My Roundabout Route to Becoming an Author
I never dreamed I’d be a writer. My aspirations focused on creating art and I longed to be an oil painter. But not the starving variety. So I hunted for jobs that would allow the luxury of painting but also brought with it a consistent paycheck. Not long into my search, I started working as a children’s counselor at a spouse abuse shelter in Florida. The plight of the women and their kids was heartbreaking. I wanted to do something to educate women. But what? I didn’t want to spurt out statistics or sound preachy.
An idea popped into my mind. I’d write a novel. How hard could it be? After all, I’ve read hundreds of them. I pulled out my portable Royal and started typing. An unexpected thing happened. I discovered that I enjoyed the act of turning a blank page into a piece of art not created by paints and oil but with words. Well, the truth is, I’d enjoyed writing all those research papers in college. But penning fiction was different. I discovered a new found freedom in creating my own world with characters whose fate laid in my hands. I was hooked.
Of course, that was before I had an inkling as to what the world of publishing involved.
I finally settled on being a public school art teacher in Baltimore City. When I found the time I wrote and painted. But the writing consisted of lesson plans and papers once again, for a graduate degree.
It wasn’t until I left teaching that I jumped full-time into writing. But instead of working on historical fiction, I switched to whodunits which required a totally different kind of writing. Along with searching for a perfect voice—gritty or funny—or somewhere in between, there had to be a crime, a sleuth, and a villain. Not to mention a trail of clues, red-herrings, and a satisfying ending.
My first mystery novel went through a series of rewrites, critiques, and a developmental edit before I found a literary agent to represent the book. "Death in Disguise" was published in 2018 and the sequel will be released Spring 2021.
Not a direct route by any means but an interesting one.