Posted by Heidi Blakey on 8th September 2017
Reading has long been my passion, and I devour romance books on average of four to one against all other genres. No really, I checked through my collection to make sure.
I’ve always wanted to write, but never really had the confidence to put fingers to the keyboard. For many years I ran scenes in my head, and had characters just wandering about in limbo. Mainly I procrastinated because along with stories on replay in my imagination, I worried about my abilities to achieve my dream. What if I churned out utter rubbish? Or I couldn’t even complete an entire novel? Of course both those things turned out to be true. Writing, and I’m still very much a newbie at this, I found is all about practice. Hours and hours of putting words to the screen, and reading novels once for enjoyment, with a second go over for study purposes. And you must love story telling. That I think is the most important thing of all, just in front of committing by putting your backside in a chair for hours and just going for it. I found time by giving up things like television, and learning to ignore dust bunnies. Oh, and buying my husband a gaming console worked wonders too. That actually sounds bad, Glen’s really my biggest supporter, and the reason I had the courage to submit to publishers.
So I wrote a first draft, then another, then another, and a few more after that. It still wasn’t perfect, far from it. But in the end it was the best I could make it. When I sent it off into the world of publishing I decided that I’d develop a thick skin, and I’d not take rejection personally. Hah! But I soon found a home with Totally Bound Publishing for Ali and Jenna, my hero and heroine. A happy dance was performed, my two dogs joined in, and my cat hid under the bed for the morning. I was ecstatic because finally, This Devil Is Crazy was going to become an actual book.
It was only then that I told people what I’d done. My best friend finally knew how I spent all my down time. Everyone was happy for me, there was Champagne, celebration, promises to buy my book, and requests for signed copies.
My cover art arrived by email one morning, and more dancing around my house ensued. By then I think the fur babies were used to it. I may, or may not have lovingly stroked my phone screen. That is something I will plead memory lapse to.
Reality hit, although it was expected, with my edits. Forget worry about someone reading and critiquing my love scenes, try looking at pages of red squiggle, under my silly grammar errors mixed in along with my encroaching Aussie vernacular.
But editors are skillful wordsmiths, and the real hero’s of the writing world. How they manage not to convey eye rolls big enough to cause aneurisms onto the pages they fix, is beyond me. But my attitude is to treat those rectifications as lessons and apply them to my other manuscripts. A challenge to myself to have less corrections next time.
My only worry now is that my being a resident in a town with a population of just 1700, means there’s a fair chance that someone I know, or a person I bump into in the supermarket, will read my book. I mean, there are scenes in there that might make them rethink me entirely. But I’ll get over that, I’ve realized a dream, and self-consciousness isn’t going to ruin that for me. Besides, the other worry is that no one that I don’t know personally will read my book, that would be a lot worse.
Note to editor: There’s still time to tame those racy scenes, right?