Saturday, May 21, 2016

Why I write by Barbara Edwards

I love words. My father would read the classics to us at bedtime and I heard Tarzan, Treasure Island, Huckleberry Finn one chapter per night along with dozens of other books. Just closing my eyes and listening let my imagination tour the world and I wanted to create those stories.
I can’t claim to have written my first book in my childhood. I didn’t write until I was married with children. I wrote poetry. I took a creative writing class and the teacher told me to write for myself since I wasn’t very good. That hurt and I didn’t write for a couple of years, then found myself wondering if I could take a story out of my head and put it on paper.
A short article in the newspaper about an upcoming series of classes from the area Romance Writers chapter caught my eye. The rest is history. I went, joined and set out to write a novel in a month or two. How hard could it be?
I’m not sure how long it would have taken to finish that first book if I had treated it like a job, not a hobby. Life involved children, work, a husband and those squeezed in minutes devoted to writing. It took me three years to actually find ‘the end’.
As every author has to learn, the finish is not the finish. The you need to find a publisher, get a contact and do the edits required to polish the word so it shines.
I was almost finished with my second book when I got a nibble on the first. Harlequin Historicals was interested. I did some rewrites and it got sent up the chain. At the final committee it got hung up because they didn’t like the villain being involved with the mother. Yikes what to do? I couldn’t think of a way to make the changes they wanted. The entire plot hung on the mother’s betrayal. I refused and they turned me down.
I was hurt and took it with a whimper.
After I was on a internet loop when they started sharing rejection stories. I threw out mine and got an email from an editor at an ebook publishers. They published my book in 2001. I can brag about being a pioneer in the field. The book, Another Love, got reviewed my Romantic Times and got 4 1/2 stars. I sent a note to the editor who wanted to buy it and hope she passed the information on.
I learned from other writers. I took classes. I went to conferences and I worked hard to create my books. The lesson I learned was to treat writing as a regular day job. Write daily, consistently. It’s hard work but worth every minute.

I hope you enjoy my latest release, Ancient Curse.

Blurb: Evil never dies; and for psychic Rainie Gamble who accepts a job to weed out evil artifacts, this could not be more true. When she arrives at the home of Thomas Broquette, her new boss, she isn’t sure what to expect. But the handsome and intriguing Thomas is only the tip of the paranormal activity she encounters while going through his library.
After several near misses when Rainie is injured by evil forces, she wonders if her new boss is hiding a secret? What does the previous owner Mason have to do with the threads of doom encasing the estate? And why does Thomas bring her father, a well-known art thief, into their midst.
The attraction she feels for Thomas grows, as does the evil winning its battle against the inhabitants of what could be her new home. Rainie wonders if she will find and defeat the inhuman force causing all their problems before she and Thomas are sucked into its evil forever.
Excerpt, Ancient Curse

 Changing took a few minutes. She pressed her hand to her throbbing forehead and  studied her reflection in the mirror. Pain lined her forehead. She wondered why Thomas’ touch eased it. Her tangled hair had escaped her twist and needed combing. Humming, she took the time to neaten it.  
Silence enveloped the second floor. With the power off, the soft music she played in her bedroom had been silenced. She half expected her footsteps to echo when she exited the room and walked down the hall.  
Thomas had probably finished mopping up, and she needed to lock her computer and file her notes  before the back-up battery failed. 
Her pulse beat faster. She looked forward to spending some time with him. Hopefully, he was still in the library. She shook her head. She paused as the hair on her nape stirred like she was being watched. 
A cool draft washed over her nape and she glanced back along the hall. All the doors had been closed. They still were. She frowned, and then shook the feeling off.  No-one watched although her skin itched. 
Pausing to enjoy the light emotions held by the smooth banister, she stroked the wood.
A violent shove between her shoulders tumbled her down the stairs like a thrown doll. 

