Hello and Happy Mother's Day, WWK bloggers and readers! I’m honored and excited to be joining your ranks on this special day. I’ll be blogging every other Sunday, alternating with Jim Jackson. I just hope I can be half as entertaining as Jim.
Unlike Jim, I’m not a published novelist yet, but I am published in nonfiction and I’m also a professional book editor. I’m proud of my accomplishments, which include coauthoring a travel book and ghostwriting two health books, but I’ve wanted to publish in fiction since I was old enough to understand what that meant.
Why fiction? When I was a kid, my family consisted of two brothers married to two sisters, all living in the same house and working at the same family business. I was the only child in the family, and when the fighting broke out—between the spouses, siblings, in-laws, or business partners—I learned to block it out by crawling into my imagination.
As college approached, my guidance counselor steered me into journalism, feeling that I could make a better living as a reporter than a fiction writer. I did make a decent living, first as a newspaper feature writer and then as a commercial book editor, but the desire to write fiction never left me. Instead, it grew.
Last week, I attended Malice Domestic, and one of the things I did there was pick up my author copy of Fish Nets, the second Sisters in Crime Guppy Chapter anthology, which includes my first published short story. When I held the book for the first time, it took massive willpower not to dance around the dealer room, whooping and hollering and turning cartwheels. What I felt holding the three nonfiction books I authored and all the books I’ve edited combined did not compare to the joy and satisfaction I experienced holding that one anthology.
Which is not to say that my story in the anthology is an award winner. It most certainly is not. But it has given me a taste of what it feels like to write something from your imagination, have it accepted for publication, and then see the final product, feel its heft, smell the ink, hear the binding crack as you flip through the pages. Not only can I not go back now, but I’m determined to conquer the next step.
If you’re a writer, have you been published yet? What did you feel the first time you held your first book or the publication containing your first story or article?