I've been called many things in my life, but never a writer. It all came about rather innocently as I, like many, contemplated a new path during the pandemic. Since I spent most of my adult life communicating in PowerPoint and striving to make bullet points as succinct as possible, writing creatively was more difficult than a foreign crossword puzzle.
But I had a muse to inspire my journey. Crafting my husband's fascinating life story served as a great starter kit. I could make a ton of mistakes, learn about the process, explore the business, and pray for a publisher to find value in my work.
I remember finishing my first draft of Aggressively Human and declaring victory during a session with my writing group led by acclaimed author Neil Strauss. I saw the edges of Neil's lip curl like a Cheshire Cat while he nodded, not wanting to burst my bubble. The first draft, affectionately called the vomit draft, is far from a thing of glory and represents the first lap of a mile-long race. After months of revisions, online education, and books about the craft, I re-emerged with a decent second draft that still required many more months of polishing.
Meanwhile, I went hunting for an agent and publisher as I weed-whacked my way through the maze receiving only tepid interest through a few polite responses. But I am never one to give up on my goals, so I pressed on and eventually landed a traditional publishing deal with Koehler Books. I didn't realize it at the time, but working with an independent publisher was the greatest blessing as John Koehler and his team of wizards guided me through the unfamiliar terrain of publishing and book marketing.
With one book under my belt, I decided to hit the accelerator. Why not do two concurrently? I took the leap of faith and now have two more babies baking in the oven: Bred to Be? and The Saffron Spy.