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From Central Florida to Romance Novels

09-Feb-2014

I grew up in a small rural town in the very heart of Central Florida, whose only claim to fame was to have been the “bean-capital” of the state — sometime way before I was born. It was miles and miles away from anything fun and interesting — far away from the beaches, and Disney World — and I promised myself when I graduated high school, I was moving as far away from that “one-horse” town as I could get. Of course, in addition to moving away, I was going to live in a condo on the beach and drive a Corvette! I didn’t know how I would pay for those things, but you don’t really think about that when you’re seventeen.

I didn’t end up moving away from that town until after I married. I met my husband in the next “one-horse” town over from mine. He had a vision for our future, which included a stint in the Air Force. During his time in the military, we moved from Central Florida, first to Colorado, then to New Mexico. But as many before us experienced, once we began to have children, we kinda missed our “one-horse” town, so we returned to it to raise our children there. We were both fortunate enough to secure, good jobs with the Federal Government, and have been with them for over sixteen years.

I went back to college when I turned forty and shortly after, received a degree in Business Administration with a minor in the Psychology of Organizational Business. This degree opened up many doors within the Federal Government. Soon, I was promoted to a job in the panhandle of Florida, where we now reside. I’m fortunate enough to live across the street from the bay, with a view which would make most people cry from its beauty. 

Throughout the entirety of my life, I’ve sought different outlets in which to focus my creative abilities. Among these were music, drama, plays, and different types of crafts. As with most writers, I always thought it’d be fun to write a book someday, but it seemed a very daunting undertaking. And, like most writers, I thought to myself, “Who am I to think I could write a book?” During the course of my job in the Florida panhandle, I met a fellow co-worker, who not only worked a full-time job, but also did editing on the side. We talked in depth about the process of writing and how to publish it. Once the germ of the idea entered my head, I couldn’t shake it, and voilà, a writer was born.

Since 2012, I’ve written a dozen books. Additionally, I’ve contributed three short stories for collaborative books with two other authors. I’ve learned so many lessons during this time — both things to do and things to stay away from. As the saying goes, the only way to get to Carnegie Hall is: Practice, practice, practice.

If I could give a new writer any advice, it would be to write what moves you — whether it’s romance, paranormal, suspense, or non-fiction. My second piece of advice would be to enjoy the writing for the sake of writing. Writing should be fun! Lastly, I’d tell new writers not to compare themselves to others. We are all unique individuals with things to contribute. Write who you are and enjoy the ride!

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