“He made me do it.”
I enjoy hearing author’s stories of how they got started in their carriers. Mine isn’t all that exciting. Actually, in the beginning, it was mortifying.
My husband found some notes I had scratched out on a piece of paper. What are the odds he’d choose that day of all days to help me sort the family mail basket, which I thought would be a safe place to hide personal notes because he usually makes me handle all the mail? After spending one summer catching up on some novels I’d shelved out of busyness, I discovered some ideas of my own swishing around in my brain, so I wrote one of them down.
And he cornered me, paper in hand. “What’s this?”
I tried to tell him it was nothing and he didn’t believe me. So thanks to my husband (God bless his interfering hide) I started working on a manuscript. He encouraged me to really put the effort into it and even bought me a computer, making no effort to hide the fact that in ten years he expected to retire and spend his days on the golf course while I worked on my fifth best seller.
I owe my beginning to a selfish and greedy husband.
At first I wasn’t serious about it. I just dabbled and had some fun. In school I’d always done a decent job on all my papers, so I figured I had the skills to pull off a decent manuscript. But I was not even close. Once I decided this was really what I was supposed to do, I figured I’d best get involved in some writing groups and take some classes. So I volunteered for the local writers conference committee, which was the best thing I ever could have done. And I kept on writing, editing, and submitting until finally a publishers sent me a contract.
I don’t know any other author who was forced to write a book by their spouse. (Is ‘forced’ too strong of a verb? Maybe ‘coerced’ is better.) I guess you could say my writing career had a unique beginning. No, my husband wasn’t the inspiration for any of my characters (although that is a good thought for my next villain.) But I couldn’t have done it without his nudging, or his encouragement over the years.
He made me do it. So I felt obligated to dedicate my first book to him. Probably because I have a serious mental condition.
©2013 Jen Cudmore
Jen was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. She first started writing in 2007 and is now a published historical romance author. The first book in the Lawmen of Clayton County was released this summer from Helping Hands Press. www.jencudmore.com