A comment on one of my posts reminded me of how I came to finally write my first novel. Laura wrote, “Someday I may be brave enough to write, but I only manage to get so far and then stop.” I understand how she feels because, although I never had a problem writing short stories, the thought of writing a novel overwhelmed me. My dream had always been to write novels but something held me back. A novel! Thousands and thousands of words; a huge commitment of time. Could I even sustain a story for three hundred pages?
I first came up with the idea for Mixed Messages in 1995. I spent the next seven years (yes, you read that correctly) taking notes, doing research and plotting my first novel. Friends and family encouraged me and I wanted to write it . . . but I was stuck; I couldn’t get started. Then, two things happened that both inspired and motivated me. In April 2002, I went to a book signing of Daddy’s Little Girl and got to meet and actually talk with Mary Higgins Clark, the Queen of Suspense. I told her of my “plans” to write a novel. She simply smiled at me and said, “Write that novel!” Then, she wrote those words in my copy of her book and signed it.
I was inspired after hearing Mary’s words but I wasn’t quite there yet. A few months later, I was telling a good friend of mine, Lisa, about my inability to actually start the book and she said something like, “You’re letting the thought of writing a whole book intimidate you. You only need to write one chapter at a time.” And the light came on! Now, all these years later, I have two completed novels and I’ll be embarking on a third soon. I hope that Laura won’t wait as long as I did to “Write that novel!”