Truth be told, I did not set out to become a writer. Sure, I’ve always been a reader and I’ve always written if you count journaling and blogging. However, I was surprised as anyone to know that I was capable of writing a novel.
This happened once before that I had a dream so vivid and captivating that I took pen to paper to capture it. Just like with the dream that lead to Discovering Our Story, it consumed me. That time however, I wrote about fifty pages then for a variety of reasons, petered out.
But when I had the dream about Matthew and Karissa, it was different. I felt entranced by their story. The dream itself was a very small snippet of their whole story, but I was so captivated by it and their back story and their lives began to unfold at a pace I could hardly put to paper fast enough.
I started to write the dream portion of their story first trying to capture every detail that sleep had gifted me. All the while I was writing plot and character notes and doing research about the characters backgrounds. Then I bravely started from the beginning and wrote until the beginning and the middle met seamlessly. After some adjusting to the previous section, because of course my characters had taken turns I couldn’t have expected at the beginning, I wrote on to the end.
From August to November I wrote as often as I possibly could. I’d wake up early and take a walk, writing in my head, working out the dialogue or what would happen next. Then the first chance I had sometimes during a lunch break, but often not until after dinner and my daughters were in bed, I’d write all the things my brain had already scripted to memory. I’d edit along the way until I completed the first draft of my manuscript and asked several people I trusted to give it a read. Three of my five first beta readers were NOT romance genre fans, but everyone loved it! That early positive feedback kept me going when the inevitable self-doubt would creep in.
Just as I had poured myself into the writing, I poured myself into learning everything I could about what it takes to get published. I read heavily within the romance genre, sampling some of the best authors and the newbies alike to explore what I liked and what I wanted to do differently. Despite a disappointing first round of querying agents I didn’t give up. I edited it again and again. I found a critique partner and used her invaluable insight to strengthen my novel in countless ways. After another full and in-depth edit, my novel is ready to be found. I just know it.
This story is meant to be told, it is as simple as that.