My journey to publication began much like everyone else. I wrote when I was younger short little snippets of stories. Took creative writing classes in high school, but then real life invaded and my writing got pushed aside as reality struck. The longer I ignored it, the fainter the voices were that wanted their stories told, until one day they stopped completely.
Don't get me wrong. I still read, voraciously, just about anything and everything I could get my hands on. Didn't matter what genre it was. Heck, I didn't even know what genre was. To me, if it had printed words on the page, that was good enough. But my stories? The ones that used to be in my head? Gone.
Fast forward more years than I care to admit. I'm working as a medical transcriptionist every day, plodding away on the computer, headphones attached to my head listening to physicians mangle words so badly as to be unintelligible to the human ear. Add a foreign accent on top of that along with blinding headaches and you've got my day. Then I found out one of my coworkers has published a book, a romance. (I worked at home and she worked in the office, so I wasn't really privy to that fact until after she was published.
So, I e-mailed her congratulations. She e-mailed me back and invited me to a book signing at a conference called Dreamin' in Dallas. Wow, I'd never been to a professional book signing before, so another coworker and I went and got our copies signed. This author invited me to a DARA (Dallas Area Romance Authors) meeting. Me in a room with a bunch of romance authors? Sounded excited and terrifying at the same time. Why not?
The end of April rolled around and I walked through the doors of the hotel and into a whole new world. All the people were excited to talk about books. Not just reading them, but writing them. Something I had stopped dreaming about after high school. Could I try again? Wasn't I too old, too far past thinking I could make a go of something as fickle as trying to write a book?
No, I didn't think so. After work, in the evenings and on the weekends, I sat at my computer and wrote. Maybe a few pages at a time, sometimes only a few paragraphs at a time, but slowly a story began to emerge. A pretty good story, I thought. The characters and stories which had been silent for so long had returned.
The next year, at Dreamin' in Dallas, with a finished manuscript, I pitched to an editor. Wonder of wonders, not only did she like the concept, she asked for the full manuscript. I, of course, was walking on the clouds. Yep, this was it. I was going to sell this manuscript and be the new Nora.
Only I didn't hear back from her. Months passed with no word. So I queried more editors, entered the manuscript in a few contents. Got really good feedback most of the time, but always the same answer. Thanks, but no thanks. (Finally heard back from that first house after 2 years, with a no thanks, too.)
Turns out she is the Executive Editor at Carina Press and wants to talk to me about my book. The editor, acquisition team, and she have all read it and love it. They want to make me an offer. Once I've climbed back down off the ceiling, of course I said I'd love to discuss it with her. The rest, as they say, is history.
I guess the moral of my story is . . . don't ever give up trying. If I hadn't tried “one more time”, Desperate Choices would be sitting under my bed, probably never to see the light of day again. The manuscript that five years before couldn't sell finally sold.
Write what you love and love what you write. It makes all the difference in the world.
Read an excerptWhen psychic Theresa Crawford's former beau walks into her New Orleans New Age shop, she senses trouble. Big trouble. Max Lamoreaux hasn't come to discuss their relationship—the private investigator is on a case, and he needs Theresa's help.
Max's godson is missing. The police have declared Tommy a runaway, but Max's gut tells him otherwise. While he's highly skeptical of Theresa's abilities, her visions provide the only clue as to who's taken Tommy. The longer Max works with Theresa, the harder it is to resist his desire for the sexy woman.
As they inch closer to finding Tommy, Max and Theresa also discover that time hasn't diminished their powerful attraction. But Theresa harbors her own dark secrets from her past. Secrets that broke them up before—and could drive them apart again, unless Theresa can learn to trust Max with everything...
Pre-order Desperate Choices from Carina or Amazon.com. Desperate Choices will also available through Barnes and Noble, Kobo Books, Sony, Books on Board and other etailers.
Like the sound of it? Leave a comment for Kathy for a chance to win an e-copy of Desperate Choices.
Kathy can't remember a time when books and reading weren't a part of her daily life. She was blessed with a mother who instilled in her a love of reading at a young age. This progressed into a passion for the written word in all forms, which led to her writing. Every day new stories and new ideas roam through her head, the characters chomping at the bit for their turn to be front and center and have their stories told. That love of storytelling translates into her desire to write and share her stories with others.
Her day job is about as uncreative as it gets. She does medical transcription, spending numerous hours each day trying to decipher the mumbled, garbled, often unrecognizable words physicians are dictating in an effort to make a complete and comprehensive patient record. It's almost as bad as trying to read their handwriting!
Born and raised in Miami, Florida, she's lived in various places, from California to Hawaii and back to Florida before finally settling in Texas. Kathy makes her home outside Dallas, Texas. She's a member of Romance Writers of America and Dallas Area Romance Authors (DARA).
Visit Kathy's website or her blog and follow her on Twitter.