Some people (I refuse to name names) have commented on the fact that I’ve left it too late to be a success as an author. After all, my children are all grown up and (gasp!) I have grandchildren.
Do you want to know what I think? It’s never too late to dream and to actively pursue a goal!
Anyone who persists in achieving their dream is a success in my book.
Even if I’d never been published, writing fills a need, a restlessness inside me. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t write, jotting down short stories (back then only a page or two or six) or poetry. I love rhyming, making thoughts connect, telling a simple story through words.
When my children were small, I enjoyed reading to them, imparting my love of the written word. I even wrote and published a couple of books and posters aimed at their age group. The learning experience involved in that was unreal…challenging and rewarding in equal measure.
I’d tried to write what I enjoy reading, but with a full-time job and kids at home, I rarely had a spare minute to myself. I applaud anyone who can write with children under foot. I certainly can’t. J
Peace and quiet is the rule of thumb for me.
Writing involves a continual learning curve. I learn something new with each manuscript I write. I’ve also learned that you can’t always ‘write what you know’, especially when your characters take you in the opposite direction. I’ve had to research oodles of stuff, but it’s all good.
Zakia and the Cowboy was rejected seven times before being picked up by Evernight Publishing. To date, I’ve suffered more rejections than I care to count, but each one served its purpose by making me more determined than ever to succeed. “I can do this” became my mantra. The thought of giving up never crossed my mind. I love writing! Positive thinking is the key. Don’t let the negatives bog you down. Learn from those rejections and keep striving to craft the best story possible.
The day I received the contract offer from Evernight, I couldn’t believe it. It took a few days for it to sink in, but once I received that gorgeous cover, designed by the fabulous Dara England, I knew it was very real indeed.
Since the release of my debut novel in October, Zakia and the Cowboy has been a phenomenal success, appearing on several Bestseller lists and becoming a Featured Title at All Romance Ebooks for three weeks. Better than that were the reader reviews. They’d enjoyed it and wanted more. Luckily, I had more planned. J
Covert Mission: Undercover Cop, Trouble Brewing in Thunder Creek, and A Cowgirl's Pride all followed. I am currently working on Book 5 in my Thunder Creek Ranch series, Cameron's Quest, and have had reader requests for Michael's story next.
Through Evernight, my short western historical, Hawk's Woman, was released as part of the Virgins Behaving Badly anthology released in March.
Today marks the release of Her Unlikely Bodyguard, the first of four books contracted with Breathless Press. Blessed Homecoming, Love on the Rocks, and Finding Baby J will release in July, August, and September, respectively.
Then starts my releases with Ruby Lioness Press…Bad Boy Blake in November, and the Husdon Trilogy, releasing in January, March, and May, 2013.
At this point, I also have three other titles being considered by two other publishers.
Have I left it too late to become a successful author? No, I don’t think so, and according to reader reviews, they don’t either. J
Thank you for having me here today, Siobhan. It’s been fun.
One lucky commenter will receive a free download of Her Unlikely Bodyguard at the end of the blog tour. Winner to be announced on June 30th. So leave your email address (so we can let you know if you win), comments and/or questions, and I’ll do my best to answer. :)
BLURB for Her Unlikely Bodyguard
Jemma-Leigh Harding has drawn the attention of an unknown stalker and returns to her hometown of Somerville, a safe haven on the east coast of Canada. Theodore Garrity is the last person Jemma-Leigh expects to see, having walked out on her after graduation to join the army. Their past history involves secrets she is not ready or willing to share. When it becomes clear the stalker has followed her home, Teddy becomes her unlikely protector. Will the terror and past hurts separate them forever? Or will love blaze a fresh path for their future?
Jemma Leigh woke to a high-pitched wailing sound and tried to sit up but couldn't, only then realizing she was strapped down in a moving vehicle. Before she could panic or even give voice to the questions floating around in her head, there was a flurry of movement in her peripheral vision.
One of the paramedics kneeled beside her in an instant. "Don't be alarmed, Miss Harding. The straps are for your own protection. You can't be expected to hold on in a moving vehicle when you're unconscious."
"Yes. That truck knocked you unconscious when it hit you. Don't you remember?"
"I remember hearing the truck and jumping back to the sidewalk. I was standing there, watching the approach of a rather irate driver when everything became foggy. I don't remember anything after that."
"We couldn't find any signs of a head injury. Is it possible you just fainted?"
"I've never fainted in my life!" she exclaimed.
"Shock does strange things to people, especially when there's personal injury involved."
"Shock I can understand, after seeing that monster of a truck coming directly at me, but I jumped clear. How could there be personal injury?"
"You have a nasty abrasion on your left ankle. It's going to require stitches, at the very least."
"What? How?" she asked, confused, finally becoming aware of a gentle throbbing in her foot.
"The driver found blood on his front fender. Your ankle got a good clip before he managed to stop."
At mention of the driver, Jemma Leigh's thoughts returned to Theodore Garrity. The moments they'd shared during high school and summer vacations were still mighty precious, turning her dreams into an erotic oasis on more than one occasion over the years. Why did she have to have a close encounter with him of all people…and on her first day back, too? What was he doing in town? Her mother told her he'd married and lived out west somewhere.
The cessation of movement brought her back to the present predicament and she gave the paramedic a questioning look.
"We're at the hospital. The staff here will have you stitched up good as new in no time. You'll soon be on your way as long as there are no internal injuries."
"Hopefully sooner. I don't have time for this."
"Some things you have to make time for and having that ankle tended to is one of them," he answered. Another paramedic opened the rear doors, helped roll the stretcher out of the ambulance and into the emergency department. The smell of antiseptic and disinfectant assaulted her nostrils as they wheeled her over to the nurses' station.
When the nurse came out to greet them, Jemma Leigh stated, "Hi, I need to make a phone call."
"I'll bring you a phone just as soon as we have you settled in an examining room," the nurse assured her.
As luck would have it, emergency wasn't busy that day and the doctor arrived as they transferred her from the stretcher to a bed. He was tall, with short blonde hair and electric blue eyes, and extremely good-looking. "Good afternoon, Miss Harding. I'm Dr. Harrison. Heard you had a run-in with a truck and the truck won," he stated, turning a megawatt smile in her direction.
Wow! She wondered what had happened to draw so many handsome men to this backwater town. This guy seemed almost too perfect…good looks, a sense of humor and a secure, good paying job at that. Clueing in to the silence surrounding her, she shot a shaky smile at the doctor and said, "I prefer being called Jemma Leigh. The truck was much bigger than I was and all it got was a bit of skin off my ankle. I think the fact that I'm still here means I won that round."
"Either that, or God isn't ready for you yet," Ted quipped sarcastically from where he stood in the doorway listening to the exchange. "Maybe it was just my excellent reflexes that saved your hide."
"You always did have a strange sense of humor, Teddy. You should pay more attention when you're behind the wheel of that brute. What are you doing here?"
"Just checking on the invalid. I was worried when you didn't immediately regain consciousness."
"As you can see, I'm fine. No insurance claims pending, so now you can go."
"Consider me gone."Surprisingly, he left without a good-bye or a backward glance, just as he'd done...no, she wasn't going there.
Thank you for stopping by, good luck in the giveaway, and happy reading! :)