Why do you write? How did you get started in writing?
These are two questions I am often asked and when I tell the story I tend to receive very puzzled looks. You see, until about ten years ago I didn’t read fiction – at ALL. Nope, not at all. Reading and writing came later in life for me. Here’s the scoop:
The ‘want’ to write came to me a little better than ten years ago. I had just finished the course work for my Master of Business Administration degree and found I had a boatload of time on my hands. I always held a full-time and part-time job while attending college at night, and suddenly I found I had nothing to do with my evenings which had previously been consumed with studying. I was bored.
An avid reading friend of mine handed me a Janet Evanovich book and I promptly said, “No thanks.” The last thing I wanted to do was read anything. I’d read enough text books to last me a lifetime, and up to this point in my life I had never read for pleasure. She pushed the book toward me and urged me to read it. I read that book in two days, and then I read every book Evanovich penned. When I was done with her I moved on to JA Konrath and Leanne Banks. I logged over 50 books read in the first year. They were much easier reading than text books I was accustom to. You know, those enjoyable 600 page Finance and Accounting textbooks. Then, one night, out of the blue, I dreamt up Detective Nick Spinelli and I thought to myself that he would be an awesome character for Evanovich to write. I told my avid reading friend about the dream and my thoughts that Evanovich should use him as a character in a new series and she looked at me and said, “Or, you could just write about him yourself.” Huh, how had that not occurred to me? That said, the character of Detective Nick Spinelli was born.
Easy, peasy, right? Write the book. Submit it to an agent. Land a contract. Let the money roll in. Well, it didn’t quite happen that way. Instead, I received rejection after rejection. Not understanding where went wrong, I decided to join a writer’s group in hopes to learn more about the craft of writing and the path to publication. Luckily, an experienced writer in the group took pity on me and offered to look at the manuscript. I almost cried when the manuscript came back from her so red-lined I could hardly see black letters at all. It was like a bucket of blood had been dumped on it, but once I got over the initial shock that I was a big fat failure that knew nothing about writing, I began to read through the comments she’d left on the pages. The first comment being, “It may not look like it from all the red-line, but this is actually quite a good story.” So, my story was GOOD! She went on to say that once I honed in on the craft of writing this story would sell. With that, the rewrites of book one of the Spinelli series started. It took me longer to do the re-write than write the original book. When I was finished, I submitted the book to two publishers and both made an offer for it!
So, that’s the how, and part of the why, I got started in writing, now for more of the why…I actually find writing to be therapeutic. I work daily in a fast-paced, detail oriented environment with a lot of deadlines at my day job. I find entering the fictional world of happy ever after’s, before and after work, is a refreshing change from the daily grind. It gets my creative juices flowing and provides and escape from reality. It’s reenergizing.
Now, writing and publishing is still not all unicorns and rainbows, but I did finally make it to the USA Today Bestselling Author listJ
Today, I’m taking us on a trip back to the past. We’ll take a look at the first Nick Spinelli romance mystery book, my first published book, titled Covert Exposure, a Nick Spinelli Mystery. In celebration, my publisher has marked it down to $.99 on Amazon.
Spinelli turned away from Shannon and took a step.
“Wait,” the desperation in her voice was unmistakable.
He spun around. She stepped toward him, reached up, wrapped her arms around his neck, and pulled him toward her. She pressed her soft moist lips to his. Her lips parted, inviting him in. His tongue caressed hers, slow, and controlled at first, but not for long. She met his quickening pace. She wove her fingers through his hair. He clasped his hands around her waist and pulled her tight to his body. Shock, pleasure, and heat spread through him like wildfire. He kissed her deeper, harder, wetter, and longer. He explored every ounce of her mouth absorbing her sweet flavor. His heart raced. He slid his lips from her mouth to her jaw, to her neck. She tilted her head back. A soft groan escaped her lips. He whispered her name and all of a sudden, as if hearing the sound of her name slapped her back into reality she pulled herself from him and stepped back. She looked confused.
He stepped toward her, and she stepped back.
“Are you okay?” Spinelli asked.
She threw her hand over her mouth and shook her head.
“What’s the matter?”
“I’m so sorry. I can’t believe I did that.”
Spinelli raised an eyebrow. “Did what, kissed me?”
“Yes,” she whispered.
Spinelli went out on a limb. “Well if it’s any consolation, I didn’t mind,” he teased, trying to lighten the moment.
He fought the urge to smile.
“Didn’t you like the kiss?” Judging from her initial response their first kiss, he was confident it was safe to ask.
“That’s not the point.”
“So you did like it.”
She shifted her eyes to her feet.
“Well?” he pressed.
She lifted her gaze and met his. Her chest rose as she sucked in a breath. “It doesn’t matter if I did or didn’t, it’s not going to happen again.”
He stared at her, speechless, convinced his ears had deceived him. They’d perhaps just shared the most intimate sensual kiss of his life. Was it possible she could kiss like that and not mean it? Was she afraid, and if so, afraid of what?
His mind raced for something to say. He came up empty. He inched toward her, and reached for her. She stopped him with her hand. “It’s just not going to work. We’re two very different people. I’m sorry,” she stammered.
Spinelli stood in the hallway, dumfounded. In silence, he watched as she turned and entered her apartment, shutting the door behind her. That’s it. A crater the size of the Grand Canyon filled his chest where his heart used to be.
Valerie Clarizio is a USA Today Bestsellingauthor who lives in romantic Door County Wisconsin with her husband and extremely spoiled cat. She loves to read, write, and spend time at her cabin in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
She’s lived her life surrounded by men, three brothers, a husband, and a male Siamese cat who required his own instruction manual. Keeping up with all the men in her life has turned her into an outdoors enthusiast, of which her favorite activity is hiking in national parks. While out on the trails, she has plenty of time to conjure up irresistible characters and unique storylines for her next romantic suspense or sweet contemporary romance novel.
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