Tonight, I’ll start a bit of a series called “Coffee with Katy”. The always lovely Katy Regnery agreed to answer quite a few questions I had for her after reading “Playing for Love at Deep Haven” (You can read a review of that wonderful read below). Every couple of days I’ll post one of the questions I asked Katy, and one of her fabulous answers. BIG BIG *HUGE* thanks to Katy for doing this for me!
Question 1: How long have you been writing/a published author? What was your first published book? When?
Okay…so, here’s my journey to getting published: In January 2012, I started to panic. My son was in first grade and my daughter was in nursery school for 20 hr/week. I realized that I was spending a lot of time at nail salons, worried about fictional tumors and eating too much. In short, after eight years in the trenches of at-home motherhood, I could see those days were numbered and it was just a matter of time until I had eight hours a day to myself and I didn’t have anything to do with myself. Before having children, I’d been an Office Manager for a financial company and I knew I didn’t have any interest in going back to that job.
I ran into a friend who commented that I seemed down and I told her that my life felt like it was drifting a little. My kids weren’t babies anymore. I didn’t have a job. She suggested that I needed to take a class of some sort, and by the time we’d finished chatting, I had signed up for a creative writing course at the local Continuing Education program. I hadn’t taken a writing course since high school and I have no idea what prompted me to choose that course. I had no idea what to expect, but I admit, I was excited.
The class started that January and it was a course that taught short story writing. For that winter and spring I wrote short stories and really enjoyed the class, but when it ended in June, summer started, my kids needed my attention and I sort of put writing on the back burner.
Toward the end of summer, in August 2012, I took a trip to Washington D.C. and for the first time, I opened the Kindle my husband had purchased for me as a Mother’s Day gift. Because everyone was buzzing about Fifty Shades of Grey, I downloaded those three books, and three books by Lisa Kleypas – her Friday Harbor books. I read Lisa’s books on the train ride to and from D.C. and started remembering how much I loved romance novels. When I got home, I wrote my first novel – it was over 300 pages and took me 27 days to write. It was completely dreadful – LOL!! POV shifts, grammatical problems, showing not telling…the list goes on. It was rejected by every agent I sent it to, and I decided to hang up my hat on the writing stuff.
Then I read Fifty Shades two weeks later…and totally fell in love with the romance genre AGAIN. I had a huge, emotionally-attached Fifty Shades hangover when I finished reading and it felt like the only way to shake it was by writing a love story of my own. So, in late-September I started writing By Proxy, correcting all of the mistakes I’d made in my first novel. I had a beta group read it, and sent it off to about 20 small publishers by December. By February I had five offers on it, and I chose Boroughs Publishing Group for the combined savvy and experience of Jill Limber and Chris Keeslar. By Proxy came out in September 2013 and I’ve published three other books since!