Susan Edwards | Myth, Magic & Wonder: Discoveries
November 21, 2011
A couple days ago, I redesigned my banner for my website and sent it to my son
who designed my website.¬† I loved what I did but knew he'd find fault.¬† After
all, he is a programmer, which makes pleasing his sensibilities with my
creativity nearly impossible.¬† And <sigh>, I was right.¬† He vetoed most of
what I did. I have to wonder what happened to that creative little boy who
along with his younger sister helped me discover my own creative writing talent.
You see, I was not always a writer, unlike so many authors who say they've
always loved writing.¬† Me?¬† I never wanted to write anything, except maybe
chatty letters to friends or my great-grandmother (who loved receiving mail) or
notes to pals in class.¬† Okay, I've dated myself here because I grew up without
computers, emails, social media or text messages!
I also absolutely hated writing, did not excel in English and thought history
the most boring subject on earth!¬† So it's rather strange and ironic that not
only am I a writer but I've published 12 historical romances.¬† Well, back to my
When my son was in grade school, his teachers were very impressed with his
writing and his creative storytelling.¬† Same thing happened with my daughter.¬†
Both kids were very creative and did very well at writing and telling stories.¬†
I was mystified but glad they enjoyed the writing experience.¬† Of course, we as
a family were big readers so I figured that helped.
In that same time period, I was reading historicals.¬† Mostly Native
American/Westerns.¬† And I was getting bored with what was out there and had read
most of what appealed to me.¬† Why wasn't there more of what I want to read?¬† It
was very frustrating.¬† At the same time, I had an idea for a story playing in my
And here it comes for you see, I had two things going for me that led to my
current writing career. First and foremost, I was, and still am, an avid reader
of romance (write what you know). Second, I am a natural-born storyteller.¬† I
remember using my dolls and stuffed animals and creating stories and
"situations" for them.¬† As I grew up, my need for storytelling did not go away.¬†
I had stories in my head day and night.
However, I did not write them down or tell them to others.¬† My stories were in
my mind.¬† I created them, scene by scene.¬† I rewrote them then went back to
individual scenes and rewrote again and again until I was satisfied.¬† Once a
"story" was perfected, another story would take shape and the process would
repeat.¬† Many times, an old story would return with the clarity of story in a
book.¬† I could "re-read" it and make changes.
Of course, I figured I was just an incurable daydreamer. My teachers and
parents certainly thought so.¬† It wasn't until I was in my 40's and had already
sold my first book that I discovered that my daydreaming was actually
storytelling! All the elements we writers require for our books were in my
dream worlds.¬† I had the good guys, the bad guys, the conflict, the black moment
and the happy-ever-after.
Does all this sound like a writer? Yep.¬† So this little story of my road to
becoming a published author starts when I was married with two young children in
the late 80's as I consumed books about strong heroines and handsome warriors
like an ocean swallowing a beach! One day, in my typical "daydream/story
creation mode", I came up with a heroine who meets a young, virile hero at
stream. Hero was Native American and this "story" kept intruding on my
thoughts‚ÄĒmore so than normal.¬†¬† Also, I could not move this story forward to
It was very strange as I could see these two characters so clearly: she was
running away from an evil uncle, and my hero was a troubled young warrior.
Before I knew it I had a nice little scene going of these two people so in love
and so right for each other.¬† And it was the perfect place to put them into a
nice hot love scene.
But something was wrong.¬† First, this couple wanted more from me.¬† They were so
insistent that I did something I'd never done before:¬†¬† I took them out of my
head and gave them life on paper (good thing I had a computer by this time).¬†
Okay, I thought. I'll write a nice, steamy love scene. I could see it so no
Wrong! Before I could write about these two people falling in love and having
their happily-ever-after, I had to know more about them.
¬∑ Why was my heroine alone in the wilderness?
¬∑ Why was she fleeing her uncle? What did he want and how bad did he want it?
¬∑ What troubled my warrior and why was he in the same vicinity as my heroine?
¬∑ Why was he drawn to my heroine aside from her blonde hair? Why her and only her?
¬∑ Was he willing to risk it all for her?
Before I knew what hit me, I had four chapters of back story.¬† I was shocked.¬†
But it couldn't possibly be any good.¬† So I gave it to a couple of people to
read.¬† One of my closest friends looked at me after she finished those chapters
with awe in her face (I still remember that look) and she said two words that
sealed my future:¬† Finish It.
The rest they say is history! The writer within was set free and an author was born!
I choose this topic for this blog because I never, ever considered writing to be
a hidden talent. I would have loved to see the looks on some of my old
teachers, and my past English teachers faces as I'm pretty sure (as sure as
there is always death and taxes in life) that none of them would have predicted
that I would become a writer, let along published.
