Since love is on everyone’s brain today, I thought I’d share a post I wrote for a blog tour last fall. May you all have a happy Valentine’s day!
I enjoy hearing author’s stories of how they got started in their careers. Mine isn’t all that exciting. Actually, in the beginning, it was mortifying.
My husband found some notes I had scratched out on a piece of paper. What are the odds he’d choose that day of all days to help me sort the family mail basket, which I thought would be a safe place to hide personal notes because he usually makes me handle all the mail? After spending one summer catching up on some novels I’d shelved out of busyness, I discovered some ideas of my own swishing around in my brain, so I wrote one of them down.
And he cornered me, paper in hand. “What’s this?”
I tried to tell him it was nothing and he didn’t believe me. So thanks to my husband (God bless his interfering hide) I started working on a manuscript. He encouraged me to really put the effort into it and even bought me a computer, making no effort to hide the fact that in ten years he expected to retire and spend his days on the golf course while I worked on my fifth best seller.
I owe my beginning to my selfish and greedy husband.
At first I wasn’t serious about it. I just dabbled and had some fun. In school I’d always done a decent job on all my papers, so I figured I had the skills to pull off a decent manuscript. But I was not even close. Once I decided this was really what I was supposed to do, I figured I’d best get involved in some writing groups and take some classes. So I volunteered for the local writers conference committee, which was the best thing I ever could have done. And I kept on writing, editing, and submitting until finally a publisher sent me a contract .
I don’t know any other author who was forced to write a book by their spouse. (Is ‘forced’ too strong of a verb? Maybe ‘coerced’ is better.) I guess you could say my writing career had a unique beginning. No, my husband wasn’t the inspiration for any of my characters (although that is a good thought for my next villain.) But I couldn’t have done it without his nudging, or his encouragement over the years.
So, yes, I felt obligated to dedicate my first book, The Lawmen of Clayton County:Athena Creek, to my husband. Probably because I have a serious mental condition.
©Jen Cudmore 2014, All Rights Reserved
(This post was originally featured on Pattodorof.com.)