What made you decide to be a writer?
I think writing picked me. As far back as I can remember I have made up and written stories. My Grandma Drexie used to buy me Big Chief tablets and I would fill them from back to front with short stories I had made up, almost always about a girl and her horse.
When I grew up, I skipped college, which I never regretted. (I did go to a finishing school, which is material for a comedy on it's own). I wanted to work for a newspaper, but they always wanted me to sell advertising, which wasn't what I wanted. So, I got a job in radio and I fell in love. A career was born. I wrote news stories, ad copy, and even wrote my own material for my show. However, after a while, speaking became so easy for me that it simpler to just make an outline of what I wanted to say. After awhile, it became so second nature that all I had to do was simply write down a word and it would remind me of what I wanted to talk about.
Soon, I had a speaking career in addition to my broadcasting. Still, rather than write the whole speech out, I would do a broad outline. Needless to say, when my speaking career took off, my writing took a backseat.
When I moved to Washington, DC 8 years ago, I knew that my radio/speaking career was over. I tried my hand at writing articles and mass mailing them to my friends. Ha! I am sure they all found it annoying, but they were too sweet to say anything about it. Other than an article that made the front page of my hometown newspaper, I never thought I'd ever write anything significant again.
Fast forward to 2006! It was a year after our family was forced to leave our home, our neighborhood, even the county for our personal safety. I was incredibly angry and frustrated, not to mention sad.
I started "Hillbilly Debutante" as an escape, a way to save my sanity. I hadn't done anything creative in years. Humor has always been a major outlet for me, and through my writing I felt like I'd connected with a long lost friend. The feedback has been so positive. Not only from people I know, but from YOU!!
I can't even begin to tell you how much my readers and their comments - your comments have changed the quality of my life.
Soon, there came a point when I knew I had to do something to regain all that I'd lost when he were forced to flee. And it had to be something of monetary value.
A book was the only answer. Every time I tried to come up with another plan, this nagging voice inside me kept saying, "Write the book." Everytime I'd feel lower than a snake's belly, thinking there is no way out of this situation the voice inside me would say, "Write the book."
By the time it is finished, with publication, etc. it will have taken two years of my life. Nine if you count the years my family lived the nightmare that inspired the story.
I know that's vague. So many of you are curious about the book and the story line, but until my publisher gives me the 'okay', I can't say any more. I will tell you that when you are finished with the book, in the very, very last chapter, it will tell you why writing the book was necessary, when I very much would have rather moved on.
Until next time,