I never wanted to be a writer. When I was little, I wanted to work in an office. My mother worked in a bank and she would bring home carbon paper for me to use in my “office” and I loved it. I wanted my own desk, and phone, and paper clip holder. By the time I was twenty-two I had exactly that and it was wonderful. But then things changed…and what I wanted changed…and I left my office.
I moved home to rural South Jersey. It takes twenty minutes to drive four miles here because you are sure to be stuck behind a combine, a tractor, or someone who believes cars as well as life should move slowly. The sky is bigger, the coast is closer, and the people are mostly related somehow.
Since moving home I’ve had this story idea running around in my head. What if a girl moved home because she was heartbroken and humiliated? What if she fell in love with someone new? What if she couldn’t forgive? What if, JUST ONCE, the girl was not an idiot and picked the “nice guy?” What if he wasn’t so nice? There were so many questions. I would drive the country roads listening to music and this girl’s story would unfold. I never considered it a book because I was not a writer.
Then I became a victim. It was a heinous crime committed every night for almost a year. The three of them–Charlotte O’Brien, Jason Leer, and Noble Sinclair–would invade my bedroom at 3 am and kidnap my most beloved friend–sleep. They would keep me awake and tell me their stories. I told them, “I am not a writer. I can’t help you.”
And they said, “Shut up. Either write our stories or you’ll never sleep again.” So to rescue sleep I began writing. They were an enticing threesome but oh, the pain they inflicted on each other every night. It was all over the place at first. Their tales were not in order; characters flew in and bowed out. They moved so fast. They would keep me from hating them with just a glimmer of understanding, delivered at exactly the right time. I wrote it all and it magically weaved into a story.
At 68,000 words I started to wonder what the hell was going on and I was certain it was horrible. It was the worst book ever written.
By 80,000 words I began reading my book at bedtime, because I couldn’t think of one I liked better on my shelf. I was in love with it.
By the time I typed The End, my book was 113,000 words and my goal was to self-publish so my friends and I could read it and laugh about it endlessly, but my husband encouraged me to traditionally publish. EVERYTHING I read about the process of getting a book published caused me to stress eat, but I promised him I would give it my best effort for six months.
Grab a cookie and follow along.
My very best,