Welcome to the Playground, Kelly!
People always ask me how I came to start writing. No, actually they don’t, but for the sake of this blog, we’ll say they do. If someone did ask me how I came to start writing, this is what I’d say, “It all started with insomnia.”
Have you ever in your head rewritten the end of a movie? A book? Your life story? Me too. So already we have something in common. Add insomnia to the mix and you can entertain yourself for many, many sleepless hours. Try it. That started about five years ago, although I’ve had the insomnia for—well—ever. I still have it. Writing is not a cure, more of a coping mechanism.
My favorite rewrite is the movie Love Comes Softly (Insert heavy sigh laced with longing). The story of a newlywed who crosses the prairie in a covered wagon only to become a widow who is then left with no choice but to marry a stranger. Only I added some sex, some snark, got rid of the kid, put it on another planet in the future, and viola! I had an interplanetary mail order bride story. Yeah, that never got published. But that’s how it began.
So you probably think I write paranormal, futuristic, urban fantasy. No. I can’t even work my cell phone, update my website, or change the batteries in my TV remote, let alone predict what sort of technology the future holds. Okay, I must write sweeping epic historical novels. No. I wish. Too much research. I write contemporary romantic mystery with a side order of humor.
I wrote and wrote and wrote with a burning passion. I entered writing contests, becoming a finalist in several, but not with Lily in Wonderland, my bad-girl-heroine-with-a-past-that-follows-her-to-her-future manuscript. And no, there is no time travel involved. I decided it was time to join the romance writing community, because I needed all the help I could get.
The first thing I learned at the local chapter of Romance Writer’s of America meeting was: The reader must fall in love with your hero and like your heroine. Uh oh. My heroine is a trash talking, promiscuous, recovering drug addict. I got called names by contest judges. Names like crass, flippant and snarky, and that was from people who liked my writing. On a whim, I entered Lily in the Golden Rose. Why not? It’s only money. Right? And then I won.
Winning got me a request from Cerridwen Press for the full manuscript. The request led to a contract, but I don’t want to make it sound easy. There were rewrites, resubmits and several rounds of edits before Lily went to print. She’s out there loose in the world, and she does give the term loose a whole new meaning.
So what keeps you up late at night or gets you up early in the morning? Talk to me. I’ll randomly pick a winner for a free e-book download of Lily in Wonderland or a deck of Ellora’s Cave playing cards.
For more chances to win in July, just go to my website (where you can also read an excerpt) and leave a comment on my blog. http://www.kellyfitzpatrick.webs.com/