How did you come up with your story?
Every writer has had someone ask them that question. Where did it come from? Why did you write it? And so on…
I’ve always loved reading; it was my way to escape school and family hassles. I used to daydream a lot too, creating fanciful stories in my head. Occasionally I even wrote them down. But as an adult, even though I wanted to write fiction (made my living writing technical manuals), I never felt I had something to say. Finally about ten years ago, I found my voice. I decided to write about two things I know a fair amount about—horses and using energy to heal. Horses are easy. They’ve been a life-long passion. I started riding when I was three and have done a great variety of horse-related activities. As for energetic healing, I came to that modality as a patient, then discovered I have some ability in the area. So, while not trained, I have learned a lot about using alternative healing methods.
These two ideas gave me a starting point to center a story around. My favorite genre is romantic suspense, so I set out to create a mystery story with a heroine who works with horses and people, loosely based on several people I know who do this type of work.
Since this is fiction, I took literary liberties with some of the incidents, but the descriptions of using energy to heal are based on what I’ve seen and experienced. Of course, the horse stuff is true to life.
I knew this story wouldn’t be an easy sell, partly because it didn’t fit in any one category. Cross-genre books weren’t accepted at that time. Even though FOREWARNING was a finalist in several writing contests, it never won because the agent/editor final judges didn’t know what to do with it. I also pitched it at a number of conferences and was asked for partials. Again I got compliments on my writing, but no interest because they didn’t know how to market it. So eventually I put my first baby away and started on two other books, learning a lot more about the craft of fiction writing in the process.
Both of the other books were standard romantic suspense (in a horsey setting) and therefore more marketable. About the time I was ready to start submitting WYOMING ESCAPE, the self-publishing boom started. And even though I got a full manuscript request from a major publisher, I hesitated and then decided not to submit. I realized it could take a year or more to hear back from them and IF my book was accepted, it would be another year before it was published. I wanted to see it out there sooner. So after some rework and editing, I decided to take the leap and published WYOMING ESCAPE myself last fall.
The self-publishing venture has been an interesting and educational experience. And successful enough that I pulled FOREWARNING out of storage, re-worked, edited and published it this summer. It’s proved even more successful, with lots of four and five star reviews and good sales. The readers who like it, really like it. So it seems there is a market for a cross-genre romantic suspense/paranormal/horse tale. Forewarning may never be a best seller, but it has an enthusiastic following, with requests for a sequel.
Horses and energy healing have an audience, after all.
Here’s the blurb and an excerpt. See what you think.
Grieving and guilt-stricken after her husband’s suicide, Kasey Martin has closed her energetic healing practice and retreated to her Oregon horse ranch. One night, she rescues a badly injured man, and against her better judgment, uses her neglected skills to save his life. This starts her on an unexpected journey of healing and danger.
Complicating her life is Jim Bradley, an old friend who has long been in love with her and wants her to return to her work. When criminals looking for her patient invade the serenity of her world, she must use her skills to save all three of their lives.
Kasey has found a badly injured man on her ranch during a storm.
“I’m going to help you. Can you tell me your name?”
The man just moaned and rocked, trying to escape his torment. He was curled into a ball, one hand pressed to his midsection. The level of his pain told her he required medical care. However, before moving him she had to know what she was dealing with.
She would have to scan his body to determine his injuries. Could she do it anymore?
Just as important, could she trust her diagnosis?
A feeling of anger and betrayal swept over her, tightening her fists and jaw. In the year since her husband’s suicide, she hadn’t even attempted to use her training, her abilities suppressed by fear and guilt.
Kasey closed her eyes and swallowed uneasily. The man moaned again. She had no choice. She had to use her skills—or, at least, try to.
With a quick prayer for help, she focused on beneficial white light flowing into her heart and then reached out using the healing force she’d gathered. She moved her shaking hands over the man, close to his body but not quite touching—scanning his energy field for disruptions and trying to locate his injuries.
One lucky reader who comments on my blog will be randomly selected to win a copy of FOREWARNING. Good luck!
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