I've never done anything the easy way in my life. Why should I now? My writing path has been strewn with rocks at times, but I've persevered and I'm still writing.
I look at my milestones as the decisions I've made and the paths I've taken over the years. The rocks have been the obstacles.
I rejected the career in science my high school counselors had laid out for me. I got married right out of high school. Six years later I started college as a freshman and finished with a master's degree in English while married, raising children, and running a household. I give thanks to my saint of a mother who took care of my kids.
While teaching English, I made a momentous discovery. It came about strangely. I was thumbing through a copy of McCall's magazine and came across a short story by Barbara Robinson. I remember having a sinking feeling. She was writing under my name. How could I use that name? Mind you, I'd never written a word of fiction at that point, but I made the decision that day that when I was published, I'd publish under my full name: Barbara Rae Robinson.
I started writing my first novel the summer before I quit teaching. I sold the fourth book I wrote to Harlequin in 1992. Love Me Not, by Barbara Stewart, was published in March, 1994. Harlequin insisted on pseudonyms back then.
By the time the book was published, I was so sick that I couldn't finish writing another book for over 17 years. A big rock in my path.
The next three books I wrote were rejected. The last rejection, from a Harlequin editor, called my writing old fashioned. Margie Lawson, at a Rose City Romance Writers workshop, showed me what the problem was, my stilted language. My English teacher voice was not suited to writing romantic suspense.
To fix that problem, I took online classes from Margie Lawson and Rhay Christou. And even traveled to Margie's mountain for an immersion class. I learned a lot. And I'm still learning.
I have since written four more books that are in various stages of editing. I'm writing a romantic suspense series set in Portland, Oregon, featuring a PI agency and the people who work for that agency. My next goal is to indie publish the first three books in the spring. I'll be getting covers made soon and will upload them to my website: www.barbararaerobinson.com.
Blurbs for the three books are already on the website and a cover for the first book that will be replaced.
I'm still discovering my path. And I'm joyfully watching where it will lead me.
|BARBARA RAE ROBINSON|
Barbara Rae Robinson lives in the country southwest of Portland, Oregon, with her high school sweetheart, who is still her husband. She spends her mornings writing and the rest of the day living. The rocks now have morphed into pebbles. And the path still awaits.