Today is National Tell A Story Day.
In honor of the day, I thought I’d share a story about how I became an author.
Once upon a time, there was a little girl who loved books. (Great beginning, right?)
One of my earliest memories, is sitting in the rocking chair my mom kept in the corner of the kitchen, curled up with a blanket and a book (something about a snowman) and “reading” to her, although I was just looking at the pictures, as she made dinner.
My mom loved to read and she instilled that love in me, first by reading to me, then letting me read to her.
Books were magical. They transported me to places I only dreamed of visiting and took me on wonderful adventures.
The library – oh, the library was one of my favorite places to visit. Once a month, my mom would take me and I’d load up on books (I think 12 was the maximum that could be checked out at one time, and I always got that many!). When I was a teen, I traveled the world and through history reading books. There were cowboys. Pirates. Pioneers. Lost colonist. Historians. And of course – romances. (What can I say? I’ve always loved a happy ending!).
Not only did I love reading books, I also enjoyed telling stories. The first one I remember writing down was a story about a racoon (my brother had a pet coon at the time!). I used to tell my nieces and nephew tales of great adventures as bedtime stories and we all looked forward to them.
Books kept me company when I went off to college, then moved more than a thousand miles from home to a big city where I knew no one. I also found myself writing stories to loved ones in my letters home, describing the places and people I encountered.
When I began my career as a newspaper journalist, I began getting paid to tell stories – true stories about people, places, history, and happenings in the community. Books gave me a way to relax and a place to escape to at the end of a busy day.
Telling stories, and reading them, have always been part of my life.
Even in high school, I knew I one day wanted to write a book. I just had no idea where or when to start.
Then one day twelve years ago, I’d just finished reading a book that was horrible. I commented about how bad it was to Captain Cavedweller, and said I thought I could write a better book.
“So do it,” he said, throwing down the gauntlet of challenge.
It took me a few weeks to get my thoughts together and gather my courage but in February 2010, I rolled my desk chair up to the computer, and decided to give writing a romance novel a try. For months, the idea for a story had been simmering in my thoughts, but I hadn’t known what to do with it. Now I did. I had a challenge and a purpose – to take the story in my head and capture it through my computer keys. The contemporary western romance was about a 30-something couple on the brink of walking away from their marriage. I titled the book Heart of Clay.
Although I had no idea what I was doing, the words poured out and in less than three weeks, I’d written a full-length novel. After writing it, I was in love with writing sweet romances.
I never dreamed I’d write 100 more books, but I have. And I’m looking forward to telling the stories in 100 more!