I started writing in 1997 when my baby was three years old. I fit my writing time around taking care of her and her three older siblings. I wrote two novels over the next few years: No Way Out and Suspicions. Then, when that baby girl went to first grade, I went back to school and spent four years as a full-time student.
I graduated with a B.S. degree in Information Technology in 2004. Shortly after graduation I found a job and began working full-time outside of the home. That was really hard for me as I'd been a stay-at-home mom for eighteen years and really loved that role. I remember as I drove to work each day, I would pretend I was just on my way to run errands--trying to trick myself into forgetting I would be away from home all day.
I loved my coworkers and enjoyed my job, but I really missed being at home--I'm a homebody at heart. By then my oldest had just graduated from high school and my other children were 16, 14, and 10. Fortunately my husband got home from work in the late afternoon, so he was there to keep an eye on things until I got home, but it wasn't the same as being there myself.
Around this same time I was offered a publishing contract with a small regional publisher, which was something I'd worked toward for quite a while. Though thrilled, I knew I wouldn't earn enough money to quit my job. They published No Way Out in 2005 and it sold reasonably well, but I only earned a few thousand dollars. It was nice to have the extra money, but certainly not enough to quit my job!
I thought I was on my way--of course they would publish everything I wrote--but it was not to be. They turned down Suspicions and then He Loves Me Not. As you can imagine, I was extremely discouraged and basically stopped writing. What was the point of taking time away from my family if all my hard work wasn't going to go anywhere? So I put aside my writing and focused on living my life.
At this point it was late in 2006. My second child had graduated from high school and the other two were 16 and 12. It wasn't until four years later, in late 2010, that I learned about the possibilities inherent in eBooks. It was as if the passion for writing that had been down to a flicker suddenly burst into a bright flame. I could write what I wanted and publish it, and readers could decide for themselves if they liked it! The possibilities seemed infinite and suddenly my desire to write reignited.
I got the rights to No Way Out back from my publisher and made it available on Amazon. Suspicions soon followed. I made revisions to He Loves Me Not and put that up in 2011. I wrote the sequel, Don't Look Back, and published that a few months later. Sales were slow at first and I would get so excited each and every time I sold a book, but I was still working full-time and my family still needed a lot of my attention, so it took a little while before I released my next book. Over You didn't come out until the summer of 2012.
Sales started picking up in 2012, which helped to stoke the flame of writing passion and I got busy writing Gone, which I released early this year. Imprisoned followed a few months later, and Hunted, which I'm writing now, will be out by December 1st.
I've been pleasantly surprised by how much people have enjoyed Lily's Story (He Loves Me Not and Don't Look Back). I've had a number of people request a third book telling what happens to Lily next, so after I'm done with Hunted, I'll write a third book in Lily's Story, which I'll release early next year.
All this great news leads to the best news of all, which is that I'm selling enough books now that I've been able to quit my day job and now I'll be able to focus full-time on writing! It's so strange to have so much time each day to devote to writing and other writing tasks, but it's fantastic!
My baby girl, who was only three years old when I started writing, is now in her second year of college, so it's pretty quiet at my house. During the day it's just me and my two cats, Cooper and Nala, who can be such troublemakers. I miss having my children around, but I relish being able to spend so much time on writing.
I have lots of plans now, like making all of my books available as print books as well as audio books. I never had time to do that before as I only had a couple of hours a day to devote to writing and that time had to be used to write.
I should also be able to get more writing in each day, which will help me produce more books. My goal is to release four books per year.
Again, I want to thank each and every one of you who have bought my books. It's only because of your support that I'm able to transition to writing full-time, which will allow me to write more books!