Writing is one of those things that will drive you crazy until you sit down and put words on a screen. Writing strikes you at the most inconvenient times, in the most inconvenient of places. Middle of the night asleep. Middle of traffic on the freeway. Middle of explaining to your cat why she can’t be on the keyboard. Elbows deep in a sink full of dirty dishes and hot water. Or where I am now, editing the second book to make sense of the notes my co-author left for me. Sydney plots, I decorate. It’s a winning combination. She’s good at it.

So why write? I was a little girl from a small town living in book world. I loved books. I read everything I could get my hands on. A lot of what my church going mother wished I wouldn’t read. My mother was a reader. Remember Reader’s Digests Condensed books? Maybe not. It was the 1970s. My mother had them all and I read them. She was fond of ‘the classics’. Then sorry I read those as well. I gave my first oral book report in third grade on Gone with the Wind by Margret Mitchell. I read some of the saucier passages to my classmates. If my memory is accurate, that prompted a parent-teacher conference. When I discovered the horror and occult section at the local library, it was love at first sight. Paranormal and supernatural genres would be my loves forever.

I grew up to be a mom of three with a full time job that was often tedious. Spinning tales is a nice escape. It entertained my kids on car rides and kept me sane. People who say sanity is overrated never considered how much insanity getting a mortgage would create in their lives. It’s all about the balance.

As much as the books, the author biographies interested me. Some where boring, but some were just as imaginative as the book. Why did they write? How did they fall into it? Was in on purpose? The most common theme seemed to be “I wanted to find books I like to read. So I wrote one.” It’s an empowering statement.

So over the decades I wrote. I wrote about characters I liked, I wrote about situations that interested me. I even wrote a full length historical romance that survived the many purges and several moves. It’s awful. I cringe when I see it hiding at the bottom of my night stand. Sometimes the typewritten pages get shifted when I move things around and I see it there, rebuking me. I can’t appease it with salmon the way I can with the cat when she shuns me.

By the way, whoever is my executor must solemnly swear to either bury me with that monstrosity or burn it in effigy when I’m dead.

Sydney and I even dabbled in fanfic because we’re huge Wolverine and Nick Fury fans.

I write because I want to tell stories. I want to make someone else fall in love with a character that’s a little too imperfect. I want to make someone else look at the sunsets the way I do, or the highway going past my office window. (For the record, I often daydream of driving breakneck down that highway and never looking back. Sorry, kids.) I want someone to put down my story and think to themselves, “that freeway outside my window is looking really good right now. Why don’t I write a book that I want to read?”

That’s the pay off. We write one or several. Someone else decides to write one. And another one. Books for everyone! Kind of feels like Oprah, right? “And YOU get a book! And YOU get a book! EVERYBODY GETS A BOOK!”

-Dani

(P.S. Oprah, if you’re reading, we would love to be on your book club recommendation list!)

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