Many writers talk about how they started, and it usually begins with, “I’ve wanted to be a writer all my life.” Sometimes they talk about their first writing venture in grade school. That is not the case with me. Oh, I love stories. My favorite times included building a corn-cob fire, roasting marshmallows, and my grandmother sharing stories of her childhood. Do I wish I had written them all down? Absolutely. No, however, I do remember a lot of them. Some of the stories were ghost stories and they all revolved around seeing a “white horse.”

Most writing I had done before I decided to write seriously was either in school, college, or professionally as a nurse.  Nursing is straightforward. You research your subject, you trial your theories, and then write your conclusions. Some creativity is needed, but it more like: “Just stick to the facts.”

One day, a slow day, for a nurse, in discussion with an office partner, I randomly told him, “I think I will become a romance writer.” His first reaction and I admit he tried to hold it back, was to burst out laughing. The rest of the day, and for weeks after, every time he would look at me, he would laugh. Now that is not becoming for a nurse to laugh at the dream of their co-worker, but it didn’t stop there. I did not take it well, and it became a challenge. Now I had to show him. How hard could it be? I had written many nursing articles and was the editor of a significant core curriculum of my profession.

I joined a wonderful writing group of published romance authors. That was the wisest thing I did. Over the next year and a half, I discovered the challenge was much more significant than I thought. Who knew there were such things as character arcs, character development, scene development? Was I a plotter or a panzer? What did that mean? It was a new world to me.

My personality type fits more for the plotter, related to my nursing and research background. Many times, even though I had planned it all out, my characters wanted to do it differently. The handsome guy that I initially thought was the love interest had other ideas. That’s when I discovered that even though I still am a plotter, you have to leave room to let your characters have some say in the story. If you are interested in my first entry into this romance world, the book’s name is Belle’s Dilemma, written by Jo Donahue. I did dedicate the book to my co-worker. Without his lack of enthusiasm, his snickers, I would probably not taken the route of a romance writer.

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