And perhaps things would have been different had I not listened to that inner
voice telling me to step out of my comfort zone and put that first story down on
paper.¬† Yes, it was scary to let others read it, and see what went through my
mind.¬† But it was well worth it for I made an amazing discover about myself.
The path I set upon started with committing a story to paper.¬† But that was only
one step of the process (aside from letting others read it).¬† It took me 3 years
to finish the story between all the aspects of life, husband and children.¬† Add
another 4 years of writing and rewriting and learning the craft of writing and
submitting and getting rejection after rejection before an editor asked for a
full manuscript. Add another year before I had my first offer, then yet another
year before that first book, White Wind was on the bookshelves in 1996. Nine
years total!¬†¬† Wow!
It's now about 15 years later and once again I'm anticipating seeing my first
book hit the shelves with a new cover in its new digital format with Carina Press. The excitement
is the same, as is the worry‚Äďwill readers like my baby! Some things do not change!
So in retelling this story, it is my hope that someone reading this makes a
self-discovery of their own.
¬∑ Are you harboring a writer within? If so, what are you doing about it? I'd
love to hear your "writer within" stories.
¬∑ Have you discovered a hidden talent during your adult years?¬† If so, what and
how do you feel about it.
¬∑ Have you discovered something about yourself through your children?
¬∑ What do you read, why and how does that genre make you feel?
I would love to read your comments and hear of your own discoveries.¬† I can't
begin to list the many things I've discovered about myself since those awful
school days and guess what?¬† It doesn't stop.¬† The list just continues to grow
as we grow.
Add your comments and one will win a free copy of WHITE DAWN in epub
Check out my website:¬†¬† http://susanedwards.com¬† for excerpts and reviews on my
White Series and news of upcoming releases.¬† The first 4 books in this series is
out Nov. 21st.¬† I also have contests going on-info for that is
currently being updated.¬† Check back this weekend.
Preorder your copy in E-Format at the following sites:
23 comments posted.
Re: Susan Edwards | Myth, Magic & Wonder: Discoveries
I love any romance books, but I really enjoy those set in the olden day West. Your books sound exciting.
(Wilma Frana 10:58am November 21, 2011)
Our stories sound similiar, my children excel at creative writing with
awards and fan base on a writing site, I excelled in writing, english,
history, and I also love telling stories and writing long letters (of course
through the mail) I used to write and had things published, but after the
children, there seemed as though there was no time. Your story reminds
me that I am never too old.
(Carla Carlson 11:19am November 21, 2011)
I used to write stories and plays as a child but real life and circumstances after I
wed somehow changed me. I read historical, paranormal and futuristic novels
that take me away from myself. I would love to read your books and I will be
looking for them.
(Sandra Spilecki 12:03pm November 21, 2011)
I love to read. I love romance, historical and paranormal. I like just about anything and am willing to try anyother genre. I read a lot and always looking to add new authors and books. Thanks for the giveaway and the chance to win.
(Chris Bails 12:24pm November 21, 2011)
Just read of your book White Dawn at Book Trib. It sounds great. I would love to win a copy - but even if I don't win, I'll get the book because it sounds like something I would really like. Best of luck with it.
(Nancy Reynolds 12:39pm November 21, 2011)
As a kid I really disliked reading... after school I discovered I truly loved reading after getting hooked on Historical romances... from there I have branched out... without being told I had to read for reports I found a love for books.
(Colleen Conklin 12:51pm November 21, 2011)
I loved your description of how your first book came into existance. It takes a wonderful imagination and oodles of drive to complete and get a book published.
(Anna Speed 1:18pm November 21, 2011)
My Sister taught me how to read at the age of 3, and I never stopped reading. I used to go to the library, and take out books from insects to the solar system!! My parents used to laugh at me. Once I started school, my Kindergarten teacher would have me read to the children if she got interrupted by someone. I always loved English, and wanted to take it further by going to College and having it as my Major. I wrote poetry, short stoies, and plays in my spare time, and got glowing reports from my teachers in Junior High and High School. Unfortunately, my Mother discouraged me, and I decided I wouldn't go to College. What a mistake. I have that inner author in me, but I'm to afraid to let it out. My Friends have told me to write a book. I would love to, but the timing isn't right yet. I'm disappointed that today's contest is another e-book. I don't own an e-reader. I would love to read your book. Love the cover. The artwork is outstanding!!
(Peggy Roberson 1:21pm November 21, 2011)
My kid taught me to have fun and be flexible. I used to have a very strict schedule and I was okay with it since I knew what to expect. After I had my daughter, my schedule flies out the window since she apparently didn't like to follow my schedule... :)
Good luck on your book! :)
(May Pau 1:51pm November 21, 2011)
Wilma -- Historicals in this era still are a favorite of mine (when I get the time to read that is!)
Carla -- I hope you take it up again. When the time is right, you will.
Sandra-- you can check out my website (susanedwards.com) for buy links. Perhaps the writer in you will return when the timing is once again right.
