Suzan lives in the Midwest with her verra handsome carpenter husband and the youngest of their four children. Her grandchildren are perfect, no matter what their parents might say.
My Accidental Journey
I've been writing since childhood. Everything from short stories, full length novels, screenplays and even poetry. I wrote because I loved it and it was also a means of escaping. I was horribly, painfully introverted. My stories allowed me to be whoever I wanted to be.
My secret dream was to be an author, but I never thought it would be possible. I knew how hard it was to 'get published' so I didn't even bother to submit any of my work to a traditional publishing house.
It was an accidental journey to becoming a full time, published author. I tell people that I didn't do it on purpose, even though it was a lifelong dream.
It started out as a whim of sorts. I wanted to give my mother a Kindle for her birthday. I thought it would be a hoot if when she turned the Kindle on for the first time, the first book she saw would be something I had written. And so it began.
I would get up at 3:30 every morning just to write. At the time, we only had one computer in the house so very early morning hours were my only opportunity to write. My husband thought I was getting up early to play Farmville!
I shared a few chapters with a very dear friend of mine, thinking she'd say "Cute. But don't give up your day job." I was floored when she emailed me back and said, "Where is the rest of it?? I want to read more!" I thought she was just being nice.
Somewhere along the way, my husband had discovered my little book on the computer. I had to come clean and explain to him what I was doing. I also asked him for help. I'm not a technical person, but I figured there had to be a way to get my book onto Mamma's Kindle. Now, anyone who knows my husband knows what a research nut he is. Give him the most obscure or offbeat or technical idea or question and he'll research the heck out of it! I had explained to him that I had seen a link at Amazon that said "Publish Your Book To Kindle," but that I hadn't bothered with it. I was convinced that all I needed was a 'cord' of some sort to hook up between my computer and Mamma's Kindle.
A few days later, my husband informed me that I couldn't just put my book on mom's Kindle. I had to actually publish it. I believed him. He's smart, this husband of mine, and he'd never lied to me before.
I figured what the heck, go for it. What did I have to lose? No one would want to buy my book anyway. Now, deep down I had a secret desire to actually sell a copy, but I wouldn't speak the words out loud. I thought it would be wonderful if I sold just ten little copies. In my lifetime. Ten. That was a good goal.
Without the aid of an editor or cover artist and not having a clue what I was doing, I decided to go for it. I figured that I didn't want to wake up on my 60th birthday and wonder what if.... So In December of 2011 I published Laiden's Daughter.
By February of 2012, it was number 2 on Amazon's Top 100 Best Seller's List! Blew. My. Mind. I thought it would take a lifetime to sell ten copies. I was certain it had to be a mistake of some kind. But when I started getting one message after another, one positive review after another, I realized it wasn't a mistake....I was now an author.
I was selling more than 250 copies a day! I didn't have a clue what that meant, if in fact it meant anything at all. All that I knew was that I was over-the-moon happy and people were asking for more!
I remember my first royalty check from Amazon/KDP. $78.69. I cried because I felt like I had arrived. By October of 2012, I was able to give up my day job (selling insurance) in order to write full time. That still blows my mind. I am able to do things now that would not have been possible prior to December of 2011. I have the most amazing life.
In all honesty, it has never been about the money; its always been about the writing. Are my books perfection personified? Hardly. But I do know that my writing gets better with each new book -- and that is how it should be. I want to write stories that people will enjoy. I want to help people escape the ordinary, for just a little while.
Now, I have a beautiful editor, a very talented cover artist, and other indie authors who are very dear friends. I even have a street team! Suzan's Highland Lassies. This is a group of beautiful, sweet and smart women who I consider dear friends. I couldn't get through a book launching without them!
I also believe I have the most beautiful readers anywhere. I know that I would not be where I am today if it were not for them.
So there you have it. I'm proof that dreams can come true and that happily-ever-afters are real.