That’s the tagline I have on my website/blog. But in the beginning of my writing career, I never thought I would write anything but time travel romances. After reading Jude Deveraux’s A Knight in Shining Armor in 1992 I knew what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. I wanted to write romance novels. For the next five years, I researched medieval times and wrote Return of the Rose. I was working full time and raising four children, but I knew I was a writer when nothing could stop me from getting the words to the page.Having been told that Time Travels were dead, I decided to write a romantic comedy. I loved reading books like See Jane Score by Rachel Gibson and Nobody’s Baby But Mine by Susan E. Phillips. I was hoping romantic comedies would be the genre that would push me through the NY publishing doors. Three romantic comedies and a pile of rejections later, I decided to try my hand at romantic suspense. I loved reading Lisa Gardner and Stephen King. Why not?
I had finaled in RWA’s Golden Heart six times by then and I had signed with my second agent. We almost sold Finding Kate Huntley to Grand Central. Close, but no cigar. Frustrated, I decided to write a romantic thriller so I could kill off a few characters and my frustrations at the same time.
When I finished ABDUCTED (T.R. Ragan), I felt that this book was special. It was bigger and better. I had little if any feedback from writers and/or contests. It was all mine. Writing is like playing an instrument. Practice makes you better, and in my case, faster.
My journey as a writer has been a long one. I had read many how-to books and I knew this was not going to be an easy career path when I started out. I celebrated my first rejection letter because I had read about many popular authors who had wallpapered a small bathroom with rejection letters. I just didn’t think it would be THIS hard. As I waited for ABDUCTED to be read by my agent, I read the first book I had written and decided it was time to give self-publishing a shot. My fourth and youngest child was going off to college, and, for financial reasons, the pressure was on to get back to work full-time. I needed a “real” job that pays.
With no time left and nothing to lose, I self-published my two medieval time travels. Instead of selling ten books, I sold thousands. I couldn’t believe it. I still can’t believe it. After all these years, I felt like an overnight success. I am having the time of my life. Everything really does happen for a reason. Perseverance really does pay off. Dreams really do come true.
If I could give one piece of advice to every person out there who dreams big like I do, it would be to work hard every day and never ever stop believing in yourself.
GIVEAWAY!Theresa is giving away a print book of either ABDUCTED or RETURN OF THE ROSE (the choice is yours) to ONE lucky commenter. All you have to do is leave your email address along with your comment.
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