So today I wanted to start with an introduction of my journey to 'authorhood'. I have to confess that I had never posessed a driving urge to become a published author. I loved to read and I loved storytelling and discovering bizarre factoids and reading advice columns and listening to other people's conversations and often succumbed to the annoying urge to correct poor movie dialogue, but actually writing a narrative was not on my radar until the summer of 2011. Before then I wrote work-related stuff; press releases, articles, museum labels, brochures, all sorts of short and informative things that needed to be done quickly before the phone rang or I needed to get to a meeting. But an actual book? Nope.
But back to the summer of 2011; it was a bad one in which one member of my immediate family suffered a stroke and another broke two ankles at the same time. A very stressful and awful summer indeed. In addition to caring for a small child and caregiving a stroke victim, I was also working from home with a digital project cataloging Civil War letters. Some of those were condolence letters written from commanding officers to the families of men who had died. Others were letters parents had written about how wonderful their lost sons had been. These were heartbreaking. Summer 2011; bad.
In retrospect, it is no wonder my mind started to make up a story so that I had at least a small refuge of hope. And in the evening, when I tried to relax and not jitter apart from the day's anxiety, I started to write down my story in a composition notebook. Yep, I wrote longhand on actual paper. Cheaper than therapy and once I'd filled a notebook and fallen in love with my characters, I began to love writing too.
Once I'd filled two and a half notebooks I took a deep breath and decided to start to transcribe my story into Word, mostly because I was tired of trying to correct mistakes with my pen. This was September 2011. And then something started to burn in my brain and I found that I HAD to write every day or I became cranky. My husband noticed this. Therefore, to preserve a smidge of marital harmony, I decided that writing would be my hobby and I forsook photography and all sorts of crafts in order to devote my free time to staring at a laptop screen.