When I made the decision to become an indie author, I was 68 years old. I had been writing books since I was in my teens. I've often joked that when I wrote the first draft of what became Round the Bend, I was the age of the heroine. When I made the decision to publish it, I was the age of what would have been her grandmother. The book went through as many metamorphoses in the intervening nearly fifty years as I had. During that time I never quit writing love stories with the Western ethos, set in the land I love and know best. Writing and what came later with publishing has led me down many paths.
This fall, when I was invited to join a group blog called Sweethearts of the West, I had to consider whether I had anything to offer. I read the articles by its other authors, liked the mix of history, Western Americana, and travel through the land west of the Mississippi River. With a diverse group of authors, you never know what will turn up, and every two days, it is something new.
In joining it, I left another group blog, Smart Girls Read Romance. I liked it also but had less feeling for what I could offer. Sweethearts is easier for me due to my love of western history, traveling Western states, and my own books. The big thing about joining a blog, for me, is feeling I have something to contribute.
One thing, if you are a writer, you learn that you have to write what comes to you. Okay, there are some writers, who write to the market, many because it's the support of their family, but for most, they try to blend that with what they love. A writer feels joy when writing to their core beliefs and loves-- as well as what they know best. This works for blogs as well as books.
For my first piece there, I wrote a bit about my childhood and how that influences what I write. Where I've written more about my life today, I've written less about those growing and learning years. Some of that is because of what I wrote last week-- I don't think on those years much. Seeing how it mattered, how it was still a factor in who I am, I made myself go back there. Even more, I came to see how it still influences my books. Here is a snippet from that blog.
A WWII baby, as I became a child, the United States was coming off a major war, and we were under the threat of a nuclear holocaust. If we could forget that, our schools had bomb shelters where we were supposed to go in the event of an attack (exactly what those were supposed to benefit us, I'm not sure as we all knew about the dangers of radiation). Despite the Cold War and a soon to be hot one in Korea, I consider it a rich time in which to grow up.So, head on over to the link where I did what I rarely do-- looked back at what influenced the woman I am today, the life I lead, and what I write. If you are interested in Western Americana, I think you'll like this group blog and learn something or have your memories refreshed by the articles.