I stayed home after my son was born, planning to have a large family. After a series of miscarriages, I realized that wasn’t going to happen, so I had to refocus my life. I started writing again and slowly fought my way past the grief. Back then writing was something I did to fill the time while my son was in preschool or napping. I had never considered it for a career. I just loved writing.
Then one day I saw an ad in the paper for a writer’s conference. There I discovered Romance Writers of America and other writers who gave me the courage to send my work out.
I began traveling down that long road of submission and rejection. Meanwhile, my son grew up and started school. Many of my friends went back to work, but I stayed home to write. I just couldn’t see myself doing anything else.
As time passed my son began to ask me what to write on the line for mom’s job when he enrolled for school. In the early days I wrote stay at home mom on that line. As he grew older, he’d roll his eye balls back in his head at the idea that he needed a mom at home. So I gradually wrote mom/writer. Somehow writing that made it seem all the more real, that, yes, I was a writer.
When I sold my first book, my son’s comment was, “Oh, good, now I know what to write on the mom’s job line – romance writer.”
Since that book was an e book my job still was sort of a secret to everyone, but the school. I’m sure people wondered why I’m home all day or for that matter what I do, but I’d given up explaining.
I got invited to career day when he was in sixth grade. My son told everyone that I “kill people off” in my books. Since I write suspense that is sort of true, but I wish he would have clued me in BEFORE I started my talk. I was a bit blindsided when a boy raised his hand and asked me point blank if it was true that I knew dozens of ways to kill people off. After that the questions were flying. Thank goodness their teacher changed the subject to how many times I write, rewrite and revise. You could see all their faces drop, because that wasn’t nearly as exciting to sixth graders as possible gory stories, but it probably saved both the teacher and me from many upset parent phone calls.
They were disappointed to learn that I don’t really travel to far away places and that most of my adventures happen in my head. So I fast went from being kind of cool to being a bit nerdy, which I am.
Well last year my first print book came out and was at our local bookstore, so my secret is out. Being from a very small town, now everyone knows what I do. I’ve now officially moved to being an author. But you know what, I’ll always be writer/mom no matter how old my son gets. Just don’t tell him that.