Age isn't a factor. At age 80, after working nine years at it, I made my dreams come true. I am an ordinary woman. If I can do it, so can you. You have self-empowerment and you can do whatever you want with your life. Just don't grow weary and give up.
I was born in Farrell, PA, in 1920, and had a wonderful life there in spite of the Depression. I graduated in 1938, attended Nyack Missionary Institute, National Bible Institute, Hunter College, and graduated from Albany State Teachers College (now SUNY) in 1946, Summa Cum Laude. I taught high school social studies and English in Averill Park and Northville until 1978. After three retirement years my husband Guy died suddenly. I now live with my daughter Daphne and her husband in Fultonville, NY. My other daughter, Jennifer, lives 30 miles away. They trade me off!
When I was 71 years old, (in 1991) I wrote my first novel in six weeks. What triggered this fantastic accomplishment? I was too lazy to go to the Amsterdam, NY, library for my usual bag of books. I said to myself, "I'll write my own book"--which I did.
A couple of months before this I had read my first paperback romance novel. Since I only read murder-mysteries, the title fooled me. It was PARTNERS IN CRIME by Anne Stuart. I fell in love with the romance genre. Like so many other people, I thought they must be easy to write since they were so easy to read.
I wrote my first novel in pencil, in long hand and on lined paper. On my way home from taking my grandson Matthew to his bus stop, I would think of what I would write next. I wrote 10-15 pages a day. Then I had to buy a word processor, learn to use it and type my hand written pages.
I thought it was perfect.
Alas, editors didn't and LESSONS IN LOVE became my first rejection. In the following nine years I wrote five more books. The rejections kept coming until my folder was more than four inches thick. Those simple, easy romances were the hardest thing in the world to get published.
Did that deter me? Hell, no! (Please forgive the language from an older woman!)
I realized I had to learn the craft. I joined RWA and my helpful Saratoga Romance Writers, went to many conferences, attended workshops and read HOW-TO books.
Finally, in 1999, at age 80, Avalon bought my first book ONLY FOR A YEAR, followed quickly with THE TYCOON AND THE SCHOOL TEACHER (2000), THE LOVE POTION (2001) and THE WEDDING CAKE (2005).
In 2000 I received The Eddy 2000 Edward H. "Eddie" Pattison Award for creativity, energy, leadership and was inducted in the Farrell High School Hall of Fame on November 5, 2005.
At age 87, PublishAmerica published my 5th book, A SURGEON'S MIRACLE.
At 88, my 6th book, The Christmas Ball is now available. It is a sweet Christmas paranormal anthology of four unique ghost stories based on the 'haunted' houses in my family--with a child's red ball the most unusual ghost of all as it bounces in and out of the four stories.
NEVER A COUGAR (2010) was my 90th birthday present to me. Its sequel DREW GETS IT RIGHT came out in 2011. Both by WriteWords, Inc, WIFE: LOST AND FOUND will come out in 2013 by WriteWords. A 9th book is almost finished.
I'm not finished with dreaming. I want to create a memorable character who will live with readers forever. Anne Shirley of Anne of Green Gables is real to me--as is Scarlett from Gone With The Wind.
Then, because I'm so proud of my immigrant heritage we all in Farrell have, I want to be published in Polish. They love romance in Poland.
I will never give up on my dreams.
And don't you, either.