The Unvarnished Truth...

... about how it all started. And my first completed manuscript came into being.

APPLES. Yes big ol' shiny green Granny Smith’s is what put me on the writing track again.
Let's digress a bit and meander on back to when I was little—no, not to the beginning of last century—as if!
Yep, I loved books as a child. My siblings could never understand why I would rather read than watch telly. I adored Beauty And The Beast, The Little Mermaid and always felt Red Riding Hood should have killed the wolf. From Grimm’s fairy-tales, to Disney and later on the classic like Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, T.S. Elliot, and I fell in love with romance. The written word became my nirvana. I devoured each and every story. 

As I grew older, my reading material changed, and I disliked when heroines couldn’t function without the hero and wondered what if the characters did this instead of that? Sometimes I hated the way characters behaved and would insert my own ideas for that scene and read on.
My own stories began to take shape in my head... then the ideas became a compulsion to put pen to paper. With my kids being quite young, I started writing at nights, and stealing whatever time I could in-between. Eventually I worked my way through several manuscripts, then really proud of my first effort, I sent one off to one agent, got rejected, and that was it. I was crushed.

Flash forward to several years later, my kids are older and my daughter had to create a short story for a Literature class. She had no idea what to write on.
Fooling around, I said: apples.
“I would, if you would.” She dared me.
So while she worked on her piece, I wrote a romantic little snippet about apples, unaware this was a stepping-stone back into writing.
 Using my daughter, MJ, as inspiration, Apples became a YA contemporary story. I realized just how much I missed the joys and frustration of writing.
 But writing Apples wasn't enough. Which later became: ‘Kenzie’s Rules to Dating.’
A humorous story about a too curvy teen, who preferred facebook relationships to the real thing.

Then I got hooked on reading paranormal romances, devoured everything I could get hold of.
The PNR bug bit and then 'what if' became such a compulsive word, that for days it lingered in my mind. A gem of an idea sprouted, grew roots and burst out the grounds. But I was too afraid to water and let it bloom.
MJ who liked the idea, as I would like to think, and not because she was probably fed up with me going on about it, dragged me to the study, opened up Words and pointed to the blank document.
  "Write," she said. "Put your thoughts on paper."
Filled with trepidation, I stared at the blank page. Yup, that one rejection from years ago still stung, apparently. 
     “Come on, mom, you can do this,” MJ said, “I read Apples, and it’s so good.”
     “You have to say that, you're my daughter,” I grumbled.

—self-doubt crept in, I didn't think I could create a paranormal world. It added new frown lines to my forehead…should have taken a shotgun to it then. All the time wasted being afraid! 
 But I planted my butt on the seat while the General paced behind me, doubtless to make sure I didn't bolt.
 I wrote. A conglomeration of ideas poured out, world building, writing and discarding plots... and then absolute blankness ruled for days, as wide as the Grand Canyon. I didn't think I could bridge that chasm.
MJ stepped in, and I realized what an amazing mind she has in creating paranormal worlds. And we bashed around ideas...

A year later, several rough scripts tossed aside and Absolute Surrender was written. Oh yes, and she did the cover (it's NOT the official one, I hasten to point out) for my manuscript as encouragement to keep writing.
Love you darling girl.