Pick a voice, any voice. So often it felt that way.
Today it's all about me (or actually you, unless you want to borrow my identity, LOL).
I grew up reading historical romance. Loved the stuff!! IMHO, no one held a candle to Kathleen Woodiwiss!! Loved her imagery, descriptions, setting, characters,...Everything! And so was born the Kathleen within me.
I started on my first historical romance, set in England and devoured all the research I could dig up on sea-faring captains and damsels in distress. I had a great time until my critique group kept questioning the facts and period accuracy in my pages. I realized the only basis I had to answer the questions came from library books and very limited internet. And of course my very fertile imagination.
400 pages written, and hadn't even reached the middle of my story!!!
Okay, next, I tried my hand at cowboy/western romance. For many books, Lorraine Heath was hands down my favorite author. Cowboy romance was the genre where I began winning contests. Nothing makes my heart melt faster than an good, ol' fashioned, "yes, ma'am." Problem? I attended a conference hosting the contest I'd finalled in and every agent appointment I had told me cowboy was dead, could I write something else?
Broke my heart.
I went home shattered. Write something else? What else did I want to write?
Okay. How about my folks immigrated to the United States from Lithuania. I always loved my heritage, so why not? About that time, Susan May Warren introduced her Russian series starting with Ekaterina. Loved that book. Okay, this is it. Russian suspense lit my fire. I even wrote to Susie telling her that I wanted to step on her turf, was it okay? She invited me to throw my hat into the ring of Russia.
I studied, I wrote, I rewrote. I rewrote some more. I just couldn't get a handle on this suspense stuff. If God had wanted me to keep secrets, He wouldn't have given me personality that sings like a canary when the spotlight comes on. My poor crit partners kept chanting "save this for the end" like a neverending melody.
Along came a life shift. I started working again - full time. Love my job, love the resources I'm surrounded by. Love the Agriculture!!
Ever heard about not seeing the truth until it bites you on the nose??
How's this for a smack up side the head:
- My daughter works for one of the largest horse trail operations in the US
- I live in Colorado
- Writing retreats are always in the mountains
- I'm a card-carrying member of the Professional Bullriders Association
- I love the look of a man in jeans
- MY wardrobe is mainly jeans
- My husband gave me a shotgun for my wedding gift
- The list goes on and on....
Every beginning novel writing class you take tells you to write what you know.
I know to you, this confession looks obvious, but that whole not seeing the forest for the trees thing keeps getting in the way.
My mom gifted me with the love of all things British (we have a Corgi as a family dog, LOL). I grew up listening to my parents' endless stories of the war and Russia and walking to school two miles in feets of snow with no shoes on. I didn't speak English until I started Kindergarten (no one thought of ESL for Lithuanians, trust me!). I knew I needed to write something unique.
I write Cowboy Contemporary Romance.
Now that I've identified my brand, life is so much easier, too. My personal blog is stylized western romantic. My website (the one currently under construction) is tailored cowboy. I only carry one business card now, rather than the purse full of four themes - one card was always generic.
I wear cowboy boots.
I love the cowboy hat I bought in Dallas during the '06 ACFW conference.
Jenn Stark, in her author branding post, simply reconfirmed my decision. Become a part of what you write. Put your heart and soul in it.
This is your work, your career. Pour your passion into it!!!!
It's been a long road. It may continue to be so. But you know what? God called me to write for Him. All I need to know is that He loves cowboys, too: )
Be strong and courageous and get to work. Don't be frightened by the size of the task, for the Lord my God is with you; He will not forsake you. He will see to it that everything is finished correctly. I Chron 28:20
Wow. What better encouragement do I need?
So, can anyone relate??
Blessings to all!!!