Wednesday, 03 March 2010
By Jane Toombs
From childhood, though, my dream was to be a writer and in 1973 the dream came through. TULE WITCH, my first novel , a never-more-than-a-kiss-or-two Gothic, sold to Avon.
As most writers will confess, I write because I'm compelled to. During the years I worked as a nurse, characters carried on long conversations in my head, sometimes distracting me. My first husband called my writing "trash", not understanding it was a part of me. That, after five kids, eventually lead to divorce. I certainly never planned to marry again; but in the same writing class where I wrote my first book, the Gothic that sold, I met another writer, a widower. Eventually we married, adding two stepchildren to my five--though by then only three were still at home. He told me if I could sell a book, he could. A year later he did. Our agent hooked us up with packagers and soon I was too busy to work more than part-time as a nurse. He finally retired so he could write full time. He died suddenly in 1994, before we completed a book about WWI we were both working on ..
These many years later, I finally finished that book, NIGHTINGALE MAN, recently published by Champagne Books. Quite a departure from what I usually write, which ranges from historical to paranormal romance, such as my most recent more-than-a-single-kiss Gothic, NULL AND VOID, published by Red Rose Publishing, and soon to be in paperback as well as electronic. In contrast the WWI book is not a romance, though it does contain a few romantic scenes . In addition to writing, I've come to enjoy helping aspiring writers learn the do-s and don't-s of getting published. I should be no surprise , since everyone in my family was a teacher, going back several generations. I never wanted to teach children, but I find I enjoy helping adults.
A writer friend, Janet Lane Walters and I, winding down after a busy conference day, took advantage of the hotel's one free drink--which turned out to be a rather stiff one. Feeling no pain, we decided we'd write a non-fiction book about writing and suggested funny chapter titles to each other, which I wrote down on a napkin. The conference ended and she returned to New York State and I came back to Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Months later I opened my email one morning and found the first chapter from her. Not to be outdone, I wrote a chapter myself and sent it back. This went on for a year, both of us editing each others work until what had started out merely as a challenge to see who could think up the zaniest title for a chapter, became an actual book. We were happy when Zumaya snapped it up and published it, then thrilled when BECOMING YOUR OWN CRITIQUE PARTNER won an Eppie Award for best non-fiction book.All my recent books are available either at the publishers, Fictionwise, Amazon, etc.
Or you can click on a buy button at my website.