Wednesday, August 4, 2010

From Dream to Reality

When I was in thirteen, my language arts teacher asked the class to write a story using all their spelling words. My story filled a spiral notebook and my love of writing began. The rest of the year and into the next, I filled pages of spiral notebooks with my stories. And then burned them in the basement fireplace so no one would learn my secret desire. I wanted to write romantic suspense and all my stories were based on my favorite television shows like EMERGENCY and MEDICAL CENTER.

But, bt the time I was a senior in high school, I’d quit writing. I decided it was a childish pursuit and I wanted a career in medicine. I chose a career in radiology. And forgot all about writing. For awhile. But the old dream haunted me and I could let it go. I told my husband about the stories I used to write and how I wanted to write again. Then in 1995, he bought my first computer and told me to stop dreaming and start writing.

Well, I still didn't think I could write, so I took a writing class and thought I'd just write children's stories for my daughters. But that didn't satisfy the dream. So, in 1996, I decided to write a romance.


It was a medical thriller and it was so bad there are no copies left of that horrid story. But I learned something from the attempt. I needed help. So, I joined Romance Writers of America and my local support group. And I studied the craft.

For twelve years, I wrote what I loved to read. Mainly, historicals and paranormal. But I kept getting rejected. I went through three agents and came close to getting published with a New York publisher. But after three revision letters, I was rejected again. I didn't give up.

I took every comment from every editor, agent, and publisher and revised my stories. I went to meetings and read books in the genres I wanted to write. And I edited and revised until I was sick of the characters. They became like annoying guests who’d overstayed their welcome. But I continued to pursue the dream.

Then finally, after thirteen years of rejection, I got THE EMAIL from Lill Farrell at The Wild Rose Press. She liked OUT OF THE DARKNESS, my paranormal vampire romance. I the email on Mother’s Day, 2009. And almost exactly one year to the date, on May 28, 2010, OUT OF THE DARKNESS was released!

Currently, I’m working on the sequel, INTO THE LIGHT. I’ve also submitted a full historical manuscript to The Wild Rose Press. So, I’m hopeful my dream of writing in more than one genre will come true.

Because after all, that’s what writers do. We dream.

What’s your dream?

6 comments:

  1. The writing bug just never goes away, does it? Good luck with your sequel and the historical! :)

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  2. I have loads of dreams, but I think my biggest dream as a writer is to earn an income in the mid six figures at least so my husband can stop working.

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  3. I'm with Helen. Wouldn't that be a dream come true. :)

    Great post, Lilly.

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  4. Best of luck with your first release, Lilly!! May you have many, many more!

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