Dancing with the Stars…
Most people who pick up pen and paper to write a romance are fans first. We begin as readers caught up suddenly by a genre that seems to speak to our heart and soul. I can remember when it happened to me. Long before Twilight, I was a teenage girl who carried Johanna Lindsay in my backpack. At eighteen, instead of Edward on my wall, it was Fabio. (Yeah, I had *that* calendar. How about you?;>)
Then, one day it happens…what if? What if this heroine was a time traveler instead of a duchess? What if she was a duchess time traveler? What if I wrote her story down?
And you’re off! <g>
I began my first romance novel in a spiral bound notebook I carried with me through Algebra, Chemistry and Honor’s Government. (Sorry Mr. S) It wasn’t great. It was probably less than mediocre, but writing it was bliss.
There was only one problem.
When you’re a fan, you have stars in your eyes. I had this Barbara Cartland image in my head of what a romance author should be like. She would be dripping with diamonds, wrapped in a poofy white fur, stretched out on a sofa in a designer gown dictating her next story in between eating bon-bons…I mentioned I was young, right?:D
In spite of the image, I kept writing. I huddled over my growing stack of notebooks like a fiend in ratty pajamas without a diamond in sight.
And the books got better.
I joined RWA and they got a lot better!
Suddenly, I met women from all walks of life–some with diamonds, some not–but all fiends like me possessed by the writing bug and doing something about it. Many of us juggling family, education and jobs while we wrote.
Of course, there were and are stars in the romance genre. I still read their books with a mixture of appreciation and awe. I’m still a fan! But I know now that they worked like fiends to get where they are today and they continue to work like fiends to stay there.
And if they have a bon-bon once in a while they deserve it;>
Sure, there are those days when I feel as if I’m dancing with the stars. Are my feet moving quickly enough? Are my steps in time with the music? Do I have the right rhythm?