As most writers are painfully aware this is a path full of false starts and crushed hopes, but still we charge forth because we’re passionate about what we do. Nothing – and I mean nothing – can stop us from trying as long as it takes to get our stories out to the reading public.
Being writers of fiction, it’s all too easy to create our own fantasy world in which we are famous, best-selling mega stars. The dream is just around the corner. At least in our hearts. Trouble is the people closest to us begin to tune out all those glorious proclamations about making it big. My husband’s heard it a hundred times before.
Praying for publication to the Incan Gods during a writer’s retreat in Belize.
Belize, Fall 2003
A call from the house phone at Francis Ford Coppola’s Blancaneaux Lodge located deep in the jungle. I am part of a weeklong writer’s retreat put on by lit mag Zoetrope: All-Story.
Nikki: Seb! I did it! I feakin’ did it!
Nikki: The editor of Zoetrope loved my story and wants to publish it in the magazine. I made it! I’m going to be a published author. Finally!
Seb: That’s great.
Nikki: See. It was all worth it.
Conclusion: Never heard a word back. When I contacted the editor she said a) the rest of the staff wasn’t as enthusiastic about the piece as she was and b) she was no longer the magazine’s editor.
Sometime in 2005
Nikki: Seb, I’ve got it! I’m going to make it big. BIG I tell you.
Seb: Uh-huh, like I haven’t heard that before.
Nikki: But you don’t understand… I’m writing romance. I’ve got a real shot here. Over 50 percent of the market is romance and it’s what I was born to write. I don’t know why I didn’t realize it sooner. All those day dreams I made up when I was younger. Sneaking regencies inside my mother’s shopping cart. Loving Jane Austen…
Dining table/desk where I completed two historical romance novels during the 15 months we lived in Central Oregon.
November 2009 – March 2010
After finishing my third historical romance novel.
Nikki: This is ‘The One’.
Seb: I thought the last one you wrote was the one.
Nikki: No, that one wasn’t good enough. Mark my words. This is ‘The One’.
Seb: You keep saying that. I don’t believe you anymore.
Nikki: How are you going to feel when I’m a best-selling author and you talked to me this way?
Seb: We’ll see then.
Nikki: You’re not being supportive.
Seb: (Getting angry.) I’ve supported you this past year while you stayed at home not working.
Nikki: I was working.
Seb: Making money.
Nikki: (Sniff.) Fine. I’m not ever talking to you about my writing again.
The gray days in the Pacific Northwest makes for cozy writing weather.
Nikki: I’m going to earn extra income writing erotica.
Seb: Where have I heard that before?
Nikki: But this is erotica. Erotica pays and I can use the money to support my other writing projects.
Seb: Yeah. Um, hmm.
Nikki: I know I never said I’d write a vampire novel, but I came up with this idea for a YA vampire series
and I’m really excited about it.
Seb: What happened to erotica?
Nikki: I’ll still write erotica and historical romance, but this vampire series is going to be what makes my career.
(Seb ignores me.)
Nikki: Seb, are you listening?
Seb: Yeah, Nikki. I’m sick of hearing about this. You were going to be published five years ago. I don’t believe you anymore.
Nikki: But Seb, it’s a young adult vampire novel. I’m telling you, this is going to be made into a movie. Seb?