I have always wanted to write books. I decided in third grade that I wanted to write books that explained things. I wanted to make up stories that made people laugh and cry and be scared and feel brave. So for the next thirty-five years, I wrote. I wrote well, too, and had poetry, short stories and articles published – well, a few – and told myself that ‘one day, I will be a published author.’
Yep, yep – one day I will be… That gave me an excuse to never do what it took to want it now.
In 2001, tragedy struck and kept striking for the next three years. I came to the realization that I needed to do what it takes to become an author. And of course, as it should have, this was the time I was introduced to the Law of Attraction. I took all of the emotions I had experienced, all of the people I’d met, loved and lost, all of the hopes and dreams and ideas that I’d envisioned, and wove them into my novels. I joined a writers group and when the facilitator moved to another state, I stepped in and began leading the group. When I received letters from publishers – you know – the form letters which let you know that there was no way on earth they would ever consider publishing even my laundry list – I called them letters of declination: the publishers had declined to publish my book. It wasn’t a rejection of my work or my life or my creativity; it was simply the publisher’s loss. Over the next two years, the letters of declination stopped being cookie-cutter in form and became personal notes from the editors. Every time I walked into a book store or saw a shelf of books, I stood there and envisioned my books sitting on the shelves.
What I lacked was discipline. A friend of mine suggested I apply for a position as a weekly columnist for Bella. I did; I got accepted as the Veterans Columnist and messed up by arguing with the editors. I learned a valuable lesson when they thanked me for my two weeks of columns and wished me best of luck down the road – I asked for a second chance. They gave it to me and I applied what I had learned to the weekly articles I wrote for veterans and also applied that to every query letter I wrote. I had weekly deadlines and learned to write a thousand word article in less than an hour. I began speeding up my writing, tightening my focus, and went back to writing my novels by hand and using the time spent typing them into a computer as the first editing of the rough draft. I carried a notebook with me everywhere I went and used all those ‘wait times’ as writing times. I stopped watching TV and used that time to write. Six months later, Comfort Publishing bought Minna Pegeen. I set up thirteen book signings the summer it came out. A year later, they bought Bedina’s War and I was invited to be a guest author at the Carolina Renaissance Festival. This September I received two contracts in one week: Bedlam Press bought Perky’s Books and Gifts – a story which was created in the very first bookstore I used to stand and envision my books being, and Whiskey Creek Press bought The Island Remains which I began writing last April after my doctor found a very large tumor: Invaders come and go, but the Island remains.
My knowledge of the Law of Attraction began with The Secret – a video loaned to me during the years of chaos mentioned above. In May 2013, I copied the top ten list from the New York Times website, pasted it onto my word program, and then typed in my name and the titles of my published books and those I have written in the top ten spots. I printed it out and have it attached to my vision board on my dresser in my bedroom. That summer, I found the book Abraham and the Law of Attraction by Esther and Jerry Hicks in a thrift shop. Then I discovered and watched most of their videos. I began sharing this knowledge with my middle school students. I love teaching, and I teach what I love, too. My 60 students have all created vision boards and we spend one to two minutes each class period envisioning what we want and then releasing it to the universe. So, it should have been no surprise to me (but I was greatly pleased!) when I found a copy of the magazine The Law of Attraction on the shelves of a store (and yes, I was standing there envisioning a dozen of my books with stickers declaring me as a New York Times Best Selling Author on them).
I asked to become a published author forty-five years ago. I believed that I would become a published author eight years ago. I am so grateful that my writing can touch people – can make them cry and laugh and escape and hope and believe and love. If you want to write a book, write it. If you want to become published, open your heart up and learn what the universe needs you to learn. Hone your skills with those lessons. See your books sitting there on the shelves. People need to read terrific books. Write them.