Jul 12 2010
Welcome to the My First Sale series. Each Monday, Dear Author posts the first sale letter of bestselling authors, debut authors, and authors in between. When not sitting at the computer writing, award winning author Dee Davis spends her time exploring Manhattan with her husband, daughter, and Cardigan Welsh Corgi. You can visit Dee at her website, www.deedavis.com or her blog,www.whinesisters.com Or follow her on Twitter or Facebook.
My journey to become an author reads like a Cinderella story. But that doesn't mean there weren't road bumps along the way. It all started when, a little over ten years ago, I found myself at loose ends. We'd just moved back to Texas from Austria, my daughter was going off to kindergarten and my pre-pregnancy career in association management required long hours and a lot of away time. I wanted to be home for my child, but I also wanted regain some identity beyond "mom' and "wife'. And so I sat down and made a list. Rock singer, Broadway star, secret agent, write a book. You know, totally practical choices.
Well, reality sank in quickly, and I realized I talked to much to be a spy, I was a little too old and a little to rotund to live in spandex, and today's Broadway stars all sing and dance. I can sing. But man, you don't want to see me dance. Which left "write a book'. Writing is something I've done my whole life. I've written stories ever since I was old enough to put fingers to pencil. But I'd never seriously considered the option. And writing could be done anywhere and anytime. Wherever my husband's adventures took us next, whatever hours my daughter's life demanded. And I could live in jeans and sweats. It seemed a win/win situation. Only I'd never written a novel before.
So I took a deep breath, rolled up my sleeves and being a little obsessive/compulsive, started researching. Both the idea for my story, and the genre I'd chosen to write in. Romantic suspense. Now that one was a no brainer. I've always been a romantic at heart. I love a happy ending. Cried when I didn't get to see Cinderella's wedding. Wanted more from Meg and Calvin in A Wrinkle in Time, and always loved a good romantic hero – like Mr. Darcy. And as a lover of suspense, I liked the idea of integrating the suspense plotline with the romance.
So after reading something like four-hundred novels over a three month period (my husband had no idea what I was doing, and thank goodness was wonderful enough not to comment), I opened the proverbial blank computer page, and started to type. About five months later, I wrote THE END and cried and drank champagne, and being an over achiever, joined RWA, entered a contest, started the second book, and began Agent Quest.
Now there’s a task not suited for the squeamish. Anyway, six months later, I got a call (next best to The Call) and after singing eight rounds of the Hallelujah Chorus and doing a victory dance that would make Snoopy proud, I took a deep breath, closed my eyes, and signed with my agent, (which doesn’t say a lot for my signature.)
To pass the time (as you are no doubt aware, this is not a fast moving business) and because all the really great writers I admire said so, I kept writing, and eight months after that, I got The Call. This time I was paralyzed from the mouth down and only managed to say things like “Wow!” “You’re kidding” “You’re sure?” “Me?” -’you get the idea. And then, so excited I was physically shaking, I hung up-’before finding out which publisher had bought the book. Everything in its Time (by Berkley) was published in July of 2000.
And here I am almost exactly ten years from the day I first held my first book in my hands and checked inside to make certain the words were really mine. It's been an amazing ride. Full of the ups and downs that are part of any career. And it is with the exact same excitement and pleasure that I hold copies of the first three books in my new A-Tac series; Dark Deceptions, Dangerous Desires, and Desperate Deeds.
I've learned so much along the way. About writing, publishing, and probably most of all, about myself. My husband's career has led us to Manhattan, my daughter will graduate from high school next year, and I'm still writing. And pinching myself. Sometimes dreams do come true!