Wednesday, April 5, 2023

IWSG: How it Started, How It's Going: My Writing Life

Welcome to the first Wednesday of the month. You know what that means! It's time to let our insecurities hang out. Yep, it's the Insecure Writer's Support Group blog hop. If you're a writer at any stage of career, I highly recommend this blog hop as a way to connect with other writers for support, sympathy, ideas, and networking. If you're a reader, it's a great way to peek behind the curtain of a writing life.

Our Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and hashtag is #IWSG. This month's co-hosts are: Jemima Pett, Nancy Gideon, and Natalie Aguirre!

April 5 question Do you remember writing your first book? What were your thoughts about a career path on writing? Where are you now and how is it working out for you? If you're at the start of the journey, what are your goals?


I feel like I just wrote my first book yesterday, though I'm realizing that it's been a decade now. Wow! I guess it's not just my kids that prove that time flies. (Let's not discuss the fact that the youngest is working on learning to drive). 

But yes, my forty-second birthday was the one where I finally made a real and lasting commitment to my writing life, and started finishing and submitting things. Though I was always "going to be a writer" starting around first grade, it was always a far-flung "someday" kind of dream up until then, waters I waded into from time to time, when the weather was nice, but nothing I worked at consistently. 

And here I am now about to turn fifty-two, so yep, that makes ten years. 

From one book to 32 books (counting anthologies)

In 2013, I finished Going Through the Change, the first novel in the Menopausal Superhero series. It was the second book I'd ever gotten all the way to "the end" on, and the one to earn me my first publishing contract. I had pretty big dreams about the difference that writing contract would make in my life--fame and fortune looming large. 

In reality, I have had slow, steady sales in the intervening years as I continued to write more books, survived the closing of a publisher and signed with another one. My biggest paycheck to date meant that my children were extra spoiled come winter holidays, but it wasn't life-changing. 

But in the meantime, my dreams have changed. I don't actually want to be famous. I wouldn't mind at all if my books got famous--optioned and made into a Netflix series or discovered by Reese Witherspoon's book club or something. But the small glimpses into public life I get when I give readings or serve as a guest at a convention have shown me that I don't actually want the kind of fame where people get nosy about your private life. 

I'm more focused on the joy writing brings me, and staying disciplined so that I get to tell all the stories teeming in my brain. 

I'm working on the fifth and final novel in the Menopausal Superheroes series right now, and have hopes of finishing a draft by summer. 

Four novels, two novellas, a short story collection, and all the short works in one volume. 

My publisher (Falstaff Books of Charlotte, NC) plans to release the first of a two-volume omnibus edition this summer, then the final novel in 2024, and the second half of the omnibus edition. Not bad for a little idea that came about because I was frustrated that superhero characters were always so darn young. 

While I've worked on these books, I've also dabbled in short fiction, mostly horror, and have seen my work included in twenty-three anthologies at this point (with another one on the near horizon).  

It's really nice to feel like I'm closing this chapter of my writing life and can jump into some of the other stories I haven't been able to tell--that Gothic romance I started a couple of years back, my witch-craft themed middle grades idea, the historical fiction trilogy based loosely on a family legend, etc. 

So, I'm not rich or famous, but I'm happier than I've ever been before and writing is at the heart of who I am now instead of a someday-I-will dream. 

Thanks to all my friends and family (and fellow IWSGers) who have traveled this road with me so far. I can't wait to see what's around the next bend! 


  1. Think most writers just want the books to be famous and not themselves. Most of us are too introverted for that. LOL

  2. I'm laughing at Patricia's comment because I was thinking the same thing. :)

    It's so amazing and awesome what you've accomplished with your writing over the last decade. Best of luck with your future projects!!

  3. Yep with the above. If it is making you happy, then keep it up!

  4. Congrats on your success. Let's hope Grace gets smart and discovers your stuff. :-)

    Anna from elements of emaginette

  5. I know I'm not the "ideal reader" or aimed market, but I've always wondered why there aren't more books like what you have here. Why are so many aiming for the YA/NA market? I actually asked around what the label or code is for fiction aimed at the "people over 50" market. Lots of professionals scoffed and said, "it's just adult, no one is selling specifically to them." But you'll market to college kids who lack both time and money? Righty then. I actually got kicked off a forum just for putting the idea out there of any kind of "senior-friendly fiction." Why?
    So BRAVO to you for not only writing it, but making them superheroes. 👏🏽🌹 I hope you reach Stephen King levels of success with these and the whole publishing industry has to admit that people over 50, 60, 70... are capable of buy and reading books and ENJOY having main characters of their own age! You go out there and give 'em heck.

    Happy IWSG day! Here's a giveaway-
    It's April, so I'm focused on the #AtoZChallenge.
    Proof of Existence, book two in my dark urban fantasy series, is out this month.
    I'm running another giveaway on my blog.

    J Lenni Dorner (he/him 👨🏽 or 🧑🏽 they/them) ~ Reference& Speculative Fiction Author, OperationAwesome6 Debut Author Interviewer, and Co-host of the #AtoZchallenge

    1. Hi J! It's been a while. Thanks so much! My menopausal superheroes bring me joy, and a way to work through my aging angst while having fun.