I almost find staring at the blank page on this blog more scary than the pages in my book. It's been a long journey to create Always and Forever, my romantic suspense novel about a former socialite, accused of murder and trying to start over in a new life. My journey's not over yet, and at times I'm overwhelmed.
I always thought writers were born, and that I could never be one. I thought some of us just may be destined to be readers, never imaginative enough to come up with the fascinating tales we love to live through that other people create. But some things are worth the work.
The first story I ever remember writing was titled My Pencil. It was a first-grade project of a page-long tale about my pencil coming to life when I left school. All the pencils got in a circle to play Farmer in the Dale and jump rope. I suppose my thinking was that my pencil was never where I thought it should be when I went to find it in the morning (though, more likely, that was due to my lack of organization). I won first prize on that story, out of all the kids in first grade. I later wrote stories about my friends, for their reading pleasure, while in middle school, but then the creative spark faded away, and I never thought of writing again for many years.
Five years ago, an idea came into my head, and it just wouldn't leave. I told it I couldn't help it, I wasn't a writer and couldn't become one. The story persisted, until it eventually interrupted my sleep and wreaked havoc on my thought process. I finally starting writing it down, just so I could function again. The fact was, I knew nothing about writing, and I went in search of information. I started taking every class I could afford, reading every article on writing that I came across. The book made it to 150 pages before I ran out of things to write about. I let that one go and started with the next one, and the next one, and the next one. They all fizzled around 30,000 words.
That's when it clicked for me ... I was trying to write fantasy books, and I obviously didn't have one of those in my head. That's when Lilly Price started speaking to me with the line that inspired the entire story, "Always and Forever." The story has been a firm task mistress, commanding any spare time, keeping me awake at night, waking me early in the morning. My life has been consumed by Lilly and Zach, and it has been an amazing journey.
There is more to come, and I have a lot of work to do, but I've realized the most important lesson taught to every grade-school child is true--you can do anything you set your mind to.