First, I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to the ladies of StoryBroads for this opportunity to guest post. Considering how talented, prolific and accomplished these ladies are, I am both humbled and honored to be here today.
The question that might come to mind is why am I here? Or more specifically why am I writing? There is a multitude of talented authors out there and an ever-growing plethora of wonderful choices for readers in all genres. So why did I decide to leave a successful and enjoyable business career to write? The answer is simple. It’s because of you, the reader!
I wanted to write from a relatively young age. I have two, half-finished manuscripts tucked away somewhere, that date back to my days in university. I never finished them because life in the form of a family tragedy, school and career intervened. I was and remain a voracious reader, but writing became one of those things in the back of my mind: gosh, wouldn’t it be fun if . . .!
A few years ago on a whim, while we were on vacation, I wrote a short story and entered it in a contest. To my shock and delight it was chosen as one of the top entries. My ever-intuitive husband realized that writing was—or could be—something important to me, and he gifted me a personal laptop for my birthday a couple months later. While outwardly appreciative, in my mind I was wondering why I needed another laptop, when I had a perfectly good one from work that was constantly with me anyway. Clearly my husband knew better than me because having a separate computer that didn’t look and feel like my work computer and I did not associate with my essentially 24/7 day job was pivotal.
In six months—writing really early in the mornings and very late at night, to work around my “day job”—I produced my first manuscript. I was incredibly fortunate to have it picked up by a publisher in approximately six months, and have it in print and in stores not much more than six months after that. It’s called Silver Linings.
So what possessed me to leave a full-time job that I enjoyed, and found both intellectually and financially rewarding? Here’s the simple answer again: because of you, the reader.
I was amazed and gratified by the response Silver Linings was receiving from readers and book-sellers alike. I had some wonderful promotional opportunities where I could get out and meet readers.
Signing at Canada’s “wonder of the world”, the CN Tower
A reading and signing for Valentine’s Day at Canada’s premier office and shopping complex: First Canadian Place (the lady in red is First Canadian Place’s personal shopper)
Signings at various retail stores, such as Chapters in Newmarket, Ontario
The constant in the above pictures and many others I have from these and similar events is the huge grin on my face. I had been bitten by the bug! People were reading my book, and it seemed that they were enjoying it.
It was enough for me to take the “plunge” and leave my full-time job and focus on writing. Admittedly, I did not leave the corporate world all together, as I sit on a number of corporate boards, but the majority of my time now is dedicated to writing. It was shortly after I made this leap that I met my amazing Harlequin editor, Paula Eykelhof. Imagine my joy to have the editor working with best-selling authors such as the StoryBroads’ very own Tara Taylor Quinn, as well as Brenda Novak and Heather Graham express interest in and subsequently acquire my work! My first book with Harlequin, A Child’s Christmas, releases in just a few days on November 1st.
My second Harlequin book is scheduled for release in May 2015, and I recently signed a contract for a trilogy, which will likely release over a twelve-month period in 2015 and 2016.
As you can probably guess, I am thrilled and excited, and can hardly wait to receive feedback from readers about A Child’s Christmas. So why is this? What is it about writing that I love, and enough so to have left a job I truly enjoyed? It is knowing that there are people who chose to spend their limited and valuable leisure time reading my work. And even more so, when a reader reaches out to me to let me know they enjoyed what I wrote. So . . . the simple answer is: it’s all because of you! Thank you so very much for enabling me to fulfil my dream.
What is your dream and do you plan to pursue it? I would love to get your comments. If you do take the time to leave a comment, you will be entered to win the Kindle Fire being given away at StoryBroads at the end of this month.
Best wishes and happy reading!
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-childs-christmas-kate-james/1119471838?ean=9781460342558
Chapters (Kobo): bit.ly/UOdnp3
Harlequin (e-book and paperback): http://www.harlequin.com/storeitem.html?iid=54426
Author social media links