Check  out
Late for the Wedding (Twelve Brides of Christmas Book 2) by Barbara Edwards

 I’m Barbara Edwards and a native New Englander. I’m a graduate of the University of Hartford with a Master’s degree in Public Administration. I write poetry for myself and novels when I need to tell a longer tale. I’m fascinated by the past so naturally turned to writing historical romance. The dark paranormal stories evolve from nightmares. The romance comes from my belief in people’s basic goodness and longing for love. 
  I lived in Florida for several years and am past president of the Central Florida Romance Writers and a member of Romance Writers of America.
When I returned to Connecticut, I founded the Charter Oak Romance Writers, a Chapter of Romance Writers of America, along with several close friends
My husband is a retired Police Sergeant. We share an interest Civil War re-enacting and travel the Eastern states to participate in events. I love visiting museums, galleries and battle sites, gathering information for my stories.
I taught Romance Writing at Manchester Community college for three years.
I’m fond of gardening and growing antique roses with limited success. 
Most of my exercise is when my Belgian Shepherd, Dixie, demands a walk. 

Please follow, friend or like me. I love to hear from my readers.
Amazon Author’s Page


Vonnie Davis, Author said...

Barbara, I was rejected by Harlequin because I sounded too much like one of their best selling authors. Well, if I do, how come I'm not best selling? I learned like you did with online writing courses and reading books on the craft. I had a degree in English and retired as a technical writer, so I certainly knew how to craft a sentence. What I didn't know was the craft of writing. I'm still learning. A writer's learning curve is continual, don't you think?

Barbara Edwards said...

Hi Vonnie,
I do agree. I go to conferences and meetings where the subject is something I already know and always learn more.

remullins said...

My first book was accepted on the provision I rewrite it from first to third person. The thought of redoing that 90,000 word document was so overwhelming to me that I sat on it for a couple of years. Finally, I pulled up my big girl panties and got it done. Now I much prefer writing in the third person. Though writing from the male POV still gives me some trouble.

Jannine Gallant said...

Shortly after college graduation I sat down to write a Harlequin Romance. (How hard could it be, right?) My only experience was short stories as a creative writing major and reading the genre for years and years. Shockingly, my book was sent up the food chain until it was ultimately rejected. That book was awful and completely unedited. I literally sent in a first draft. So I guess in our infancy as writers, we all showed some promise of what we could become after actually learning our craft. We should give kudos to those editors for looking for potential talent. In this digital age, I wonder if they're still as kind to newbies...

Rolynn Anderson said...

I think it's interesting to see that all of us had to 'learn how to write.' Statistics say it takes 8 years or 8 books before a person is published...and 15-20 books (of backlist) before we make money. But the thing that pleases me is the trajectory. We improve as we write...I love that concept...and it keeps me slogging away at the art.

Margo Hoornstra said...

Love the other stories of submissions. I too made it so far up the Harlequin chain to a no thanks. Thank goodness for the smaller presses to give some of us our starts. We all seemed to learn the hard way, but we learned!

Leah St. James said...

I'm thankful too for small presses. I submitted to a Harlequin editor as a finalist in Virginia Romance Writers' Fool for Love contest (it was the prize), but the editor didn't bite. She never rejected it either...after months and months and months went by with no word (and a couple email exchanges where she thanked me for my patience), a friend in the chapter told me I could submit to other publishers. Talk about a "duh!" moment! It hadn't even occurred to me. :-) I sent it to The Wild Rose Press at my friend's suggestion and was fortunate it made its way to wonderful editor there (one of our own roses :-)) who accepted the book. I haven't set the book world on fire, but if anyone had told me ten years ago that I'd one day have several books published, my own website, and an occasional gig as a conference speaker/panelist, I never would have bet on it. (I would have that that person insane, truthfully!) It's all due to that love of words and writing, like Barbara said.

Brenda Whiteside said...

The road to publication is long and the roadblocks numerous for most of us. Not too many overnight successes. The stories can be fun to tell once we've gotten over the hump. Then again...there's always another hump.

Alicia Dean said...

I enjoyed hearing about your road to publication. And, everyone else's stories. It's nice to know we all have similar setbacks. I also was rejected by Harlequin, hmmm, must be something in the water. :) Like Jannine, I sent in a very rough draft. It was my first full manuscript I'd ever completed, and I knew nothing. It takes a lot of hard work and willingness to listen to critics and improve your craft. What a journey we are on, am I right? Aw, Leah, the 'wonderful' editor is thrilled you found her. I'm so glad we became friends! :)

Diane Burton said...

I'm so glad to meet someone who didn't start writing before they started school. Like you, Barb, I began writing after my kids were born--actually as they were preparing to leave the nest. I have some "wonderful" rejections from HQ. Their loss. haha Best wishes on your newest book.