Thursday, October 4, 2012

Getting Started...Way Back When

I started reading romance in high school. Harlequin American was my prefered series of choice back then. After reading quite a few, I decided I wanted to write one some day. Then I thought, why wait for some day? So I dove in and wrote one and then another. All told I think I wrote about four romances back in high school.

Needless to say, I had no idea what I was doing. There were terrible to say the least. In one my heroine was married to another man and she was having an affair with her boss, the hero. Um, yeah. That's a big no no. In another my hero was from Spain and I based a lot of the story there. I didn't know a thing about Spain and didn't bother to do any research either. But I did make use of some of the Spanish I was learning in one of my classes. One of my heroes was a rock star, based on my first rock star crush ever, Rick Springfield. To 'disguise' my hero I named him Rick Summerfield. Gee. No one would ever figure that one out, would they. (But I thought I was so clever!)

I had no idea about goal, motivation, or conflict. I had no idea about showing not telling. I had no idea about plot or pacing. Basically, I had no idea...

But, looking back, writing those stories was a good experience. Even after those lame attempts, I never gave up my dream of 'some day'. And eventually, that day came and I not only wrote a book, but sold it and got it published as well. And then I did it again. And again. And again. And again.

And although some days I still feel like I don't know what I'm doing, I've learned a lot since those first high school attempts. And I learn something new with each and every book. I still have those old stories, and I take them out every once in a while. They are definitely good for a walk down memory lane and a laugh and a smile. In a way, writing those stories back then was easier than it is now...because I didn't know anything. I didn't have to worry about anything but telling the story. There's something to be said about that.

And, one of these days, I'm going to rehash that rock star one. I've even come up with a better name for my hero: Jesse Rhodes. He's a hillybilly rock star on a roll, and she's the reporter who just might ruin his career...and his life...when her story breaks.

Until next time,

Happy Reading!


P.S. I'm out of town at a conference today and tomorrow, and I'm not sure if I'll have access to a computer, so forgive me if I don't respond to comments in a timely manner.


  1. I wish I'd kept more of my teenage stories, Debra. I kept some, but most got thrown away. However, 'Changing the Future' (my May 2012 release) was a rehash, or rather a complete rewrite, of a story I first wrote about 40 years ago.
    I completely agree that we learn something new with every book we write.

  2. I am a Jill-com-lately to writing. Hopefully I am on a fast learning curve..

  3. I definitely learn from every story I write, regardless of whether or not I get it published. I also read Harlequins when I was in high school, although I felt so guilty that I skipped over the sex scenes--I was a weird child. To this day, I remember some of them and wish I'd kept them.

  4. What a great way to start learning about writing stories, Debra! The only thing I've kept are some the teen-angst peoms I used to write - and they're a good laugh now.

  5. Paula, It will be interesting to see if I ever do rehash my rock star book. It's always in the back of my mind.

    Ana, I think as long as you come at it with passion, it doesn't matter when you start!

    Jennifer, Those Harlequin American sex scenes are the reason I write spicy romance today! I write what I like to read!

    Rosemary, Ah, teen angst...we've all been there!