Hubby and I have returned from our annual trek to Florida. We have driven south once a year for the past seventeen years. There is a lot of road between New Jersey and Florida--long stretches of flat, straight interstate highways bordered by trees on both sides. It is an extremely boring drive. To relieve the tedium I always bring along plenty of books to read, but when it's my turn to drive I crank up the country music and sing along.
As I was listening to Randy Travis sing about heroes and friends, I started thinking about who my heroes are. Randy Travis admires cowboys. I glanced at the bag of books I had brought along with me and I knew that all those authors are the people I respect most. Publishing is a tough business. After five full-length novels and one novella, I am still on the ground floor of the published authors hierarchy—although sometimes I feel as if I’m in the basement. However, every author starts out that way. The trick is not to give up.
I've met some authors who wrote only one book, had it published, and then never wrote another. Then there are the authors with two or three published books who realized there wasn't much money in the world of publishing and quit.
The books I brought along with me to read on our journey were by authors who keep producing.
I started off with Linda Howard's A Game of Chance. It was a wonderful story! Linda Howard has written an amazing number of terrific books. I am in awe of her talent.
Next came Kathye Quick's Falling for You and Roni Denholtz's Somebody to Love. Kathye and Roni are members of NJRW, as I am, and they've been there as long as I have—which is forever. They did not quit in the face of repeated rejections. Both of their books are sweet romances from Avalon Books. Both of the stories are set in the wintertime. I figured they would help to cool me off in the Florida heat. :^)
One of my friends told me that my writing reminded her of Janet Evanovich. I now know that was a compliment. Until this road trip, I had never read any of Janet Evanovich's books. So, of course, I brought along To The Nines, and loved every minute of it. Ms. Evanovich, a very prolific author, has a wonderful characters in her books and her self-deprecating humor had me laughing out loud.
The last book I read on the trip was Kate Welsh's Their Forever Love, one of Steeple Hill's Inspirational Romances—a Christian romance. It was inspiring.
Yes, my heroes have always been writers. I think it takes a lot more grit to write--and to keep writing--than to ride a horse.