You can throw some things away especially if they get old and smelly; but all those journals and diaries you kept as a kid just might turn out to be gold.

Come on, I’m sure there are a few people out there who still have a locked diary containing an entry about that first kiss.Perhaps there is a corsage with a special memory pressed between the pages. Even some of you guys out there keep a journal of your daily events. As for me, I started keeping a diary way back in third grade. And yes, I still have it too.

Growing up, my mom could not understand the time I spent writing in the marble notebook that I kept hidden under my pillow. If I had a dime for every time she said, “Why are you wasting your time …” I’d be rich. Anyway, I continued to write. I would write poetry, short stories, paste pictures, or quote other people’s works that I found inspiring. I’d even write down the lyrics of songs that moved me in some way. I also enjoyed writing love stories. In high school, my friends would ask me to write a little romantic tale of them with their latest squeeze. Funny, it got to the point where even guys were coming up to me and asking me to write down their exploits. (Maybe that’s how I learned to write erotica?)

 In 1989, my darling hubby (boyfriend at the time) happened upon me writing one day while we were vacationing in Italy. As he read my interpretation of the past few days, including our steamy midnight activities, I expected him to start laughing at any moment. After all, he is not the mushy, romantic type of man. But he didn’t laugh. In fact, he thought it was rather good. “Not Jane Austen, but it’s a page turner,” I think were his exact words.

Inspired by this review, I began writing more and more short stories. As each new idea popped into my head, I jotted the thought onto paper. There were times, over the next ten years, when I had four or five stories in various stages of completion. I would write them in longhand on the train on the way to work, on planes when my work took me far from home. Eventually, they were painstakingly transcribed onto my computer.

Then, in 2005, I was on disability for an extended period. I spent a lot of time reading my stories, adding to them, reworking some of the plots. As I worked on one in particular, the story of a character who had been near and dear to my heart for many years, I began to wonder if it could be published. Having a book published had always been a dream of mine, but none of my stories had ever been complete enough. Perhaps it was time to complete one.

By 2006, I had the 145,283-word manuscript for the story about my favorite character, Macy. At the end of writing this slightly paranormal romantic novel, I knew that some of the secondary characters deserved to have their own stories; thus the birth of a miniseries. iUniverse Publishing offered me a contract in 2007 and Macy was released later that year. Before the Applause is scheduled for release in the fall of 2010, and If I Should Love Again in 2012.

My advice to anyone who thinks they might want to write a book … never throw a diary or a journal away; you never know where it might take you.

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