Preparing for life as an author….has taken up so much of my time lately, I’ve hardly had time to devote to my writing. I’ve been so focused on Twitter and Facebook and blogs, I’ve almost forgotten the people who are living inside my current manuscript. (I hope they’re eating!) But it’s all part of the exciting journey and I have to keep reminding myself of that. Hopefully, now that all of the details are taken care of, I can enjoy just diving into the world of getting to know other writers and maybe even make some new friends along the way.
First, let me confess that many of my friends and family don’t even know I’m writing. I’m gradually breaking it to people…a slow release of information, on a need-to-know basis! After my wedding five years ago, I almost went out of my mind when I suddenly didn’t have a project to work on when I got home in the evenings. Since I worked with picture books in my job as a Children’s librarian, I decided t“Hey! I’ll write a picture book! How hard can it be?” Dumbest question I’ve ever asked myself. Seriously.
So, I sat down, came up with a story about a frog and a birthday party, and began to do all the illustrations myself. Am I an artist? Not even close, but I knew I was the only one who could tell this story the way I saw it. Dreadful mistake. Halfway through the illustrations, I realized I wasn’t quite cut out for illustrating a picture book. So I scrapped the idea (kept the pictures for fun), and gave up the idea of writing a book. For a little while.
I’ve always been a writer, but only for myself. Years ago, I semi-completed two HUGE manuscripts and made my mother read them (poor thing), but just couldn’t get a grip on why they weren’t as fabulous as I thought they could be. And so began my closet writing education. I took some online courses, bought and religiously read several writing books, and then…never wrote a word. After thinking about those first books, I realized I didn’t quite have the skills.
Of course, I should have kept writing to improve my skills, but I guess I thought they’d magically appear overnight. It wasn’t until the Young Adult books in our library started to really take off, that I realized I just didn’t know where my writing voice lay. My husband went away on a business trip and I was bored, so I pulled out the laptop and tried my hand at a book for teens. And voila! It had been there all along, I just didn’t know I was writing for the wrong audience!
I’ll go into detail more later about my road to getting an agent, but for now, I’m letting the world know I’m writing, and that I’m thrilled to have signed with the amazing Marlene Stringer of The Stringer Literary Agency! And don’t worry, I won’t be subjecting anyone to a wacky picture book anytime soon.