When I was in college, I dreamed of being a writer, as most English majors do. I had written poetry since high school and had always kept a journal, but that was the limit of my foray in writing. I put my dream on the shelf and pursued a career in marketing communications.
After about ten years of working with large companies, I found my niche in fresh produce when I become the marketing director for the National Watermelon Promotion Board (yes, there is such a thing!). A few years later, I hung my shingle as a marketing consultant. Over the years, I helped clients launch new products, rebrand their business, and implement wildly successful promotional campaigns.
I really enjoyed the close-knit community of growers and shippers in the produce industry. I often worked with the second or third generation family members. Produce was not just a business; it was personal for my clients and for me.
But when I turned forty-eight, I sensed, deep down, something was missing. I had a powerful urge to write a novel and had no clue how to even attempt it, so I started with a brief outline and character sketches. Within two years, I finished the first draft of a historic romance novel. Thankfully, I found a wonderful and patient editor who taught me the ropes on how to write a book. She guided me through several rounds of revisions.
In 2018, The Arrangement received a second-place award from the San Francisco’s Romance Writer’s Association’s Heart-to-Heart contest and a third-place award from the Missouri Romance Writers, Gateway to America contest. Although I cut my teeth on this book; I chose not to publish it because I didn’t feel it represented my authentic voice and who I wanted to be as a writer.
After lots of introspection, I decided to pursue Women’s Fiction as my genre. I wanted to develop a series based on a female character, Madeline Hunter, and her psychic mysteries in the fictional seaside town of Penbrook, Connecticut. When I completed the first draft of Sea Magic, I retired from my marketing career so I could spend more time writing. And I never looked back.
Writing a novel is both fun and challenging, like climbing a mountain. There are so many twists and turns with revising and editing and adding and subtracting. It takes all my patience and endurance because there are no shortcuts in this long game.
But when I’m writing, it feels like an adventure because I step into another world with characters that I really love. And this makes it so worthwhile!