My bet is that the following journey mirrors that of so many late-blooming novelists out there:
In 2011, after several years of detours, invaluable life experiences and soul-searching, I returned to myself. We probably all do at some point. A perfect metaphor comes in the form of a car commercial on TV now which shows a man transitioning over time through the vehicles he drives, from the cute red sports car as a teenager to a sedan, minivan, crossover or SUV (if I remember correctly that is) and eventually back to a cute red sports car now that he’s older. Let’s say I’m back to the sports car, only now I know how to drive it.
Writing has been my calling since I was a 12 year-old, learning to put verses together. Poetry was my genre of choice throughout my youth. Not many people read poetry, but it is a great way to learn how to word things in a more creative manner.
From there it was my first novel at 20 years-old, and I shudder to think of how that book reads now that I’m older and wiser with a far different viewpoint from an immature college student. Still, it was an experience dealing with the publishing world back then, sending in query letters and a manuscript with the old self-addressed stamped envelope, going to the post office with a stacked-high pile, spending a small fortune on postage and playing the waiting game. Any writer who’s been doing this for years knows exactly what I’m talking about!
The real world took hold, and I ended up dabbling in journalism, business writing from a company newsletter to a trade magazine, blogging and co-writing a nonfiction book under a pen name.
It wasn’t until 2011, a year after settling into a new life out West accompanied with a multitude of life changes and, more than anything, having lived and learned, that I got back into the red sports car. I had a dream. Yes, yes, I know, cliché, but a dream really was the inspiration for The Religion of the Heart.
I wrote the first draft in three weeks and began rewriting it when I got distracted with another project. And there it sat. And sat. It took over two years, but finally the other work was completed, and back to the novel I went. Friends and family pushed me to finish it, to realize the dream I’ve had for my entire adult life- to publish a novel.
Honestly, I could rewrite the thing again and again because every time I read through it, there’s something else I want to fix. That’s the perfectionist in me. But it’s time.
I have a story to tell, and these characters have been floating around in my head for four years, desperate to escape and be shared with the world. Next week is their chance. The Religion of the Heart will be out shortly, and I’ll make an announcement when it’s available on Amazon.
Thank you to my friends, family and future readers for all your support!