How long did it take you to become published?

Ten years. Ten years, four manuscripts, two finaling nominations in RWA’s national writing contest, and one critique partner.

As a stay-at-home mom, I wrote whenever I could find the time. But the effort was only me—one woman—toiling away alone. Looking back, I kept my work too close for too long. It wasn’t until I buckled down and found a critique partner that my writing shifted into high gear. (Thank you, Cheri Allan!)

Through it all, I never really considered giving up. I just kept going back to it, again and again, despite rejections or reaching the end of a book and still feeling it wasn’t ready.

I had a casual goal of being published by age 40, and I missed it by two years, but I didn’t sweat it. My attitude has always been: There’s no deadline on life…until you’re dead. And I wasn’t dead, I simply hadn’t made it yet.

All tolled, it took me ten years of writing, pitching, and entering contests to get published. Another manuscript I wrote during those years, a contemporary suspense called “Good Guy in Disguise,” has still never seen the light of day.

The first book I ever wrote became The Virgin and the Viscount. The Earl Next Door was the third manuscript I ever wrote, but my first published book.

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