I’m not book smart. That title belongs to my brother. I feel I’m street smart and loaded with common sense. The latter my brother desperately needs. I was always interested in creative things from a young age. As I got older I entertained ideas of being an airline stewardess, a model, a career in radio…. My mother’s idea of security was a 9 to 5 office job.
When I finished the 5th grade, she enrolled me in a typing course to get my typing speed up – they didn’t have computers in those days. We used good old typewriters. Anyway, just me and another girl showed up at the college for the typing class. When the school year started back up, I was in the 6th grade and all 6th graders had to take a typing course. You should’ve seen me. I typed so fast I thought the carriage return was gonna fly off and hit someone in the head. Everyone else pecked at the keys. My teacher looked at me like “you don’t need this class.”
Fast forward to 12th grade: Career wise I never knew what I wanted to do with my life, but I was considering going to college – mainly because that was the thing to do. A few weeks before graduation, the career counsellor sash-shayed in and gave us a form to fill out. It was for us to see what career best suited us. I can’t remember what the choices were, but I’m sure I ticked clerical work as that was the best of the worst to choose from. If modelling or air stewardess was on the form, believe me, I would’ve tick that. Just before the bell rung, the counsellor collected the forms and that was that.
Well my grades weren’t there to go to a state college, so I ended up going to a community college. I took the basic classes as well as a sign language course which I did really well in. Who knows what I could’ve achieved if I’d stuck with it, but college did nothing for me and after a year I dropped out. Eventually I found that dreary 9 to 5. I gradually advanced to secretarial work. I just drifted along. In the 90’s, destiny stepped in when I moved to the United Kingdom. My life changed for the better on all levels.
Fast forward to how I stumbled into the writing world: One day I saw a movie on television called She Devil. Just like that I suddenly knew what I wanted to do with my life. I wanted to be a writer. Didn’t know what I was gonna write, but as soon as I put pen to paper it came. I finished the book in a week. I got it copyrighted and sent my sweat and tears to numerous publishers in the United States.
One after the other the rejection letters piled up. “….is not what we’re looking for” “…does not fit our list.” List? I said out loud. When I realised my manuscript wasn’t going anywhere I put it aside. Sometime later I came across some information on a book called Writers Market, which is a guide for writers on how to prepare manuscripts and articles for publication. I went on-line and ordered it from Amazon. When it arrived I read it with great interest. I also made notes to see where I had gone wrong with my manuscript such as formatting – I made tons of mistakes in that area.
When I pulled out the manuscript and re-read it, I was shocked. Although I felt it was a good story, it seriously needed editing. I’d saved the manuscript on a floppy disk and when I tried to access it, it got stuck in the disk drive. When I managed to get it out, it tore. I lost all my files. I was so mad at myself for not printing out a hard copy. This time I bought a memory card. I really didn’t want to type all that over again, but that I did. It was a headache trying to remember what went where and I even forgot certain parts of it.
Eventually I got there and I’ve spent many years editing it. Last year destiny stepped in again when I came across an article about an indie author who got a book deal with a major publisher. ‘Indie author?’ I said to myself. ‘What’s that?’ Turns out she self-published the book in question and was in partnership with Amazon! Again, just like that, I knew this was the route to take.
I have one more draft to read and then my book, The Lead Dancer Always Gets Flowers, will be published in May 2013 and will available to purchase to Kindle customers world-wide.