July 18 is the first official International Author's Day. It was a day began by blogger, reviewer and fellow book addict, Debdatta at Bookish Indulgences. International Author's Day will start out with a blog hop that runs through the week - July 14 through 18. Check out the links at the bottom of this post and stop by the blogs participating, there'll be plenty of prizes as well as a crew of good books just waiting to be discovered as readers and writers prepare to enjoy the week.
International Authors' Day - it's that word author that makes me pause. It has a strange ring to it. As a kid all I wanted to be was a writer. The word author never entered my mind. I didn't realize that yes, I had authored those competed works, raw as they were. And yes, I was a writer as I wrote scribbles here and there, poems, short stories, startlingly bad fiction about lost hamsters and stilted poetry about trees outside my window. I devoured books and I wrote. One day in the waning hours of grade school, a teacher saw promise. And she encouraged me, marvelling (or so I thought at the time) at my opening line where the barber neatly slits his customer's throat.
Yes, even then I leaned to the dark side but then there was no romance to lighten the mood.
So as is a common story among so many writers, the writing got put aside for a time. It wasn't a valid way to make a living. Or so the voices of those I considered wiser, echoed around me and maybe there was some truth there. Until you figure out what it is you want to write, articles, short stories, novels - in what genre, you can be writing pretty much over the map. And even if you figure it out, on average it takes an inordinate amount of work to make a living at it. I don't think then, that I was prepared for the hard-scrabble of the long haul.
So back to genre - I cut my teeth on horror as a teenager but it wasn't what I wanted to write. I was slow to discover romance but I should have found it earlier. As a kid I sucked up Jane of Lantern Hill and the romance of that estranged couples reconnecting, cried over the maudlin East Lynne and while they weren't classic romance, love was there. Once I'd found my genre, there was no turning back. And so here I am four published books and a box set later, with a fifth book poised to publish and I wander am I no longer a writer? Is it an author I've become?
But the face in the mirror tells me otherwise. I'm a writer and every once in a while, the great moments - a book is published, a good review emerges, a reader leaves a comment - in those moments I feel every bit the author. And those moments feel great!
So to celebrate International Authors Day and all those authors out there whose books have entertained me throughout my life and continue to do so - I'm giving away a copy of my latest romantic suspense.
Intent to Kill is set in Cambodia and was inspired by
a trip to Cambodia's killing fields. Yes, you heard right, the killing fields inspired the story. Standing in the midst of the grave pocked field, it was hard to fathom but the signs were everywhere death and more death and yet the long-ago horror was juxtaposed against real life as I watched a group of children with a raw-hipped cow standing in a river, washing the cow and singing and chattering as children do, as if the mass graves and the free-for-all murders had never occurred. That incident sparked the idea for what became Intent to Kill.
Don't forget to leave a comment and you'll be entered for a chance to win a copy of Intent to Kill. Then follow the links and check out the other bloggers.
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