Five years ago today, I typed The End on my first romance novel. A few months earlier I had literally said out loud as I walked out of Border’s after hanging out with friends, “I’m going to write a romance.”
And then I did.
I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. I dabbled in poetry for a while, and then in college I wrote a great deal of nonfiction as an English and history major. I’d been writing a mystery when I decided to try my hand at romance that night as I walked to my car in the Border’s parking lot.
A lot has happened in those five years. In that time, I’ve written nearly 30 books, some paranormal romance, some contemporary romance, and a few historical romance. I’ve created two pen names. I’ve hit the New York Times bestseller list twice (once for each name). I’ve hit the USA Today bestseller list a few more times too. Not a bad showing.
But those numbers don’t really tell the whole story. In the five years since I finished that first romance novel, I’ve found a new career and a life that I’ve always dreamed of. There have been ups and downs, and there will continue to be, but I don’t plan to go anywhere just yet. I’m still writing romance five years later, but that’s not to say that mystery isn’t still calling my name.
And that first novel I wrote? It’s hidden away in a desk drawer in my office because no matter what anyone says about their first book, I didn’t think it was ready. Maybe someday I’ll get back to it. I don’t know. I’ve changed a lot since then, so perhaps its time has passed already.
Five years and millions of words later, I’m so happy I believed in myself enough to follow through on my pledge I made that night in the summer of 2010. I always believe the best is yet to come, so stick around for the next five years.
The best is yet to come.