I started my first novel as a gift for a friend. I’d had a close-knit group of girlfriends who were all into reading and writing, but one in particular had fallen in love with romance fiction and was bound and determined to get me to write. I penned the prologue for what would become Contentment as a birthday present for my friend, Michelle.
Her birthday is in October, and since I’d already started, I decided to forge ahead using the National Novel Writing Month 50,000 words in thirty days challenge. I completed my first challenge in 2009. I finished the book in December. By April, it had been rejected all over the place. So I set that book aside, joined RWA and the Diamond State Romance Authors, took a lot of craft seminars, and wrote my second book, Paramour.
Just a few months later, I sold Paramour to Turquoise Morning Press – and guess what? Miracle of miracles, they wanted Contentment too. After a whole boatload of revision, that is.
I’ve participated in NaNoWriMo every year since then. The discipline needed to reach that goal forces me to write from my gut and my heart. I’m proud to say that every story I’ve written during those magical months has eventually sold. As far as I’m concerned, there’s a lot of good that comes out of those thirty days of literary abandon. But even more good comes out of the months of editing and revision that come after them.
That’s how I got going, and that’s exactly how I plan to carry on.
Happy writing everyone!