I’ve always been a writer. It’s something I remember doing since I could pick up crayons and draw. I’d create storylines for the images I drew and later when I learned how to write, I’d fill notebooks and pads of paper with stories. It was my mother who encouraged me to read and write. She was the reader in my family. There’s not a day that went by without her reading something. I have very clear memories of her sitting on the couch in the living room, her nose buried in a book, most often a romance novel.
As I grew out of reading children’s books and started looking for something with more substance, nearly bypassing the teenage books of the time, which unlike today were few and far between, I walked into my mother’s library and picked up a romance novel. She had plenty to choose from and after reading that, I walked to the nearby mall and purchased my own. From that day, I was addicted to reading romance and naturally, my writing began to reflect my reading.
I spent hours upon hours lost in the worlds I created as well as those created by other authors. It wasn’t until high school that I realized this was my passion. I took a creative writing class and it literally changed my life. The teacher praised my work to the other students, insisting they read what I wrote, much to my utter embarrassment. I was quite shy back then and I recall ducking my head into my desk as every student in the class looked at me with curious eyes. After class, a few of them approached me asking to read my short story. The teacher also pulled me aside to encourage me to continue my writing. He was sure, with a little work, I could easily lengthen my short story into a novel and perhaps get it published.
Up until then, it never occurred to me that people actually wrote stories for a living. These people called authors. I never imagined I could be counted among them. But, I took his advice and turned my hobby into a study of the craft. For several years, I attended conferences and workshops, read everything I could find about writing novels, romance in particular and in the meantime I got a job working at a bookstore, mostly to sustain my reading habit. It was a nice perk getting an employee discount to buy more books than I had ever dreamed of buying.
And during that time I wrote and wrote and wrote. I submitted some and wrote some more. Luckily, the rejections I received were encouraging instead of overly critical and I kept trying harder to polish my writing.
In 2006, I stepped down from my Assistant Manager position in the bookstore after I gave birth to my first son. After gazing into his beautiful blue eyes, I realized I hadn’t pursued my passion with as much fervor as it deserved. I never stopped writing, although some years I wrote and submitted more than others. I had dreamed of becoming published for several years and I wanted to prove to myself and my children that dreams really could come true. My son inspired me to be a better person, a person he could look up to and admire.
I fell back into writing with new determination. And on the day of his third birthday party, I received a contract from The Wild Rose Press. It was one of the happiest days of my life. I danced with my sons (by then I had 2 boys), and they giggled and laughed and had no idea why Mommy was so happy but they cleverly went along with it.
And now, expecting my third baby, I’m still writing and every time my boys catch a glimpse of the cover of my e-book while I’m online they jump and point at it, yelling “There’s mommy’s book!” It brings tears of joy to my eyes every time.
My paranormal romance debut, The Witch and the Wolf, was released in July 2010. For more information about me, stop by my website, http://www.triciaschneider.com/