Since I was very small, I’ve had a big imagination. Until I was a teenager I was an only child, so imagination was a great playmate. I created stories in my head and acted them out. Sometimes I acted out plays with my dolls or my miniature people in the doll house I had. The dolls and tiny figurines had great adventures, ate many imaginary meals, and slept quite a bit.
I also read voraciously. I remember the summer I was thirteen; I read almost every novel my mother owned. She had quite a collection of historical novels of the day, and I read them in between reading the books I acquired on my own. There were the Judy Bolton mysteries by Margaret Sutton, and I belonged to the Science Fiction Book Club, which supplied a new volume each month.
As time went on, I tried my hand at writing, putting that imagination to work for me. Nothing much came of it for a long time. Then I became inspired to write a mystery based on a real murder. It would be highly fictional, and in my version, the bad guys would be brought to justice. I now had a dream, and it would drive me for several years. I decided this would be my goal: to create a decent mystery story, tighten and perfect it as much as I could, and get it published.
I had many surges of hope as I talked to agents and editors. I submitted one version or another to many different people. I entered the first twenty pages in a contest two different times. I got one great critique and one not-so-great. The dream was battered often, but it held steady and refused to die. I became a member of a wonderful writers’ critique group, and those women did more than anything else to help keep the dream alive.
This past Thursday afternoon the magic happened. I found an email waiting in my inbox from a publisher I had queried in July. We exchanged emails a couple of times and eventually, they asked for the entire manuscript. That had happened before, and it went nowhere. You try to keep that hope going, but you don’t want to pin the entire dream on it. If it crashes, it might crush the dream.
This time there was no crash . . . only the thrill and rush that comes with being offered a publishing contract. It’s never happened to me before, so I can’t say how normal my reaction was. I’ve been walking on air ever since, and I have what appears to be a permanent, sappy grin on my face all the time. All I know is the dream is on its way.
I can tell you one thing that, for me, is absolutely true: It’s the best feeling in the world to have your dream come true!