Friday, May 30, 2014

Happy Birthday Tears of Crimson!

In 2009 I broke away from Twitter True Blood Roleplay and wrote my very first book, Tears of Crimson!  Cara Faith Donovan was a character from my book that I'd created an entire life around in the roleplay world. Readers that met me through later books may not have known that this is where it all began.  I had no idea what I was doing when I first entered the world of self-publishing!  If the original book was still in print, you'd know that.

Thankfully for readers, in 2011, after two years of struggling to understand this new world of publishing, I republished under my own name.  The gorgeous lady on the cover is my cousin Candace LeRae, for years she was the face of Tears of Crimson.  Tears of Crimson was written from dreams that I'd had as a young teenager.  The longest reoccurring dream of my life.  I had no delusions of grandeur when I wrote that book, I just loved telling stories and decided to share.  Honestly I never expected to make a profit from this fun hobby of writing.

In 2008, I was laid off from my job as a Respiratory Therapist due to budget cuts.  I had five kids and two of them not in school yet.  My husband and I decided that it made more sense for me to stay home with them until they started, and that left me more free time than I'd ever had before.  While they napped or slept, I wrote to entertain myself.  To be honest I'd planned to go back in the workforce two years ago, but by then I was making more by writing than I could by working in the "real world".  It was a huge blessing to do something I loved, and have it be profitable enough that I never had to leave the comfort of my home.

Fast forward to 2014, and I've written over 15 books and several of those bestsellers.  My vampires took a nap as I penned contemporary romance and it seems that's what my readers truly enjoyed, so it stuck.  I grew up reading bodice rippers and Harlequin's so I think it's safe to say I've always enjoyed a great romance.  When I say grew up, I mean that I started reading them at eight years old.  My Granny had been the daughter of a cotton farmer, and pulled out of school in the eighth grade.  I've always said that her struggle with words made me realize how important it was to be a reader.  Watching her struggle made me determined to know everything about the written word.

Showing my age here, but we didn't have computers, cell phones, or even cable when I was a young child. Using  imagination was my form of entertainment, and I had a vivid one.  In my day it was Barbie Dolls, and I would act out all these love stories with them.  I had tons of them, and they went through so many relationships!  That Ken was one big whore, let me tell you!  Even as a child I was discovering a world of romance.  I'd written several short stories in notebooks during my teenage years but that hobby was taken over when I began singing.

I'd always sang, my mom said that I was learning full songs at three years old, but to me it was just for fun until I showed up at a Karaoke club one night.  The owner of that club offered me a job and for the next ten years singing became my career.  We signed up with a group called Fast Track to Fame, and they did a satellite talent show that would take me on the road.  I hosted the Southeast version of the show which eventually moved to ABC in Alabama for a brief time.  My writing turned to songwriting during that time and I eventually moved to Nashville to see if I could become the next country singing sensation.

For years that career was all I dreamed about, then I discovered I was pregnant with twins.  The idea of travelling around on tour with twins was definitely not a life I wanted.  I already had a seven year old son on the road with us, and he was ready to put down roots.  I made the decision that giving my children a stable life was more important than following my dreams and I worked hard to be a "normal" mom.  The love of entertaining never left my system, but sometimes you just have to do what's right.

I seriously believe in I hadn't been laid off from my job in respiratory, I would have retired in that position.  I guess fate tends to lead you where it wants?  So here we are, 2014!  As long as readers keep enjoying my books, I'll keep writing.  Happy Birthday Tears of Crimson!  You've definitely turned my life around and I've had more fun than I'd ever imagined possible!

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