“I had a dream I planted some seeds. I thought they would grow flowers but instead they grew snakes. Yuk!”
This is a parphrased version of my first ever published story. I was five or six and it was printed in a school newsletter. It was thirty plus years later before any of my work appeared in print again. That’s what I call an apprenticeship.
I penned a lot of dark, tragic stories interspersed with comedic adventures that starred my high school friends and various made up (aka: too-good-to-be-true) boys. All this before I even knew what a romance novel was. I was sixteen when I picked up my first Harlequin Temptation (A Gift of Wildflowers by Georgia Bockoven), and it literally changed my life. I found a world where things always ended on a positive note and the awkward girl with the frizzy hair could get the hot guy. This was the kind of world an awkward girl with frizzy hair such as I wanted to inhabit.
So I wrote a romance novel. It sucked. I wrote some more and they still sucked, then I gave up for an extended period of time. I worked as a bartender, where I used to write story ideas and snatches of dialogue on the back of flyers for $2 drink specials, before tossing them in the bin at the end of the night’s work. I tried again some years later, writing the story that would later be revised and become my first published novel. But at the time I was convinced nobody was going to buy it so I got a business degree and worked at a few ‘real’ jobs that sucked even worse than being an aspiring, oft-rejected writer slash bartender. My Princess was a baby when I got the news from Samhain Publishing that they wanted to buy Born Again Virgin. I was heavily pregnant with the Cherub when I wrote Chasing Sunset, and I had them both underfoot when I wrote Sunset Knight.
Now I work part-time, mother full-time and write whenever I can. Princess and Cherub are still underfoot a lot of the time but they make me laugh so I let them get away with it. I love to hear from readers, especially when they say nice stuff about my books. I have an email address (sami at samilee dot com–real easy to remember), a twitter handle, a facebook page, a blog, and a group blog at the Down Under Divas. Links on the left. It’d be pretty hard not to run into me, really. So next time you do, say hi.