$7 Amazon E-Gift Card to one lucky reader who leaves their email address in a comment on this post by midnight PST on Monday, May 21st. I will only use your email addie to contact the winner. Will not keep addies.

05-19 Sarah Raplee – Riff on 7 yrs. Of SPAM & a Giveaway

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Celebrating Becoming an Author - Or How My Life Took a Right Turn

I never thought I would be an author; that possibility never crossed my mind. I went through my life, changing careers as circumstances demanded. High school teacher, stay-at-home mother of four, food service, travel agent, teacher again. The kids grew. The end of college bills were in sight. Now was my chance!

I could do whatever I wanted to do with my next career. But I had no idea what that would be.

I didn't know I wanted to be a writer. I started on a whim, inspired by Diana Gabaldon's statement that "the best way to learn to write a book is to write a book." That sounded like a challenge. A fun one.

So I bought a laptop and began writing my first manuscript on August 1, 2006. And that's when my life took a hard right turn.

The words flooded out like I had turned on a faucet. The characters emerged, three-dimensional and suitably flawed. The plot had twists. And the story turned out to be a trilogy, following the same couple for three years.

Over the next four years, I learned how to write "right" for today's market. I rewrote the rewriting. Again. I won over an agent. Eventually I self-published, and after that a publisher offered a multi-book contract for one of my ongoing characters. Five books, so far.

Along the way, I began to see how my previous experiences could help me in my new career: art background for graphic design, event planning from running proms -- plus countless other Student Council events, using my speaking and teaching skills to help others do what I have learned to do.

Everyday I celebrate that very fact: I am using all the various skills I have acquired over my lifetime in this, what is possibly my culminating career.

I don't know if I will ever do anything else, and I say that for two reasons. First, I was already 53 when I started, and I will turn 60 in September. Secondly, I am having more dang fun than should be legal! Don't get me wrong, I'm working my fanny off about 60 hours a week. But I can't see a reason to ever quit writing and publishing.

No one ever told me as I grew up, that who you are today will be different than who you are tomorrow. Each day our experiences mold us. I don't think we ever finish that process. Our future is always new uncharted territory. We can always try a new path.

Now THAT'S a reason to celebrate!


Judith Ashley said...

I'm amazed at how many of my own life experiences and skills find their way into my stories. I can look back on some of the 'not so fun' times and see how that experience enriches my writing. It's also true for the spectacularly fun times that I now get to relive as I weave the events and emotions into my stories.

So glad you found this career now, Kris!

Diana Mcc. said...

Great post, Kris! It is odd some of the paths taken to reach our writing goals. Good luck on sales!

Kris Tualla said...

Thanks, ladies. Who knew life took off after age 55? *WOO-HOO* :)

Virginia Nelson said...

Great post Kris. Isn't it funny how we utilize that which we have used or experienced in our short lives. Wishing you more success than you have previously experienced. Now hit that NY Times best selling list... I know you are on your way.

Brenda Whiteside said...

Fun post, Kris. I started late in life too so I can relate.

Marie said...

Great post, Kris! Keep on writing. We love your characters!

rozdennyfox said...

Sorry I somehow missed this yesterday. I started writing later in life, but my youngest daughter was still in junior high. She and her friends were consuming Harlequin books. I decided to see what they were reading so voraciously. Then they started bugging me to write one. I found it harder than it seemed, but that started a journey I'm still loving. And you are certainly doing what you want to do. Keep it up. Roz

Nina Benneton said...

Inspiring post, Kris. Your passion and zest for writing are inspiring, always.


KC said...

As usual, you make me smile. Thanks for the great post. Brings back memories of us both pre-pubbed and freezing in a hotel room at nationals. ( or at least I was freezing). The statement we said then still holds true, we will never stop learning how to write, never stop perfecting our craft. Thanks Kris for all you do.

Carolyn Hughey said...

And it can only get better from here! You know how special I think you are, this just moved you up another notch!

Sarah Raplee said...

I am definitely a fan of your books, Kris! So glad you became a writer.

Life experience can help a person avoid common pitfalls on their writer's journey. Plus they may have already developed skills such as those you described that help them in their writing career.

I'm celebrating with you! You never know what life will bring...

Anonymous said...

I also started late in life.I'M now 84 yrs old. First started in 1996, my wife died in '98 and I filed it away. In 2008 I was bored in a retirement home and pulled the file and began again where we had been in 1997.
I can only work on it part time, so much to do in retirement with my 4th wife and my kids in this area. I WILL finish it before I reach my end! B-). I have an idea for a sequel suggested by my Daughter.