I'd like to tell you guys that I really enjoyed reading Ruth Ann's story, and I think you will too. It's bold and uncompromising. And all I could think was, "with that steady stream of stories flowing through your mind, how do you focus on anything else?"
Here's Ruth Ann.
As with most writers, I began with an interest in writing early in life. Now what's ironic is that I hated to read. I wrote my first horror story in the fifth grade and it was really dumb. I combined a whole bunch of horror movies my mom used to watch with us kids into it (like Poltergeist and Rosemary's Baby--I know, I know: "What was my mom thinking?"). Anyway, in the sixth grade, I discovered Sweet Valley High and that's when I fell in love with reading and teen romances. I remember my first SVH book. It was #8 and the opening line read: "Kiss me," Jessica Wakefield said. From there, I was hooked. I mean, kissing was exciting. Yes, I was a girly girl.
During my high school years, I continued reading teen romances and even wrote four books in my own teen romance series that I had labeled the "Beaver High Series" with a twin boy and girl and the girl next door as the main characters. My second son, Eric, is named after the twin boy "Eric White". Well, then I started dating and hanging out with friends all the time, so my writing stopped, though I did write sappy poetry. Poetry is not my strength. But I have dabbled with it.
In college, I met Melanie Nilles who is big into science fiction and fantasy. This is where I got the inspiration to try my hand at those genres. In fact, my first self-published book in 2002 with iUniverse was a science fiction novel about the planet transitioning from the human species to a new species. From there, I self-published four adult fantasy novels about a magical world called "Raz". Then I tried my hand at Young Adult. I wrote two fantasy novels there and two suspense novels. All of these were also through iUniverse. (Note: Avoid iUniverse at all costs if possible because their quality went downhill after they moved from Nebraska to Indiana.)
I had always had a secret love for romance novels but had tried to avoid them for two reasons: 1. I hated the way the characters jumped into bed before they got married. 2. I was ashamed because I believed that romance wasn't "real literature". I was the kind of person who'd hide the cover of the book and hope no one noticed my blushing. I guess you could have called me a "closet romance reader". I would "binge" on romance books for a couple of months and then throw them out. "I'm over the addiction this time!"
Then in the summer of 2007, I got one of those ads in the mail from a Christian romance publisher and realized, "Wow! There is romance out there for adult women that will take me back to my Sweet Valley High days!" I was excited so I bought some. Then I read them. The first couple were cute and fun, but after awhile, I began to wonder, "If these people are married, why isn't there anything interesting happening in the bedroom?" Back when I was a teenager, the kissing was appropriate for me at my maturity level. But now I'm an adult married woman who knows there is value in the sexual relationship. I don't mean that it needs to be lust driven. That still doesn't interest me. I do, however, like to see how the hero and heroine treat each other in the bedroom because, to me, it deepens their relationship and makes the romance stronger. (That is my opinion.)
So that is when, in November 2007, I dragged out my old manuscript that I had begun back in 1997 that was a Christian romance. I spent one week finishing the book. In the past, I averaged writing two books a year, so I figured this would be it for another six months. Nope. In December, I came up with another idea for a romance. So I sat down and wrote my first romantic comedy, An Inconvenient Marriage. This time I publsihed my book with Outskirts Press. Again, I wanted to be done and take a break, but then another idea nagged at me. It was another romantic comedy, and before I knew it, I got bombarded with ideas. It was around April 2008 when I had finished the third romantic comedy and had ideas for more romances that I knew I was in trouble. This writing thing was taking over.
I decided to go with it, and that's when things really took off. Writing had always been a hobby, and to an extent, it still is, first and foremost, a hobby. I don't see it as a way to make money. What I have come to realize is that it's a way to have fun and escape from the worries of the world. I have become serious about the quality of my work, though I admit I'm not perfect. I continue to improve, but I don't stress about it. I did go through the submission process to seek traditional publication but quickly decided it wasn't for me when I realized that the books I want to write do not fit in with the traditional market. I want full control of my books more than anything else.
I have stopped going through self-publishing companies because that was getting expensive, and I don't make enough in royalties to cover those expenses. I found Createspace and have been truly independent publishing since the summer of 2008. I have tried my hand at romantic fantasy, romantic suspense, contemporary romance, and regency romance. I don't care for those so much. But I do love writing romantic comedies and writing historical western romances. That is what I have finally concluded in August 2009.
So you see, the process has been a long one. I didn't get to where I am today overnight. I think the same is true for all writers. And like other writers, I'm looking forward to what's ahead!
Meant To Be by Ruth Ann Nordin.
While on a train heading west, Ted Jacob and Megan Crane are thrown back into the past, with no idea of why or how they got there. They get off the train at Fargo, North Dakota. To their dismay, they are in April 1898.
To their horror, the people insist that Ted and Megan marry at once! But Ted and Megan don't even know each other, and despite their protests, the preacher declares them man and wife. From there, the unlikely couple face other humorous circumstances that prove time travel can be full of fun and laughter.
It is available as a free read at this site: http://www.ruthannnordin.com/my_romantic_comedies
Thanks for sharing Ruth Ann!
Please leave a comment or question for Ruth Ann.
On Monday I will be hosting Stephanie Burkhart.
In the mean time, the contest is still going on at CRR. Winner gets a publishing contract from Desert Breeze Publishing.