Leah here: Blogger has been having problems with the auto-post feature lately, so although the posts are queued up and ready to go, they’re not posting. So the new posts will be going up at around 7:30 AM EST each morning, which is when I’ll close off comments for the previous day’s comments.
Today’s guest is Brooke London – a fellow member of the Toronto Romance Writers … well, I’ll let Brooke tell you about that.
I am so happy to be here with Leah on her blog today. I think I’ve known Leah for 2 years? Is that right, Leah? We are both members of the Toronto Romance Writers affiliated to the Romance Writers of America.
Writing is not something that I ever thought I would EVER do. I’ve always been a voracious reader, but writing? Naaahhhhh. The idea never entered my head, and even less, the idea of writing romance. I didn’t even read romance until a friend lent me some very well written romance novels—and I became hooked on romantic fiction. Reading romance novels didn’t seem to have a place in my self-concept—I had a business degree and diploma in computer science. Romance? Heck no, I was a SERIOUS person. But apparently a romantic lurked beneath my surface.
I remember the exact moment I decided to write romance. I was sitting in a coffee shop with the friend who had introduced me to romantic fiction and I told her that I could write a romance novel. Hey, why not? I could do this. I even picked out a tongue-in-cheek pen name: Starr Craused. LOL! Fortunately, I dropped the name. A little while later, I came up with a “what if” question and did what I thought was logical for character, plot and setting development. And I started writing. Ten thousands words into the manuscript, I realized that I really enjoyed the process of putting words to paper or computer, as the case may be. It took me a year to get that first manuscript done.
The most rewarding moment was typing the word “The End”. I had finished a full-length novel, without writing experience or writing courses. And then had to polish and edit a lot after that.
In some ways, the process of writing introduced me to myself. It showed me what I wanted in life, but which I didn’t have. And I’m not talking about finding a gorgeous guy and living happily every after. I’m talking about basic things like having love and respect and another adult in my relationship. Something I didn’t have. Writing let me look beyond my own little world and discover what I wanted, what I didn’t want. And so, I went looking for myself, the one who had been lost in a miserable marriage.
I divorced my ex. I started a new life. That new life is still in the process of being created, but it is entirely of my doing. I’ve found some of the bits and pieces of me that were lost and I’m finding new things that I never had. All because writing opened to my eyes to the possibilities of life.
Leah, thanks so much for having me here today for your birthday celebrations.
Brooke will be giving away an e-copy of Pitch Dark to one lucky commenter. The winner will be announced here in the morning. Oh, and Brooke’s website can be found here.