No, I’m not new to writing. That bug hit me early in life. I’m new to trying not to turn red when someone tells me that they’ve read my work. And yeah… I’m new to “The Block”. I truly appreciate the invite.
I started writing in fifth grade… cuz I had to. But fell in love with it in seventh grade. It became my passion in eighth grade. And where I’m from, the eighth grade when high school started.
Born and raised in Willinboro, New Jersey, to a poet mother and musician father. Well, mom was a homemaker by day. And daddy? Well, he was an engineer by day, but at night he was the best saxaphonist next to David Sanborn. Anyway, back in the late 80s and early 90s, Willingboroclosed down all the middle schools and crammed the eighth and ninth grade kids in with the “upper classmen”. That was probably the best thing that could have ever happened to me. Cause as an eighth grader, those other crazy kids gave me so much material, that I started getting requests for stories… from the upper classmen. But only my best friend at the time was allowed to read ALLof my work. Maybe because she and I, along with Johnny Depp and Richard Greico were the only characters in the stories. (Am I dating myself here? You do remember 21 JumpStreet right?)
Then there was the skater stage. (Yes, Tony Hawk was around even back then.) It was short lived, but my “skater” friends also gave me a lot of material. Especially since I was the only “chocolate chip” in the whole cookie of friends at that time.
Then came sophomore through senior years. People would ask me why I was writing if it wasn’t a homework assignment. My answer was, “Why not?”. See, I went to a high school where the thing to do was be into the “scene”. And at Boro… (that’s what we called the high school at the time), there were lots of “scenes” to choose from. I was part of a few, and as I look back on them now, I think I would consider them research. I wasn’t popular by any stretch of the imagination. But I had popular friends. So when they went to a party… I went. Strictly for research. High school gave me lots of material.
College… *sighs and looks out of a window* I didn’t finish college because I fell in love and got married. But college is where my craft matured from the high school crush kinda stuff, into the… “Ok, I’m an adult” work. Which brings me to the present.
I only began publishing in 2005. I finally got the courage to ask a friend of mine to read over a short story and give me her honest opinion about it. It was her push that got me out there. And three and a half books later (I’m writing a sequel to one of them)… here I am… the new kid on the block.
My first published short story was “Nothing But Love”. I published it myself. Then came “For You Alone”. That also was published myself. But then, a short story that I was working on, became much longer than I was anticipating. It ended up being my very first novel titled “A Wanted Man”. And yes, I published that one too. See, maybe I should have said this in the beginning. I am not a very patient woman. Any patience that I do have is only because I have a husband and a four year old. There is no room for patience elsewhere. So when I wrote my books and published them myself, it was because I wanted them out there an available. I couldn’t sit on my hands and wait for someone to tell me that they did or didn’t like what they were reading. (I have the utmost respect for those who can wait. I’m just not one of them.) No, I probably will not make as much money as Zane, or Omar Tyree. I write because I love it, not because I can get rich off of it. But you can best believe, that I get just as much satisfaction when a book is completed, and I can say that I had total control. Although, maybe about a quarter of their money would be enough for me.
Thank you for the invitation and the opportunity to be amongst amazing writers. I am truly honored.