Some of my earliest memories are related to stories. My Dad was big on reading to us as kids and I can vividly recall snuggling up next to him on the couch listening to him read Brer Rabbit, The Magic Pudding, The Wind in the Willows, A.A. Milne's Winnie the Pooh, and Asterix comics. He would chuckle and laugh hysterically, sometimes until he had tears in his eyes, and I would laugh because he was laughing. It wasn't until I read these books as an adult that I could appreciate why he was always in fits of laughter. So, I learned to love books and to love reading.
I first began writing when I was about seven. I would trace the pictures from my favourite books and make up stories to go with them to read to my younger siblings. (My brother asked me recently if I was still writing and told me my stories are among the best memories of his childhood.) I remember sitting next to my Nana and reading her my stories too. This must have been all the encouragement I needed because I never looked back.
When I was fifteen I was given an electronic typewriter for Christmas and I began to write my first novel. The draft is about 200 pages, it was never finished. Two years later I began another, it was never finished either, but I rewrote it last year and it's now in the final stages of editing.
I got married and had kids and the writing took a back seat for a while, though I was never able to put it aside entirely. Once my kids got a little older and more independent the urge to write returned with a vengeance.
For a long time I was too embarrassed to tell people I wrote. They always wanted to know what I'd had published and the admission of "nothing" often led to raised eyebrows and pitying glances. But then, I'd never submitted anything for publishing. Any hint that I wrote romances would prompt people to assume I was writing trashy or ultra steamy sex novels. It took me a long time to come round to the idea that it was okay to write novels. It was cool to write fantasy and that there is no shame in writing a good romance. Now I quite happily tell people I write. I'm proud of it!
While I've been published in Church magazines and spoken at conferences I have yet to make any hard $ with my writing, which means, so I've been told, I have yet to earn the right to call myself a Freelance Writer. However, I have a growing stash of short stories, a recently completed novella and a children's novel to submit for publishing so, fingers crossed, beginning this year things will start to get exciting. Of course I'll keep you updated with everything on this front.