Hi, my name is Janice Seagraves.
Someone recently asked me why I decided to write. I gave the usual flippant answer that the characters in my head wouldn't leave me alone. Which to be honest is more or less true.
But actually I blame my insomnia.
As far back as I can remember I've had trouble falling asleep. At a very young age I started making up stories to pass the time. I'd close my eyes and imagine I was someone else having an adventure.
It had started innocently enough. My parents had taken my sister and me out to a movie. On the drive home, I asked my mom, “What happened next?” She told me to make up an ending.
So I did.
It became a habit with me to think of an alternative ending to a movie that I didn't like, or had a wimpy ending. Or just what happened next.
Then I started to think up brand new stories. I never wrote any of these down, but I would draw pictures. Hey, I was young and truthfully I didn't have a lot of faith in my grammar or spelling.
I finally started to write when I was twenty years old. The stories in my head had started to grow and I had to write them down just to remember them all. I've written short stories to larger pieces over the years, all having to do with the question: what happened next.
Then about eleven years ago I tried to take a class in accounting, but my daughter started to have trouble in school. My hubby and I decided I was still needed at home. Giving up the class wasn't a problem. Apparently I don't have the right stuff to be an accountant. Go figure.
Then I got the bright idea to start to write seriously toward publication.
It was hard at first, because I hadn't so much as taken a writing course. So I bought several books and got a couple of subscriptions to writing magazines. I study the craft of writing. Then I took a correspondence course.
Later I finally got online and the whole world opened up for me. I got a blog, joined writing groups, writer's forums, took (yippee) workshops and made friends with other writers.
Someone suggest I join a new group called Avoid Writer's Hell, started by Faith Bicknell-Brown. The owner had written three (now four) books with the same title as the group, to help writers. (The group no longer exists but the chatter's group and the blog still does.)
I learned so much from this group and had so much encouragement that I finally entered a writing contest. It was for a cover that I thought would fit a manuscript that I had wrote the year before, called Windswept Shores. It's about what happened next after a terrible plane crash.
To my surprise I not only won but I was also offered a contract.
Available from Pink Petal Books: Windswept Shores by Janice Seagraves.