Today it is my pleasure to introduce you to Candy Hearts author Desiree Holt, author of TWEET ME, a timely, fun, and sexy addition to the Candy Hearts Series. Read about her journey in the writing realm, and don’t forget to enter the RAFFLECOPTER at the end of this blog for a chance to win a KINDLE FIRE donated by The Wild Rose Press. And you can read my review of TWEET ME here
A Writer’s Journey
I think that I wanted to be a writer for my entire life. When my children were young I loved making up stories for them. I could hardly wait for the opportunity to put those words down on paper and create something of substance. Unfortunately life got in the way, and beyond work and raising a family my dream got stuffed in the closet until I finally retired. Even then it too four more years before I was able to actually begin to write.
Now, you’d think since I’d been dreaming about this for so long that the writing would be easy, right? Wrong! Oh, I even had an outline for my story, a murder mystery. No, not a romance. Not then. Why? Because growing up, my mother and my sister only read mysteries while I was growing up so I sort of followed in their footsteps. I enjoyed reading, them, really, and could hardly wait until I had the time to write one of my own.
That didn’t happen until both my late husband and myself retired. Then I was so excited to begin. I even had a complete plot and my list of characters all worked out. But a funny thing happened on the way to writing that book. After three months I still had only three chapters written. Now anyone who knows me knows that I can really crank out the words so it wasn’t hard to figure out that something was wrong.
Then one day I read a romantic suspense, fell in love with the plot and the genre and thought to myself, Okay, this is for me. Overnight it seemed a plot crystalized in my brain and I began writing. I loved that book. Just loved it. Of course, I had no idea what to do with it. I found the local romance authors group, almost by accident, and joined. I realized before the first meeting was over exactly how much I had to learn about writing a book. What a sock! You mean have to do all those things? Follow a plan? Etc etc etc.
At least I discovered where and how to submit my book, and so began the next part of my journey. One hundred and thirty seven rejections later the book still had not found a home, all though It took me five years to get that first book polished enough to finally make the sale.
In the meantime, however, I wasn’t getting any younger and I saw my shiny career disappearing into the dust of the future. But writing was in my blood and the ideas kept churning around in my brain so each day I was back at the computer, pounding away.
And guess what? I finally made my first sale. First I was numb. Then I opened a bottle of Jack Daniel’s and we had a drink to celebrate. Good thing I didn’t drink too much because the lessons on how tow rite a book that sells were just beginning. I’ll bet you thought all you had to do was sit down at the computer and start pounding away.
I learned things like “the hero’s journey” and “Big Black Moment” and “backstory” and…and…and… I was exhausted just looking at all the rules and regulations. But after I got over the shock I realized they were there for a reason and really did make for a better book. In all the hundreds of books I’ve read since then, it’s been easy to spot the books that break the rules. And trust me, they aren’t as good as the ones that don’t. A good story still needs to be told well.
Over the years I have worked hard to grow my talent and create stories people would love. I discovered early on that I write character-driven stories. To me, the character is the essence of a story. Create your characters, play the What If game with them and the stories will almost create themselves. I also learned that very often the finished product bears very little resemblance to what I began with. Again, it’s the characters. They live in my head and talk to me if they don’t like what I’m doing. I’ve learned I’d better listen to them.
Once I began writing romance I realized it as the best of all possible worlds. Under the romance banner I could—and have—written many subgenres—suspense, thriller, paranormal, to name just a few. I love living with my characters and telling their stories.
I’ve had so many funny things happen to em when people meet me and realize I fit well into the Senior Citizen category. I guess they think if you’re over forty-five you don’t know what romance is. I tell them that’s when it just begins. I’m even writing a series for couples fifty-five and over. It’s never to late to write and it’s never too late to love.
I have learned that if you really work hard at your craft you can succeed. I love writing so I don’t ever see myself not doing this. My characters and their love stories are my gift to my readers of all ages, who I truly love, and I plan to keep creating them for a very long time.
If you have the urge, it’s never too late to start.
Desiree Holt has produced more than two hundred titles in nearly every subgenre of romance fiction. She has won the EPIC Award for action/adventure, the Authors After Dark Award for Author of he Year, The Holt Medallion and been featured on CBS Sunday Morning and in The (London) Daily Mail, The Daily Beast, The Village Voice, US News and World Report and The Huffington Post, to name a few. Her stories are enriched by her personal experiences, her characters by the people she meets. After fifteen ears in the great state of Texas she relocated back to Florida to be closer to members of her family and a large collection of friends. Her favorite pastimes are watching football, reading, and researching her stories.
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