Monday, June 16, 2008

I Wanna Be a Paperback Writer

Meet Today's Guest Blogger--the Lovely,
Dee Carney

A DJ on the radio asked listeners to think about the careers they had once dreamed of having when they were children. I thought long and hard about it and ran through my list...I'd wanted to be a medical doctor (ugh. too much school), a vet (allergic to a million things), a child psychiatrist (wtf?), a chef (still holding on to this one), an artist (not enough money per my dad) and a writer. That last one took me by surprise because I'd completely forgotten that once upon a time, I'd wanted to be a writer when I grew up. So how, if I'd forgotten I'd wanted to be a writer, did I end up here?

Well, lemme tell you...Scroll back about fifteen years. Sitting in a sociology course, I had an instructor who loved to hear himself talk. I mean LOVED.

While sitting there bemoaning the mandatory attendance requirement, I thought up a story about a servant and a land owner (think pre-Civil War) who embark into a marriage agreement so that he can keep his inheritance. For the next year, whenever I had a course that bored me to tears, I whipped out my story idea and wrote an actual story to go along with it. When school ended, so did my writing. I had to go work in the real world...with only 1 1/2 chapters left to go.

To this day, I still have 1 1/2 chapters left of the story. One day I'll finish it. But I digress....Scroll back about eight months ago. While perusing a publisher site for kicks and giggles, someone mentioned joining NaNo. Being the internet detective that I am, I went to the site. After reading some more, I figured, what the heck...and signed up.

Since it was only October, I also figured I'd better practice since my writing was a little rusty. So I thought up a story about a man who dies. But then comes back - in a new time & place. After I finished the first two chapters, I gave them to my secretary to read. She became engrossed in the story and refused to talk to me until I'd handed her the next chapter. And the next. And the next. All of a sudden, I was writing The End.

I was very proud when I handed her that final chapter. If I say so myself, it was a pretty good story. She thought so too. She called me out of a meeting to gush over the story. And my head got too big to fit through doorways. And when she told me to submit it to a publisher, my head was so big it barely fit into the car for the ride home. Once again, what the heck? flashed through my mind. And I submitted it to this e-publisher with a good reputation and fair terms. The fact that their authors had positive things to say about them didn't hurt either. And on Christmas Day while sitting at work I opened up my email to find a letter from Deanna Lee letting me know that she enjoyed my story too.

SOLDIER released from Cobblestone Press in April of 2008. Since then I've been contracted for an additional two stories with Cobblestone. I'm only looking forward from here.

Who knew that a little kid a zillion years ago could have predicted the direction her life would head?

I'm glad she did.


You can find more about Dee here: Website Blog

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