One of the big decisions for a wedding reception is what tunes to spin for those special dedicated dances. When my son was married a few years ago, I had a back up song in my mind, just in case he couldn’t decide on one. He would have been mortified with my pick, so I’m glad he chose The Beatles’ “The Long and Winding Road.” It was fitting in so many ways. For those of you who can’t stand not knowing what I would have inflicted upon him, my pick was Rascal Flatts’ “My Wish.” My son the indie rocker is no country music fan, so it worked out. I’ve thought about his choice on many occasions since that beautiful day and I’ve decided this is a song for life.
Paths not taken. Roads that veer away from due north. The chance meeting that changes a life. We’ve all been there on some level. My entire writing career has been a very winding road. First of all, it wasn’t the path I set out on; it was one that appeared at my feet one day (my little sister laid it there) when I was a mother of two grade-schoolers and not particularly looking for a new life path. Still, without hesitation, I turned and took that path. I followed my gut and my gut alone. I was a science major. What did I know about writing a novel? But a novel it was, nothing else appealed, not essays or short stories—guess I’m far too long winded.
Then came the “chance meeting” that gave me a shove in the direction that would finally lead to publication. I wrote a fan letter laced with a few crucial writing questions to a prominent and popular author, which led to an unexpected phone call… which led to an on-line writing group (which then led to my now longtime friend and critique partner Karen White) and to Romance Writers of America. Now I was learning! And yet, it would still be several more years and four more unpublished novels before my first award winning novel, BACK ROADS, landed on the shelves at bookstores everywhere, as they say.
After I signed a contact with a Warner Books, I visited their offices in the Time Warner Building. When I stepped into their conference room, I was stunned. I was standing in a room I’d seen on 60 Minutes when they did a piece on Nicholas Sparks. I remembered watching it and thinking “wouldn’t it be cool if my book was discussed in a room like that.” And, as that road winds yet again, it turned out that was where the decision to purchase BACK ROADS was made. Gave me shivers!
BACK ROADS was followed by eight more women’s fiction novels. All published by Warner Books, now Grand Central Publishing. I was fortunate enough to work with the same editor for all nine.
And now, another change of path. I’m working on a book that is entirely different from any I’ve done before—and I’m loving it! I recently contracted with Gallery, an imprint of Simon and Schuster for publication of this novel, WHISTLING PAST THE GRAVEYARD. It’s slated for July 2013. And guess who my new editor is? I’m thrilled to say, it’s the same editor I’d worked with at Grand Central! Our paths cross unexpectedly yet again on the long and winding road.