Tuesday, May 08, 2012

A Brief Fling into My Past Guest Blogs

A Brief Fling into My Past Guest Blogs (For those who may have missed them)
While I love to read and write about the future, my writing career began way back when I fell in love with science fiction. I was between 11 and 12, visiting my uncle’s family. He had a book, a battered paperback, titled The Foundation and the Empire. That book was a science fiction novel penned by the great Isaac Asimov. It had everything a young pre-teen would want – adventure, danger and, surprisingly, romantic elements. It set me on the path of loving science and astronomy and loving adventure and romance. But even more, it made me want to write my own adventurous romances. And so I have.
Who first introduced you to the love of reading?
This may sound corny and old-fashioned but my mother introduced me to the joy of reading. She only had a 6th grade education but she was an avid reader and she encouraged me to read everything that came my way. She often said you could do anything or go anywhere if you could read.
She was right. I’ve been to alternate Earths, alien planets, the past, the future. I’ve performed archelogy, surgery, and forensic police work. I’ve lived on a prairie on a planet with a lavendar sky. I’ve survived cryogenic freezing to wake up in the distant future as the sole survivor of some unknown catastrophe. Yes, some of this was written by other authors and some of it by my own hand.

Who influenced your decision to become a writer?
I don’t remember her name, but it was my 4th grade teacher. She had us write a story about a magic door set in a tree trunk. This was the first time I ever had FUN doing homework. It excited my imagination and opened neural pathways that just exploded with more and more and more ideas. I was hooked. From that time on, I wrote story after story.
Finish this thought. “If not for Isaac Asimov, I would be a nurse.“
Now, there’s nothing wrong with being a nurse. Honestly, it’s one of the most honorable, courageous professions there is. It takes a special kind of person to be a nurse. Unfortunately, I’m not that kind of person but I did kick the idea around quite a lot. Then I read that old battered copy of The Foundation and the Empire by Isaac Asimov. It was the very first Science Fiction I’d ever read and, even more importantly, there was a love story in it. It also awakened my interest in science, and astronomy and engineering and computers…which is where I ended up on my day job as a computer programmer/analyst.
But I never quit writing. I wrote on lunch hours and breaks. I wrote at home after work. When I wasn’t writing, I was reading. But the books I read, while excellent, lacked a certain spark if there wasn’t at least some romantic elements. Then I read Witch World by Andre Norton. Fantasy with romantic elements? I now had a new genre to glom and I began including Fantasy in my writing. I mainly wrote short science fiction and had a few sales under a different pen name.
Then I met some lovely romance writers online. And they, though they were contemporary romance writers, told me about paranormal romance. They told me that I was practically writing paranormal romance and that I should read some to see if they weren’t right. For an avid reader like myself, this was like manna from heaven. This genre gave me the Science Fiction and the Fantasy that I loved AND the full blown romance that, for me, makes the book a complete journey. After I indulged in all these lovely paranormal romance books, I realized that my friends were right. I was just a fingernail away from writing Science Fiction/Fantasy Romance instead of Science Fiction/Fantasy with romantic elements.

On that all important DEDICATION PAGE who did/will you thank?
My very first published book thanked my lovely romance writer friends, of course. Had it not been for them, I’d still be writing and keeping my work to myself. I also thanked my crit group, who while not romance writers, were excellent critiquers in their own right. And, of course, I thanked my family without whose support the book would never have been written. Family and friends and good books to read…what more can you ask?

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