When I was five years old, my kindergarten teacher bound my first story in blue-flocked wallpaper, and I knew I wanted to write books. Even earlier than that, at around the age of two, I used to dictate bedtime stories to my mom, which she would write down. So you'll probably understand that writing this bio is a dream come true for me.
In 2013, my "first" novel came out. (I put the word first in quotes because the novel that sold is actually my eighth. Yup, I've got a cyber drawerful).
How did that happen? Well, not easily. It took eleven years of dogged, sometimes exhilarating but oftentimes debilitating, work to sell my debut. If you are a writer out there, despairing of "it" ever happening, please take heart. It can happen. If you have some talent, a love of the written word, and you don't stop trying...well, it will.
I always wanted to write and I pursued it fairly steadily right up through college, taking part in workshops and programs, and hoping that my creative writing ability would qualify as a "special talent" to make up for my rather woeful grades and SAT scores when I was applying to schools. (It didn't).
I wound up getting in late to Bard College, after all my other choices turned me down. Bard was the place I should've been all along, though. I just didn't know that then. Still, I had reason to transfer to Barnard College as a junior--best decision I ever made, though I would always miss Bard--and it was at that point that my decidedly non-directive parents sat me down and said, "So...writing. How exactly do you make a living at that?"
Because my parents didn't come down hard on things very often, I listened to them. When they didn't seem reassured by my vague vision of living in a log cabin and writing poetry, I decided to double major in psych.
But the siren's song of writing never ceased. Jump cut about eight years ahead, and I was practicing as a psychotherapist in a rural outpatient clinic, and I had this very tough case. And suddenly I wasn't writing poetry, or stabs at plotless, Victorian-esque stories anymore, but my first suspense novel.
It wound up being a completely unsaleable 180,000 words, but agents were interested enough to give me writing advice, and I never stopped after that.
Would I have veered away from the practical path my parents had helped me find if I knew it would be another eleven years before I sold a word? Thirteen years before those words were published?
Some dreams take longer coming true than we would like. Sometimes they seem to come true--you lift off on a Fair Godmother-like wand-stroke of twinkling glitter--before the fairydust evaporates and you slam to the ground. Again. That's what happened to me in 2016, after just three years of being a Real Published Author, when my editor was let go and I suddenly had no home for my work. Again. It would be a full year before my agent and I found one, and my "fourth" novel sold in the sudden surprise of an auction. Before I was lucky enough to get to choose a publisher that feels truly right for me. Maybe it's even Prince Charming.
Or maybe this fairy tale has another chapter in it yet--another turn through a dark, dappled wood. For sure the book that's coming out from Sourcebooks in 2018, Wicked River, has a lot of turns through some woods. And as for me? I'll be traipsing along. Slaying giants and doing whatever I have to in order to write books and get them to you.
Thank you so much for being a part of the tale.