which it got, and it still has errors, but then again so do I!!)  How could I refuse?I didn’t.

It was a long process, longer than I had expected, but the book finally came out in June of 2011. How grand.

Has it been everything I expected? No, not really, but as I say; Reality is rarely the way we imagine it.

Has it been fun and exciting? OH Yes. It’s been grand.

Am I making a ton of money? NO. But, I’ve been vastly rewarded. My paycheck comes every time someone reads my book and tells me they liked it, that they enjoyed reading it and are looking forward to reading the next one.

Am I blessed? Oh yes.  Life is good and I am blessed.

Enjoy always, T

What am I doing here?

A bald man enters a barber shop and asks himself, “What am I doing here?’

Do you ever have that feeling?

I have read that when asked, s75%  of Americans say they would like to write a book someday. (emphasis mine)  How many actually do? Statistically: five percent  (5%)

Yes, that’s right folks,75%  of America’s adults want to write a book, but only 5%  actually make the attempt.

Of the 5%  that try to write a book, make the attempt, how many will actually finish their book and see it through to completion? Again, statistically: 5%.

It rather surprises me that I am one of that five percent. How did I get here? And, What does that say about me? Not really sure but I have some ideas.

First, let me return in time (sounds like the name of a book) to when I was still one of the 95% (of the 75%) of wanna-be writers who hadn’t written a word, a time not too far in the past but moving further and further away with each sunrise and sunset. Well, actually, let’s go back a step further.

Right before I became one of the 95%  I wasn’t even one of the 75%. If you had asked me; Do you want to write a book? only weeks before I started the project I would have said NO. It wasn’t on my agenda, not in my thought process, not on my immediate radar. So how did it come about that I wrote a book?

Good question. I’m glad you asked.

I had been reading a lot of books, as I always do, and for some reason I hit a phase where I wasn’t really satisfied with the books I was reading. Now a lot of that probably had to do with the books I was reading, but owing to the fact that I was less than happy with my selections I hit upon the astonishing idea that I should “Write the book I want to read.” Naive audacity at its finest.

So I sat down and wrote a book.

It wasn’t very good and it took me a year (more or less) to complete, but I had so much fun writing. I found I really enjoyed it, and the characters wouldn’t let me stop writing their story. Yes, I lost control fairly early on.

I moved on to the next step and had people, mostly friends, look at it and thankfully they told me – it wasn’t very good. There was a whole lot I needed to learn about writing a novel, POV (point of view) being one of them. So I bought books, went on-line, joined a critique group and I learned. And I got a little better, thankfully.

A few years later I had a book I wanted to sell. Something I wanted to send out into the world for other people to read, not just my loving friends and family. Again, with all the naive audacity of the blissfully ignorant, I started sending out query letters and started receiving the to-be-expected rejections. Another great learning curve.

I kept trying, kept revising the story, doing fine tune edits and eventually….. well, lets save that for another day. Hope you’ll stay tuned.

Enjoy always, T

The romance of romance.

I love a good romance story. Real or fictional

I’ve been reading romance for years, decades. It’s best if you don’t ask how many….

I have boxes full of my ‘keepers,’ romance stories that I’ve read and keep in case I ever want to read them again. As you can guess, I tend to like Scottish historicals, time-travel adventures, fairies, elves and wizards. Some of my favorite authors are: Janet Chapman, Melissa Mayhue, Monica McCarty and Karen Marie Moning. I know because I just looked in one of my keeper boxes. These women are my heroes. They’ve done great things. They’ve written romance stories that people (mostly women) want to read. I should be so lucky.

I’ve always enjoyed good loving and sweet romance. When I meet a new couple for the first time I like to ask them how they met. Lots of people have really good stories. In future blogs maybe I’ll share a few. I like watching couples interact.  NO, not like THAT, I mean in public. I take notice of how a couple interacts with each other in public, like in restaurants, on public transportation or even just walking down the street. Body language speaks if we just listen. We hear it with our eyes.

