Sunday, October 11, 2009
My Writing Journey - P.I. Barrington
You guys will enjoy this story. It's a little different from most of our experiences in that it seemed, for P.I., the writer's career chased her. Oh, that's just not fair! (Kidding P.I....sort of. hehe)Thanks for sharing your fascinating journey with us. And look for P.I.'s book, Crucifying Angel, in the next few weeks. It's released on Nov. 1st.
My Writing Journey
They say all roads lead to Rome. In my case, all roads lead to writing. No matter how I've tried to repress, reject, or ignore it, I don't seem to have any choice in the matter and it's beginning to look like I never did.
My journey to writing began in grade school. The local American Legion held a writing contest on the care of the American flag and my school was a participant. Oh, there were guidelines. First Person, list all the ways to care for and dispose of a flag, yada yada yada. I shrugged, scribbled out a little piece (there were no keyboards back then we actually had to use pen/pencil and—gasp—paper) and turned it in. Each student was assigned a number so there would be no hanky-panky in the form of favoritism.
I won. My mother bought me a hated new dress and they gave me a medal and letter from the Legion. I recently unearthed both of them. I should have known then. For the remainder of my school years I wrote only for my own amusement and fantasy escapism, never finishing anything, never caring to. It was all just silly anyway. That funny urge that I'd get to grab a pen, pencil, quill or my uncle's old typewriter and put words on paper, I told myself, was just my own obsession, born of voracious reading of everything including encyclopedias and thesauruses. By the time I realized I didn't want to be a lawyer in community college, I had no other choice (being mathematically challenged to say the least) than to choose journalism because it seemed the only thing I knew how to do halfway was write. Suffice it to say I ended up as a cub reporter/photographer for my city's newspaper. I hated those danged deadlines.
I finally managed to crush the obsessive compulsion to write when I went to a full-on university. There I discovered the second best thing I was good at: radio. I rose from (what else?) the college station's news director to music director and the #1 DJ in a year. (I should have known about that too—at grade school, I was the official MC of any school gathering in the auditorium— anyone beginning to see a pattern here?) I relegated writing to somewhere in my subconscious where it couldn't bother me while I went on to pursue my childhood dream of working in the music industry and meeting Paul McCartney. I did too.
After bouncing around radio stations and record companies, I finally succumbed to a long illness and put aside anything career wise to deal with that. Everyone told me to write. I had the time. I had a computer. It would be a form of therapy. After 30 years of lying dormant somewhere in my psyche, I finally dredged up the old urges and tried to write something in 2006. It ended up as mindless rambling that frightened even my family. However my blessed, more than supportive family (I couldn't have succeeded at anything without them) encouraged me to keep at it. I joined online writers' groups. I wrote and re-wrote and wrote some more. Finally, a few beams of fiction light burst into the dark cavern of my mind and—on an impulse—I answered a call for submissions to a pulp fiction online magazine. That I was accepted I can only attribute to my being the first one to respond. The storylines were already in place, I'd just be continuing a space opera. (Oh, yeah. That's another thing. Genre. I am now officially a writer of the sci-fi/romance/crime thriller—'futuristic' or as I like to call it, "near future"—genre'.) But back to the narrative. My stories weren't that great, but I did have a really great editor. I had two stories published before the magazine folded. But it let me know, I could still do it, sort of; I'd tried to write another novel over a series of years, a serial killer crime romance novel, but just couldn't work it out.
And then, it happened again. On one of my writing groups another call for submissions popped up. Again, on impulse, I sent that 8-year-old manuscript to Desert Breeze Publishing. Again, I was probably the first one to submit, lol! In any case, Gail R. Delaney, the Executive Editor at DBP, passed on that story but thought I might do well with a seminal idea she had for a—you guessed it— futuristic romance. Now, I'm not that great at romance writing. At times I'm awkward and bumbling about it. But I think I have a fair grasp of conflict and motivation and hopefully that's evident in my first novel, "Crucifying Angel". Gail asked me to write up a first chapter and we tossed it back and forth until we had a basic agreement on the story.
It started as almost an assignment, like the American Legion contest or the space opera thing. I seem to only get published that way. I dug in. By the time Crucifying Angel was finished, I was already into the second book of the Future Imperfect series, plugging away with real excitement, something I haven't felt in ages. So I guess you could say I never really did have a choice in being a writer. And worst of all, I think I may even be happy about it.
Besides, it's kind of fun when you can't wait to find out what's going to happen in a novel that you're writing.
CRUCIFYING ANGEL Book One of the Future Imperfect series, available from Desert Breeze Publishing, November 1, 2009.
"In the desolate remains of Las Vegas, Detective Payce Halligan and her new partner, Gavin McAllister, must stop a serial killer who may be hiding an even greater evil."
Check out this review for P.I.Barrington's book.
P.I. Barrington's Blog