87% of our population has at least one story to tell—one that should be told.

Many people ask what it’s like to be an author as if it is something mystical, so after finishing the final draft of Webs of Perception (the concluding and most challenging novel in the stand-alone Web Series), attaching it to an email for my publisher, and hitting SEND, I decided to share my journey.

My journey is not the typical one. Ask a score of writers why they chose to become an author and you’ll get a score of responses. Each somewhat unique.  The same is true if you ask how we write (schedule, inspiration, method, etc.)

In my opinion that two essentials in becoming an author are a love of story and a passion for the story within you. All else can me learned.

Although I was known as a storyteller before I entered kindergarten, I did not commit my stories to paper until later in life. I will not bore you with my checkered resume, before becoming an author–the most fulfilling of all my careers. (if interested, there are long and short bios on my website).

Unfortunately, as I was growing up my creativity overflowed into spelling, each error circled in red. Therefore, I never dreamed of becoming an author. However, after I resigned from my management position in the fashion industry to assist my severely deaf daughter through high school, I quickly discovered retirement was not for me.

I began writing some articles for Savvy magazine and professional journals on management skills, interviewing techniques, time management, negotiating skills, etc. At that time, one of my first obstacles was learning my way around a computer.

Soon after learning what I needed to know, stories began forming in my head. As the former head of personnel and organization development for Bullocks Wilshire–the up-scale specialty store division, of Bullock’s Department Stores (now Macy’s Inc which includes Bloomingdales) I became intrigued by the changing world of department stores and was captivated by many of the fascinating individuals who inhabited that glamourous and tumultuous world.

While I knew there were stories I wanted to tell, I didn’t know where to begin. Therefore, I enrolled in a novel writing class at Long Beach City College with Frank Gaspar, and took additional classes from best selling author, Elizabeth George, Raymond Obstfeld, and Maralys Wills.

The backgrounds of my Web Series novels are based on real events, and the characters are based on the movers and shakers who inhabit that world—the main characters are based on ones I have worked with—others I’ve created through research. This series is set in the insatiable retail industry of the 1980s through the ever-changing present. However, I never allow the facts to stand in the way of a riveting story.

Personalities and professional lives in the retail world are true to life. However, personal lives are pure fiction—or so I thought.

However, a few years ago, while on a book tour, I spoke with the two individuals who inspired the characters of Viviana De Mornay (director of fashion merchandising—then owner of an upscale boutique on 5th Ave.) and Glenn Nelson (former buyer and Viviana’s business partner)

During our time together, I discovered my imagination conjured up facets of their lives that were more fact than fiction.

As I began my very first novel in what was to become the Web Series, I had no idea I would be writing a series. At the time I thought it would be awesome to write a novel. However, by the time I finished that first novel, my characters had taken on lives of their own. They had more stories to tell.

My first attempt at writing a novel, which I called Bentleys Royale was met with a drawer full of rejections. However, by then the entire retail landscape was changing. Many reputable, established department store conglomerates began to go under and the business in America became the taking over of business through hostile takeovers. This became the background of my first published novel, Webs of Power. That was followed by Twisted Webs, which introduced the Taylor twins. To my delight several of my readers expressed a desire to learn more about their favorite character from Webs of Power and/or Twisted Webs. My first unpublished novel, originally called Bentleys Royale fit that bill. It introduced all but one of my major characters and had a riveting plot. Therefore, I thought this would be an easy rewrite. Not so. After going through the editing process with my first two published novels, it was clear why Bentleys Royale had been rejected. I began to rewrite this novel from a blank computer screen. The first 60 pages of the original manuscript never made it into the novel which became Webs of Fate—a prequel–and sequentially, the first of the stand-alone Web Series. This was followed by Unpredictable Webs, the second novel featuring the Taylor twins, who make only cameo appearances in the fifth novel in the series, Conflicting Webs. The last of the Web Series is Webs of Perception— Things aren’t always what they seem . . .On a semester-at-sea program for the arts, twin sisters Callie and Marnie Taylor suffer separate tragedies when a rogue wave broadsides their ship, the Rising Star. One twin struggles with autobiographical amnesia. The other lost at sea. Or is she?

Why has it taken me three years to write Webs of Perception?

As with each new novel, I begin with characters whose lives, desires and obstacles I am drawn to and find compelling, hoping my readers will as well. I also strive to make each novel more intriguing that the one before.

Since this blog is already longer than intended, I will share the hiccups and joys of writing a series in the next blog.

 

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