So, of course, as soon as I learned how to write, I was creating my own stories. My parents always encouraged me and my dad always joked that I would grow up and make "him" lots of money.
I remember watching Dr. Who with my dad. Late night movies hosted by Fritz the Night Owl. Reading books about dragons and wizards -- I was a HUGE Sci-fi addict and devoured everything I could get my hands on.
The written word is in my blood.
However, life has a funny way of never turning out the way you think it will. I was always reading and writing, then one day I worked really hard on an art project (a present for my mom) and something just clicked. From that moment on Art was my life.
(The picture to the left was a painting I did of our dogs back in 1993. The original picture that I made for my mom was a pencil drawing of a wizard and unicorn.)
At that point in my life I had a semester of college credits and decided to go back to school. I needed something that could be completed quickly and allow me to find work easily; therefore, I attended the local Technical school for Office Administration. Life went forward and a change in the company I was working for caused me to be sent back to school for an English degree. When all was said and done, I had attended three colleges and completed two associates degrees -- Art Education, Office Administration (degree), English, then Technical Communication (degree). I spent over 15 years as a technical writer creating software documentation.
Life went forward and I had two amazing children who monopolized my time. Soon, I no longer had time for reading or writing. I worked, I picked up and dropped off the kids, I attended activities, I led the kids groups, and I watched my family mature and grow.
Then the miraculous day arrived that my kids were old enough to fend for themselves. I could read again! *Happy Dance Ensued* I began to consume books faster than I could earn the paycheck to pay for them.
The gals and I started talking about how we wished there was a book where it felt like we were the heroine. But, the hero couldn't just be anyone, he had to be larger than life and perfect for us. All of us met because of a love for PNR, so it was only natural for us to begin thinking along those lines. For fun we started brainstorming ideas for a shifter series based on the chain story. Each Book Worm created a set of characters -- one based on herself and the other was her dream man. Everyone had a lot of fun creating their characters and before I knew it, I had developed the Dásreach and outlined a thirteen book series. It didn't take long to begin writing book one in the Dásreach Council Novels.
There was a big difference with this book... I sat down and developed the characters with the help of my friends and created a series plot line. I began writing a bit and decided to outline the book before going forward. I discovered that I never finished a book, because I'm not a true pantser, I'm a more rigid style writer that needs an outline. My outlines are very basic and I don't always stick to them, but they allow me to keep track of where I am, even if I need to take a break due to my health or a family responsibility.
Reading soon started that familiar itch to be creative and write again. Life stresses were causing anxiety and my job was tedious (documenting software is much the same day after day), so I began to write during my breaks. Just something to refresh my brain and help me escape for a bit. It was just tinkering around, but I shared them with Mr. Reuel and my Book Worms. I was shocked at the response I received. The work I shared was incomplete and they wanted more! I began to try and work on completing a book -- a Fantasy about Shifters with a historical feel. Between the distractions I found myself constantly going back and re-reading what I wrote to remember where I was and where I was going (I was pantsing), I felt like I was editing more than writing and the book was not moving forward.
During this time my health became worse. Mr. Reuel was concerned. My anxiety was off the charts and I was having trouble sleeping. Then of course, that three hours on the road became a three-hour struggle to keep awake. I also discovered that I had acid reflux and ulcers. I was put on three medications that helped but didn't stop the systems. I began to eat less, because many things reacted poorly with my stomach and the reflux. It was a downward spiral of poor health. Concerned for my health Mr. Reuel encouraged me to go part time at work and see if I could work at home. I was able to go part time, but the company wasn't comfortable with the working from home.
After a few months, Mr. Reuel decided that even part time work was still causing stress that was having ill-effects on my stress and sleep. I was still trying to write my book by the seat of my pants with little forward momentum.
So, at the beginning of 2012 I resigned my position as a technical communicator and became a full-time work from home author. My health has improved, but I still have good and bad days.
It seems so unreal to me at times. After so many years, I've finally published a book. Then I realize, I've published more than just a book, I've created several worlds to share with my readers between the novels and short stories. And, when I look at my Amazon page, it really hits me that I'm a published Paranormal Romance Author.
So, this is how I became a PNR author in as condensed a narrative as I could write. Each person is unique and every author has their own path, but for me, I love my books with their every day women and larger than life paranormal heroes.