Many years ago when my marriage was coming to an end (yes folks, I have been married and divorced! It was hard but I did survive, thank you very much) I was accused of being too romantic, that I was looking for romantic love, not the stuff of real life. Darn right I was. But here’s the catch, at least for me, I believe that romantic love is the stuff of real life. It’s been my real life for the last five years and still going strong. And let me tell you, I have no plans on giving up on my romantic love life.

After finding the romantic love of my life it was easier for me to write romance. Now I know what it feels like and it just seems natural. I really like a good romance story. I really believe in the value of two people falling in love. It’s what we’re all looking for, that happily ever after. It make our world a better place.

I believe romance stories aren’t just about kiss-face and boy meet girl (or vice-verse). It’s about the personal transformation that only relationships can provide. Its about the lives that are affected by these two people. A good and right relationship can change the whole direction of a person’s life in incredibly positive ways.

That’s why I write romance. There’s enough violence, and sadness, and pain in the world. I don’t need to add to the trash heap with my writing. I want to show the world love, and all the joy that love can bring. I’m a hopeful romantic and proud of it.

BTW, I have read stories about vampires or werewolves and I know I don’t like them. I don’t like violence. I don’t do violence. I don’t write about violence. Really, isn’t there enough ‘real’ violence in the world without  making up stories about it. Please….. Well, go ahead and write what you want, just don’t expect me to read it. Or if I do, it won’t go in my keeper box.

Have you read any good romance lately?? Try Return In Time. I hear it has a happy ending.

Enjoy always,  T

I Write Romance.

By now you know that I write about romance and relationships. I believe they go hand-in-hand, and often, on a good day (or night as the case may be), they sleep together. There are many subjects and genres to choose from, but romance and relationships is what appeals to me. I’ve always felt that men could learn a lot by reading a romance novel. If a man wants to get a quick peek into the female cerebral boudoir just read a romance novel.

I like the interaction of relationships. I like the idea of happily ever after (HEA). I like the idea of love.

I’m also a student of metaphysical spirituality. I believe we are all spiritual beings having a physical human experience. Isn’t life grand?

Okay, so I blog about romance and relationships. Does that mean I have anything new to say?  Probably not, I just have my own way of saying it. I like to sprinkle my romance with spiritual magic. I read once; Say things you wouldn’t normally say, and then say them in the way you normally would. In other words, stretch but be yourself.

I write because I have stories to tell. I write because it’s so much fun on a consistent basis. It never disappoints me and it makes me happy. And isn’t that the best reason for doing anything? Because it makes you happy.

Let me leave you with this thought: When God created man and woman, she created romance. She also created humor. And that’s a good thing.

Go out and create a little romance, and don’t forget to bring your humor.

Enjoy always, T

Taking Risks

The greatest risk is the risk not taken. Or, to put it another way, often the greatest risk is to take no risk at all. To play it safe and take no risks translates into dull, boring and a life not well lived, not fully experienced.

Imagine never taking your first step, your first class, or your first job interview. Imagine never riding on a roller coaster, or even doing something as everyday as learning how to drive a car. There are risks to driving a car, accidents do happen. Just listen to the traffic reports during morning commute hours. And yet, it’s a daily undertaking for most people. Risks feel scary. Ask any parent who has sat in the passenger seat while their teenage child takes control of the wheel.

When we take risks we expand our experiences. I know what it feels like to sit in the comfort of my home and read an book about travel to Europe, but how does it FEEL to actually take the necessary steps to board a plane and fly half-way across the world? What does it mean to land in a foreign country where people have a different culture, different food and may speak a different language? It’s a risk, but it’s also an experience rich with possibilities.

Or the risk of falling in love. Now that’s a grand and glorious risk. It can contain the highest highs and the lowest lows. What else in our emotional experience presents as many opportunities for risk, success or failure.

I have come to believe that there are no bad experiences and conversely, there are no good experiences. Experiences just are. It’s our perception of them that judges them to be bad or good.

I’m sure you could come up with a number of examples where the risk you took, and the experience you had, was not at all what you expected.  What may have seemed bad at the time, may have become oh so good when viewed through the lens of time. Time lets us look back and enjoy.

Enjoy now, enjoy always.