by Sara Rosett
My novel writing career began during naptime.
I had many false starts on a novel, but wasn’t getting anywhere. I always seemed to hit a wall at, oh, about Chapter Two, so I decided to switch to non-fiction.
To build up my clips, I worked as a volunteer reporter for a couple of Air Force base newspapers. One exciting assignment was to cover the presentation of a $500 check to the winner of a cheese promotional giveaway at the commissary. I interviewed the "Big Cheese" (i.e. the cheese company representative and, no, I did not call him that!) and winner after the obligatory photo op. I also wrote features about pilots who had been given desk jobs after completing their flight training because the military had more pilots than planes. Then I landed a job writing travel itineraries for a company that coordinated professional exchanges in foreign countries.
It was a dream job—I loved research and part of the job was finding obscure medical organizations in countries like China, Russia, Hungary, and the Czech Republic for the professionals from the U.S. to liaison with. Writing the sight-seeing tours—the Great Wall, Buda Castle, the Hermitage, and Charles Bridge—was my favorite part of the job.
I spent the next several years in Mom Land—too tired and too busy to do much except read my favorite mystery authors before I dropped off to sleep shortly after my daughter’s bedtime. I did, however, begin to dream about writing a novel again.
It was the birth of my second child that nudged me back to the computer. I realized that my life was only going to get busier and if I was ever going to try and write a novel I better take what little time I had and crave out some writing time.
So, three days a week, I dropped my daughter off at Pre-K, rushed home and put my son down for a nap, then typed for forty minutes. As you can imagine that first draft took a long time.
But I got it done. Then came the revisions. While I alternated rather erratically between revising whole chapters and then agonizing over a single comma, I put my research skills to work and learned everything I could about publishing and finding an agent.
Fast-forward eleven years, and here I am…that “naptime” book became Moving is Murder, the first in the Ellie Avery mystery series. This week, the sixth book in the Ellie series comes out, Mimosas, Mischief, and Murder.
There’s a saying—“the days go by slowly, but the years go quickly.” Never is that more true than when you are an author. While I’m slogging away a few hundred or thousand words at a time, eighty-thousand words seems like an almost insurmountable goal, but when I look back over the last ten years...it’s all gone by so quickly.
I hope you’ll look for Mimosas this week or give one of the other Ellie books a try. The ebook version of the third book in the series, Getting Away is Deadly, is on sale for 99 cents from March 28 to April 11.