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Jodie's Blogs

Why I Became A Writer

Ever since I could remember, I’ve been a dreamer. Second to that, I’ve been a reader. I remember in grade school doing two things: eagerly awaiting the Scholastic book order time and hoping I would be able to order books, and writing.

One of my favorite books when I was learning to read was The Wednesday Witch by Ruth Chew. I think I liked it because the witch rode on a vacuum cleaner names James, instead of a broom.
I tended to read mysteries and drama, especially grade-school drama from Nate the Great to Scholastic Apple Books. Four books stuck out to me that I remember reading multiple times during grade school. Multiple.

Nothing’s Fair in Fifth Grade and Sixth Grade Can Really Kill You by Barthe DeClements, The Secret of NIMH by Robert C. O’Brien, The Dollhouse Murders by Betty Ren Wright, The Baby-Sitters Club by Ann M. Martin and then Sweet Valley High by Francine Pascal.

Secrets In The Attic by Carol Beach York I probably read the most because the main character’s name was Jodie, and that isn’t a name or the exact spelling you see often. I could think of dozens more if I really did the research and tried to remember them all. My tastes of reading material then and now are all over the place from mystery to fantasy to romance. If it’s a good story, it’s worth reading.

I cherished trips to the mall so I could visit B Dalton Bookstore. I remember exactly where it was in Brookdale Shopping Mall in Brooklyn Center, MN. In later years, B Dalton closed down and Waldenbooks opened. I remember exactly where it was in Ridgedale Shopping Mall in Minnetonka, MN. It’s funny the things you remember.

I wish I would have kept my writings from grade school. I did; however, keep my very first, handwritten book that I wrote just after I graduated from high school. It wasn’t very good. In fact, most of what I wrote in high school was crap.

It was only recently when I really began paying attention and honing my skills. The reading has never stopped. The writing has never stopped. I always wanted to be a writer, I never thought it would take me this long to get here, but I’m glad it did. I wouldn’t be the writer I am today if I didn’t have all of these years of practice behind me.

After I graduated high school, starting out with a word processor, I began to get serious with writing and eventually finished a book. I sent query letters to several literary agents at that time, back when self-publishing was unheard of. Out of probably twenty letters I sent, I received one back that requested the first three chapters. I was positively thrilled. But…as you probably know, it went nowhere.

To be honest, I’m glad it went nowhere. This way may be a lot more work, but in self-publishing, this work is mine and I hold all the rights to everything I write. Traditional publishing houses, own the rights when they pick up an author so the author no longer has any rights to their work. That might not be for me. Not right now. Not when I have worked so long, and so hard to get where I am right now, on the cusp of publishing my first novel.

Not only on the cusp of publishing my first romantic suspense novel, my second one -historical romance - is in the editing phase, my third one – also a historical romance -is in progress of being written, and the fourth one….well, I’ll share a little secret with my readers…I gave a hint of my fourth novel in my first novel. See if you can find it!

For now, my writing love remains with historical romance and romantic suspense. You never know what I might delve into for the future. I’ve always loved a good fantasy novel, witches and wizards especially. The good thing about writing historical is the further you go back, the harder it is to really know how it really was. You can play around, to a point. Facts still need to be somewhat as accurate as you can get them otherwise your credibility is gone, but with fantasy a whole new world can be made up.

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