First of all, thank you to Elizabeth for nominating me! You can find her blog tour at www.elizabethwriter.blogspot.com. I've been through a really rough past year and I'll take all the exposure I can get!
I've written stories for as long as I can remember. Even as far back as early grade school, I've written. I remember especially a teacher who gave us a notebook with some kind of scribble on it, and we had to make a picture using the squiggle and tell a story about it. This was maybe, second or third grade, I think.
I wrote my first long story in high school, what eventually became my first publication, ONCE UPON A WESTERN WAY. I published that in 2012 through a website called Smashwords. But I never understood that, without the backing of big-name publishing houses, I would have to be my own marketing director. I sold five copies in two years. Had over three hundred dwnloads when I made the book free. But aside from telling my family and friends, I really didn't do much in the way of selling my book, assuming that since it was now out there, it would sell itself.
So Why I Do What I Do?
I never intended to make a job out of writing, it was a career path that was intrinsically unstable, never guaranteeing a paycheck, and besides, I wasn't very good at working under a deadline. I prefer to write at my own pace. At times, my writing was completely set aside, as family, jobs, and simply LIFE itself came around.I was a type A personality, always striving to do my best even at minimum wage jobs. I was busy at home too, with two daughters, three or four dogs at any given time, and even a horse that I raised and trained myself.
I wasn't quite 38 years old when cancer struck me down.I wouldn't wish cancer and its treatment on even my greatest enemy. Well, okay, maybe someone like Hitler. Or maybe not. I was given extremely high doses of chemo drugs, medications so damaging to tissues that the staff practically had to wear a HAZMAT suit just to administer it. During the first treatment, I started bleeding internally and nearly died.I won't go into all the boring details here. Suffice it to say that all this illness and treatment has changed me from the person I was before, into a person that I'm still learning about.
Before my cancer I had begun work on an e-book I intended to offer free, called KEEPING A BACKYARD HORSE. It was my hope to put together a very simple, easy-to-read horse care book (instead of a huge book full of technical terms that might scare off an average horse owner!), and explain the basics of what a horse needs to stay healthy. I hope this book will help spare horses from what I call "accidental neglect", neglect that comes out of owner ignorance.I also wanted to use my experience with cancer to help inspire others out there suffering from it as well. Often, we think of cancer as a death sentence, the end of the road, sayanara. But it doesn't have to be. Cancer took away the life I led before, and I'll likely never be strong enough to return to the work force.
Now I'm taking the opportunity to renew my love of writing, and my new-found ability to publish in print as well as for e-format.For that, I owe my friend Denise (Mercer) Blackwell. Denise found me on Facebook while I was ill, and as she's also a published writer, she encouraged me to walk the same path. Without her friendship and encouragement, I might not have made it this far. I'd like to take a moment to nominate her to attach a short blog, and I hope she knows what a big influence she has been for me. Kudos Denise, I love ya!Check out her inspirational book at www.createspace.com/40754811