I majored in Theatre Arts with an emphasis on directing (because I couldn't act well enough to make the acting track), and minored in English with an emphasis on creative writing (because all the other emphases sounded boring).
I've been writing my whole life, and always enjoyed it--but never considered becoming a novelist until the last few years. (Books are long, yo.) Now that I've actually written and edited a whole book (with tons of help, by the way), I'm hooked.
My Journey So Far:
I decided to write a whole book waay back in 2006. Back then, it was more of a child's dream (for all that I was an adult)--meaning I still didn't really grasp what that meant. And how much work it would take. Work that would have to be done before I would get any validation. (I may or may not have contacted an editor at a regional publishing house to ask about the idea I had. She was very nice, but did not offer me an advance to write it. Phooey.)
So I muddled through the first few chapters of that book... and then the first few chapters of another book... and a couple years went by. I didn't write much, and the stupid things refused to write themselves. Then, in early 2008, a colleague who knew I was dabbling in writing mentioned that he'd practically grown up in the home of Robyn Carr, who wrote women's fiction (which is romance, but with a lot of women's issues thrown in). So I emailed her. And she emailed me back. Repeat about 2000 times over the next year. Can I say how wonderful it is to have a mentor? Especially one with such a cool name? :)
Robyn suggested one day (in early 2008) that I consider writing YA, so I started thinking about a great YA fantasy book to write. I like challenging preconceived notions, so I eventually settled on pixies. Only, not the happy little nursery-school pixies like Peter's best friend. Pixies who are just like us. Who live in our world with us (yeah, I had to rewrite history a bit--it was fun), and who have the same kinds of struggles and worries and prejudices we messy humans have. Only, they also have to deal with pixie
Even though I finally had a great idea, I still didn't have a writing ethic. I had (still have) a full-time day-job, I was reading over 170 books a year, caring for three sons, and keeping a husband happy. Something had to give. (Sadly, it turned out to be reading--last year I read fewer than 140 books.) :(
I spent a year and a half on daydreaming the characters, the magic system, the rules of society, the history, etc. I wrote a few (now archived) chapters. I read some books on writing. It was slow going. Then, toward the end of 2009, my wonderful college-roommate-turned-book-blogging-friend Susan Jensen suggested we attend a writer's conference together in April of 2010. Turns out, I love deadlines! I finished the first half of the book before the LDStorymakers' 2010 conference and the rest by the end of 2010. Deadlines rock.
Also at the end of 2010, I joined the brand-new David Farland's Writer's Groups online forum. It was so new, I got to write the Critique Guide. And be a group leader for David's brother, Jim (the brain and brawn behind the whole thing). Which helped when I volunteered to co-host David Farland's Authors' Advisory Conference Calls. Which helped me become a panelist/moderator/gopher at Life, the Universe, and Everything in February 2011 in Provo, Utah. Which was pure fun.
My first edit of my novel was complete by March 2011, and my group, my family, and many, many of my wonderful writer friends have been helping me all year in polishing it up.
And now I'm learning that writing the next book is just as hard as writing the first book! What's with that?
So... anything else you want to know about me? :)
[Edited January 7, 2013]