It’s hard to believe that it’s been 10 years. Sometimes it feels like it’s been far longer. And others… well, it could have all happened in the blink of an eye.
But in July 2008, my first novel, Nightwalker, was published by HarperCollins. The lovely book spent four weeks on the New York Times Bestseller List and four weeks on the USAToday Bestseller list. Two feats I was sure I would never accomplish. Of course, I never really set out to get published. Never let myself dream of being an author.
Authors were these mystical people who lived in these massive homes, surrounded by piles of books, and spent their entire day typing away at their next story.
Of course, 2008 wasn’t really the start for me.
My first story was this little mystery story I had to write as an assignment in the sixth grade. I went home and cried on my dad’s shoulder. I had no idea how to write a story, even though I loved reading books. My dad helped me write my first story. And when I read it in front of my class, the kids laughed. I was hooked!
After that, I wrote constantly. I wrote all kinds of stories. Fantasy, science fiction, high school romances, horror. Then I tried poetry and plays. Whatever passed through my head, random musings found their way onto the page.
Writing Nightwalker started as any other story, except that when it was done…I thought, this is good. Really good. Publishable good. I gave it to friends for critiquing. I got a mentor who helped me. For two years, I rewrote the book over and over again. I queried agents and received piles of rejections. Before one finally said YES! And then shortly after, a publisher said YES!
Nightwalker was the first book in a six-book urban fantasy series called the Dark Days series. Mira and Danaus will always have a special place in my heart.
Then I created Gage and Trixie for the Asylum Tales series, which started with Angel’s Ink. It let me play with magic and tattooing.
I tinkered with a few things, trying to find where my muse would carry me next. At the same time, Rinda had turned me on to gay romance. Oh, the sexiness and the drama and tension with just the right hint of violence in the suspense plot. This…THIS was calling me.
So… I might have tempted Rinda with a quartet of characters by the name of Lucas, Snow, Rowe, and Ian. I might have tempted her with fights in dirty alleys and car chases and maybe the occasional explosion. I might have tempted her with damaged characters with weary souls and fading hope only to find that perfect love match and hotter-than-the-sun sex.
On my own, I’ve also put out a pair of Christmas novellas.
All in all, I’ve churned out 31 novels, short stories, and novellas. Some have been solo projects while others have been co-written. There are audio books and books in foreign languages.
I look back on the collection and think that it is only the tip of the iceberg. I’m just getting started on this great journey. I’ve got so many stories inside my brain that are just dying to get out.
In that 10 years, I’ve got the thank my parents for pushing me to follow my heart. I’ve always loved writing and could only be truly happy on this course.
I’ve got to thank my husband for his patience and understanding when it comes to writing. Sometimes I just can’t shut off the writing going on in my head.
I’ve got to thank Rinda for going on this writing journey with me. I’ve loved all our experience together and I can’t wait to write sooooo many more books together.
And finally, I’ve got to thank all the readers. So much of my drive comes from you. I would still be writing stories without readers, but those books would never see the light of day without you. They’d just be tucked under my bed or in a box, lost to the world. You push me to be a better writer every day. Thank you for letting me share my voice.
As part of my thank you to celebrate this special anniversary, Rinda and I are giving the ebook version of Psycho Romeo away for FREE this weekend only. From Friday, July 20 through Sunday, July 22, PSYCHO ROMEO, book 1 of Ward Security is free. Download it now before it goes back to full price.
This is a great time to start the Ward Security series. Book 4 of the series will be out in late September!