Monday, February 01, 2010

Why do you Write?

Whenever I'm asked to speak at schools, clubs, or meetings, the following questions comes up: What made you want to write a book? It's a hard question to answer for I never gave it a thought, I just write.

I enjoy living and having challenges in my life. I guess writing became one of them. I've knitted, crocheted, embroidered, quilted, all of the nice handcrafted things from afghans, dollies, to whatever. Then I broadened my interest to handicapping race horses (thanks Barb), certified pistol and rifle instructor for scouts, Girl Scout leader for many years, gardening, wallpapering, and genealogy. The last item in that list of interests I spent over forty years researching my husband's family. I believe this led me down the path to writing.

Genealogy is a great research project and I love doing it. I worked with the time period from 1790 to 1880 mostly, tying loose ends for every Ramsey name I could find whether they were related or not. I used phone book, long distance calls, trips to different cities, libraries, court houses and vaults, census records, World Fair forms, the Internet, databases, and correspondence. It bit me like a bug that wouldn't let go. The more I researched the more I wanted to know.

In the back of my mind, I kept this idea of a prairie wagon trip during the gold rush. I love the movie How the West Was Won and I'm also a John Wayne fan. The thought of a covered wagon trip seemed romantic and exciting. I had to know more. So one night in 2000, I announced to my husband that I was going to write a book. I never in my dreams ever thought about writing anything. In fact back in school when we had a book report due, I drug my feet, hated it, put it off as long as I could, yet here I was standing tall in front of my husband, announcing that I was going to write a book.

WHY? I have no idea except my inner voice spurred me on. And the outcome was my first book, Journey to Tracer's Point. It was a challenging experience. The actual writing came easy as I sat in my chair and faced the monitor. I typed my little heart out. But the how's and what-for's took me several years to learn. I found out that there was more to writing a novel than the key strokes, sentences, and words.

First of all I knew nothing about writing professionally in order to submit my project to an agent or a publisher. My dear friend Virginia steered me to a writer's group in Florida, the Tampa Area Romance Authors. Without this group and their workshops, I know my book would never have been published. So, for the next three years I researched and rewrote, and rewrote and edited constantly, learning all the time. And, I know now that the covered wagon trip was not romantic or easy. I probably would have walked the first ten miles and then headed back home. I don't believe I'm as hardy as my ancestors.

Why do I write? Because I love it. Writing was not a hobby by the time I was into the sixth chapter. It became a great job. I have met some wonderful people and have had some fantastic experiences. Best of all, my stories are read by some great people who email or call me and tell me they love my stories. They can't wait for the next book to be released. A writer can't ask for anything better than that.

Journey to Tracer's Point was released in 2008, Winds of Change was out in 2009, and the next book, Bound for Texas, will be out late fall 2010. The Historical family series is an ongoing Americana story about the Anderson family and their love for their country. Visit my publisher at Treble Heart Books and read the reviews. Pick up a book and enjoy a good read.

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