This month we’re celebrating March, and the part it played in my first novel, The Distant Shore.
I wrote this book seven years ago, mostly to entertain myself while I supervised the detention room at the local middle school. There were many hours when there were no students to talk to, calm down, help with their work, so I began bringing in my laptop.
Stuck between bookshelves, looking out at a neat row of tables and chairs, I dipped into the exciting world of Jon Stone and Naomi, his first and only love.
While the smell of iffy school lunches drifted along the corridors and up the stairway, I was standing with Jon Stone—brilliant musician and rock star—on the deck of his Malibu house while he read the letter that will take him around the world to find his lost love. I was with him as he stood outside the small hotel in Norway where he wondered what to do next. Would he go inside and confront Naomi? Or would he walk away and let bygones be bygones?
He was freezing, standing there in the wind and snow of a Norwegian March day, his silk shirt and leather jacket useless against the cold.
I stood inside the hotel with Naomi when she realized that the tall, dark-haired man talking to the receptionist was her beloved, Jon. How could she not recognize his voice, the beautiful baritone that won him so many fans all over the world? How could she not fall in love all over again?
I had no idea where The Distant Shore would take me.
I was happily bumbling through the story, exploring byways and sidetracks, tweeting about it to my friends, sharing snippets on my blog and Facebook, never thinking about publishing it. It was my sweet parallel world where I went to play whenever I had time. Everything was perfect.
Until a publisher found me on Twitter. They read my blog, they found the excerpts. And they wanted the full manuscript, now.
I replied that it wasn’t ready. They said they’d wait.
The next six weeks were sheer terror. I got up at five in the morning and edited.
I went to school and my detention room and edited.
I came home, made supper for my family, and edited.
I carved a 136,000 publishable novel out of my tome of over 400,000 words.
I submitted it. And it got accepted.
This story is true.
Now, seven years later, my publisher Buddhapuss Ink has released five of my books—the Stone Series—about Jon and Naomi, their family and friends, their children, their hopes and dreams, their love, their life.
I am living the writer’s dream. Continue reading