My Journey to Becoming a Writer

Hi Readers and Writers–

Some of you asked how I became a writer.  Well, here goes . . . .

I’ve been a voracious reader since a very early age.  My brother had a set of Hardy Boys Mysteries, and that’s where my love of mysteries started, I guess.  By the time I was 12, I knew I wanted to be a writer.

Enter life.  Between school, college, jobs, marriage, raising a child (who I homeschooled), and taking care of my mom who had Alzheimer’s disease . . .well, my love of writing got put on hold.  It wasn’t until after my mom passed away and my daughter had left the nest, that I decided to go back to college and take a couple of writing courses–just for fun.

It was there I met a teacher, Mike Foley, who later became my mentor and good friend, and helped me write Alzheimer’s–Living With a Stranger, a book for family caregivers.  After that “work of heart,” I wanted to write something “fun.”  I really didn’t know a lot about plotting and planning, so I just dove in.  The character, Stevie Marie Coral, just came to me, as did a lot of the story.  Things from past experiences colored the book.  I was fortunate enough to be able to interview a Medicine Woman, Fran Dancing Feather, and she gave me the Native American background for the book.  A year later, I had a novel!  Mountain Spirits, Desert Deceptions.  I thought, Wow!  Look at me.  I’m actually a writer!

I sent out queries to agents, but kept writing books.  I was hooked.  I loved to write.  Rejection letters poured in for both books.  Oh, well, I thought.  I’ll just keep on writing and getting better and one day someone will see my gift.  Twelve years later, I had enough rejection letters to paper my bathroom!  But I kept writing, because people who’d read my books said they were good–really good.  I believed in myself and I was stubborn.  I was going to do this, come H or high water!

Enter Kindle Direct Publishing, an Amazon company.  Self-publish?  Could I do that?  Would anyone want to read my books?

With a great deal of re-formatting, and a son-in-law who was artistically talented and made my book covers, the answer was a resounding YES!  Well, the last question, “Would anyone want to read my books?” was slow in being answered, but six months later, when I put out the second in the Two Old Biddies Mini-Mystery Series, Knitting Can Be Murder, sales took off.

I actually have fans all over the world now!  Who knew?  And I bless every one of you.  When someone leaves a review like “Jill-Ayn is my favorite author,” it’s both humbling and exciting.  I feel so honored that you like my stories.  I really do.  I wish I could meet every one of you in person and thank you for trusting me to write yet another story for you.  After 30 self-published books, sometimes I question whether I have another one in me, but this stubborn writer just keeps going like the Energizer Bunny.  I joke that I’ll probably die with a pen in my hand.

So, wonderful readers, that’s the short version of my journey to becoming a writer.  Hope you enjoyed this inside-my-life look.

Until next time, Happy Reading to You All,



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