Wow, was I young.
I was looking through the scrapbook I kept during the early years of my career and found this old article from a Richmond, Virginia newspaper. For the first several years of my writing career, I maintained my private practice as a clinical social worker. It was so hard to make the choice between my two careers, but as I began writing my fourth novel, Keeper of the Light, with its painfully tight deadline, I knew I had to choose one career over the other. No regrets, although I loved working with my clients as much as I love working with my characters.
Speaking of my characters, what is this headline all about? I’ve always devised ways to get to know my characters better, and throwing parties for them was so much fun. I’d put myself in a mini-trance and imagine my characters together at a party. Did they arrive on foot, an SUV, a convertible? What were they wearing? Were they comfortable approaching one another or were they painfully introverted? I loved learning more about my characters by observing their interaction.
The first time I threw a party for my characters was during the writing of my first book, Private Relations. In my imagination, I eventually showed up at the party myself to find that none of my characters would talk to me. I was hurt and a little miffed. I finally approached one of the guys and asked him why. He gave me a nasty look and said, “You expect us to talk to you after all you’ve putting us through?” Chastened, I slunk out the door.
Okay, so now you probably think I need a therapist myself. I admit that in my early days, I overdid everything related to my writing, consumed with the rapture of creation. Things are different now, primarily due to the fact that authors must do so much more than “just write.” We must maintain our websites, write our blogs, keep up with our Facebook pages and on and on. Yet, I spent today revising my work-in-progress and I can tell you, many things may have changed, but the rapture remains the same.
I think I’ll go out on the porch and throw a party.