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As far back as I can remember, I was a voracious reader. My parents read to me every night until I was old enough to read on my own, and then I spent every free minute with my nose in a book. We went to the library every week, and I spent all my allowance buying books. I read everything—fairy tales, mysteries, gothics, romances, mythology, non-fiction, cereal boxes, whatever I could find to read.
I wrote through high school, but hit a brick wall my first year in college. The course was Creative Writing 101, the teacher a battle ax who appeared to be older than Noah. And there were “rules”. Lots and lots of rules. Every paragraph must start with a theme sentence. No sentence could ever end in a preposition. You couldn’t do this and you couldn’t do that, but you had to inject certain things, even if they destroyed the concept of the story. Boring, dull, stifling. So much for writing. So much for school, as a matter of fact. Or so I thought. Because fate had other ideas. One day, a catalog from a local community college arrived in the mail. I flipped though it idly, and my attention riveted onto one of the courses: “How to write a book and get it published.” It was actually a one-day seminar, a non-credit course. I felt the lure of that course as strongly as the tides feel the pull of the moon. And I went.
My first rejection letter was a badly copied form letter that began “Dear Author”. The editor scratched though the “Dear Author” and wrote my name. Not an auspicious start. After picking myself up off the floor and devouring a great amount of chocolate, I filed away the rejection letter and started learning the writing craft in earnest. I joined Romance Writers of America®, as well as my local writer’s chapter, Dallas Area Romance Authors. I began reading Writer’s Digest and Romantic Times magazines, and learning everything I could about the publishing business. I joined a wonderful critique group and began getting feedback. I entered contests, submitted manuscripts to agents and editors, and received rejections (lots of rejections). But most importantly of all, I kept writing . . . and writing . . . and writing. I was determined to persevere.
Whatever your dream, I encourage you to never give up. I truly believe that it’s not necessarily the most talented writers (or actors or singers or cooks or fashion designers-whatever the goal) who “make it” but the ones who persevere and never give up. Learn as much as you can about your chosen field, focus your energy on what you want, and go for it.
More about Catherine Spangler...
Some of my favorite authors:
CHARMED: My essay on the show Charmed, will be included in the book Totally Charmed : Demons, Whitelighters and the Power of Three (Smart Pop series) , which will be available from BenBella Books in November 2005, edited by Jennifer Crusie, and includes essays from C.J. Barry, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Maggie Shane, Evelyn Vaughn, Rebecca York, and many others.
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Author's Site - Catherine Spangler.ComE-mail her through: Catherine's Contact page Or catch her blogging at: Catherine's Blog
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