At times, it almost seems like a dream. I have always had a vivid imagination, but all my earlier attempts to write a book fell far short of being satisfactory. I had some great first chapters, introductions, and prologues, but little more. I could not work up a fully functional outline, as I learned to do in school. I have written papers galore, a thesis, all using this outline model, but it just wasn’t working.
Then one day, I had what I thought was a great idea for a book. I opened up a word page and began to tell the story. No outline, just a few notes on events I wanted to include along the way. In a couple of weeks, I had a short story of 50,000 words, but the story needed some background information to understand the world in which the story took place. I figured I needed maybe three chapters to explain things.
I started writing about events that happened twelve years before my story took place. It took on a life of its own. Three months later, I had the rough draft for Extinction, the beginning of A New Dawn Series. With the help of my children, I started to flesh out the story. After maybe a dozen revisions, an old friend from my teaching days, an English teacher, read the first book and volunteered to give it a first edit.
Everyone told me to not get discouraged if it never got published. It was an accomplishment just to have finished writing a book. I accepted it was a long shot and I had written the story for myself and not to publish. It had been a labor of love.
About this time, I met Mike Simpson of Second Wind Publishing at the Book’em festival in Lumberton, NC. He was a panelist and after it was over, I boldly walked up to him and began my pitch for the book. He gave me a card and asked me to send him the first thirty pages. (I wondered later if that was an easy way to get rid of me.) I sent the pages and he turned it down, BUT with three pages of suggestions. I rewrote the thirty pages following his suggestions and resubmitted. I received the reply to send the whole book.
I had a publisher interested in seeing my book…revised according to his suggestions. I had thirty revised pages. I set to work. My friend edited and I submitted. Eight weeks later, I received a contract.
Now eight months later, I have another book, Death in a Small Town, a murder mystery, ready to come out any week now. The sequel to Extinction, Survival, is due out later in the fall and I just signed a contract for my forth book, Shadow Knight: Dark Justice, an action adventure with a vampire hero.
Who would have thought when I started this process three years ago that such a thing was possible? Certainly not me.