I started to write my book because I had finished a few Jennifer Crusie novels, and they were so wonderfully crafted, rendered with such seemingly effortless style, that I wanted to author the next one. I actually said, "I am going to write the next Jennifer Crusie novel, under the pseudonym Megan Coakley." Obviously, I didn't comprehend how much work is required for an "effortless" read. But I had an idea-a movie, really-in my mind, and I thought, "I should write that."
Shortly thereafter, I got invited to a U2 concert. I wanted something to commemorate the event because I don't get to many concerts. And it's U2! (I love you, Larry Mullen, Jr.!) I bought a t-shirt with a picture of cherubs entwined under the arcing phrase, "The future deserves a big kiss." While standing in line, waiting to pay a ridiculous amount of money for my flimsy t-shirt, I imagined an entire love scene based on that quote. And that's what convinced me to begin my novel.
I keep writing because I have great friends. June and Janet are my support system, my beta readers, my agent, and my editor. I gave them my first attempts, even before I let the Captain read them. If Janet had told me, ever so politely, to take my life in a different direction, my "work in progress" would have progressed no further. When June sent me that first email, explaining how she missed her subway stop because she was so engrossed in reading what I had sent her, it gave me the courage to continue.
I shared that story with Ellen and Sarah, two lovely women I met in Salem. Ellen was relating how she called Sarah to say she had registered for the conference, and, without hesitation, Sarah agreed to go with her. Together, they fantasized about how they would submit their manuscripts to the agents and editors, who would be so impressed by their brilliance, a bidding war would erupt over the rights to publish. We all laughed, but I remarked how important it is to have somone who believes in your potential, who goes in, whole hog, for the fantasy.
After June read my first chapters, she called to say she couldn't wait to plan my book signing. It was an outlandish statement, but it made me want to succeed, if for no other reason than to prove that my friend's faith in me wasn't misplaced.
I am blessed to have a family that encourages me. I would not be sitting here, typing on this beautiful laptop, if it weren't for the Captain's unwavering support. I have sisters who read for me all across the nation, and keep asking for more. But it was Janet who helped shape those first pages, and June who coaxed me online, which led me to the Betties, my blog, and you! They helped put me on a path toward my future.
When the Captain and I realized the conference was the same weekend as his hockey tournament in Montreal, Janet and June said they would watch the boys. You may have heard I have five of them. But they signed up anyway. They are always in my corner, rooting for my success. They are the Mick to my Rocky, and I want to write a knock-out novel for them. I hope you have someone cheering you on, someone who sees your greatness even when you can't. It's inspiring.