Nancy--thank you and good luck with the contest. Carina Press has the first book White Dawn for 1.99. If you win, there are 3 others that follow it!
Colleen -- amazing how school can turn us away from something that should be a great joy. I think that is what happened with me and writing. I was too afraid to share my stories and the focus on writing was on being correct, not on how creative.
Peggy --sad about your mother. And remember, as an adult you can go back to school. For writing, when the time is right, do it. You don't need school for that. Everything you need to learn to write is out there in books and the internet and there are used book stores but first you need a story to whip into shape. If you own a computer, my book format can work for that. I have pdf versions. Also, Barnes and noble has computer software for reading on a computer. I am sure Amazon must as well. If you win, and don't have a computer, I will send you a print book. Not sure which books I have but I have some of the titles in print.
(Susan Edwards 1:53pm November 21, 2011)
Thank you May
(Susan Edwards 1:54pm November 21, 2011)
I discovered from my kids that I like to not have to wait for people, but sometimes there's no hurrying to be had that works. Being prepared for most emergencies is another since I'm sometimes the only medical person available on the sidelines. It's almost a given how savvy kids are with websites and navigating around tech products. They don't seem to hesitate to pick up the newest technology and make it personalized the way they like.
(Alyson Widen 4:45pm November 21, 2011)
Susan, I'm wondering if you are any relation to the author, Cassie Edwards? She writes the native American romance novels, and coincidentally, you have the same last name, and do as well and cowboy/western romances too. I absolutely love your book covers. This is my most favourite genre to read, perhaps, because my father always watched and read westerns (I get that from him). I've always enjoyed writing very lengthy letters and my sisters all encouraged me to write, since they said my letters were so descriptive they were like reading books! I actually toyed with the thought of writing childrens books, after many years of checking out dozens at the library to read to my children. I just knew I could write one better than some I'd just read to them and my ideas ran wild. However, I never did, finding myself involved in too many other things. I prefer reading paperback books (over e-book format or at the computer--since I don't own either) and use the library's. Enjoyed reading your blog and was amazed to learn that it took 9 yrs. to get White Wind published (whew)! Sounds like a ton of hard work and long hours went into writing it, and a lot of patience. I give you a lot of credit for not giving up on it! I'm going to have to get your books since I was unfamiliar with you as an author before today! Thanks so much for the contest! I, too, would prefer a paperback if I win.
(Linda Luinstra 5:26pm November 21, 2011)
Thank you so much for "Finishing it" and going on to finish so many others, I love your books.
(Robin McKay 5:31pm November 21, 2011)
i love the book and cover and would like o to know if you have bokmark or cover with them i love t read the book
(Desiree Reilly 5:43pm November 21, 2011)
I just happened to read the excerpt from your book, White Shadows, and I gasped, when I found out the characters names! I was born and raised in Winona, MN. and you have used the name Winona in this book. Winona was a real-life Indian maiden that lived there and leaped to her death, off the bluffs, when she couldn't marry her Indian lover. They have a very large bronze statue of her there. It has been moved from central park (when they put in the Post Office), then to Lake Park and to Levee Park along the Mississippi River. Her name is pronounced, "We-no-nah" and Winona Ryder was born in Winona, MN. and that's how she was given her first name. Her family moved, when she was young, to California and she started her acting career. I already entered above and just wanted to add this.
(Linda Luinstra 5:49pm November 21, 2011)
Oh wow this sounds like my kind of read. Would love to read this one. YOu are a new author to me, love new authors. Westerns are my favorite read.
(Gail Hurt 8:11pm November 21, 2011)
Love the title and the illustrations on the cover. The story sounds wonderful, very poignant. Looking forward to reading it!
(Susan Denice 9:32pm November 21, 2011)
I know I don't have a writer within. I think I probably have an editor within, though. My kids have taught me to laugh everyday. I read a little bit of everything but non-fiction history. **Shudder**
(Jennifer Beyer 10:21pm November 21, 2011)
Love the sound of your books and the covers. Thanks for giving me a chance to win them.
(Linda Hall 11:01pm November 21, 2011)
I am extremely untalented. Not in my young years or now, I have learned through my children that I'm not as easy going as I always thought I was.. hm. I wish I could write, but I have no imagination.
(Lisa Kendall 1:21am November 22, 2011)
I love romance of all genres. This book sounds really good...thanks for the opportunity to possibly win it! I've learned that I have a good ear and a soft shoulder...people like to talk to me. Which is ok...I like to listen. Happy Thanksgiving!
(Barbara Battaglia 3:19am November 23, 2011)
I read from multiple genres and romance is one of my favorite. I recently read a historical romance set in the Wild West and I really enjoyed it. Your books reminds me of them and I want to read them.
(Na S 7:21pm November 23, 2011)
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