My name is Lynne Marshall, I’m new around here and so, so happy to have been invited to blog. I’ve had my eye on TULE ever since it opened. I especially like how they publish books that don’t always fit exactly into the puzzle of romance publishing. Let me explain why.
I once joked to a friend that I’d written an inspirational romance with sex. We had a good laugh over that huge newbie mistake. Many re-writes later I’d whittled the single title romance down to category length, and, depending on which draft, either totally removed the sex, or completely watered down the inspirational elements. Frustrated, I decided to tuck the book away. Yet I could never completely forget how Joe Collins, my ex-convict hero, had found a place in my heart, or that Taylor Clarke was a mixed up, partially lost character with whom I could honestly relate.
Recently during a lull between contracted books, something made me pull out the last incarnation of Her Baby, His Love, and have another look. I found myself smiling as I reread it. So I wrote another draft, one with a hint of inspiration (an inspirational hero, for sure!) and a taste of sensuality, and, on a whim, I decided to submit the newest draft to a publisher willing to take chances on different kinds of stories —TULE!
How glad I am that I did.
Another part of the draw was Tule’s love for books set in Montana. Call it serendipity. Last August my husband and I took a road trip to Montana, since we’d never been. We started in Missoula, heading to White Fish and spending two fabulous days in Glacier National Park, then crossing north through the state via the Blackfeet Reservation, and later the Fort Belknap reservation to North Dakota. Then heading back to Billings and visiting the Crow Nation Reservation, all in ten days. We thought we’d snagged a little piece of heaven when we saw McDonald and Flathead lakes, and every time we looked up at the “big sky”, or saw horses running free, and roaming bison, hundreds and hundreds of them in the National Bison Range, we were sure we’d landed in western paradise. So it was pure joy to add more elements from The Treasure State to my story, set in the fictitious town of Charity, Montana, for the Montana Born Line.
Now I bite my nails and wait for this book, written with love and hopefully a little wisdom, to be released, and I thank my lucky stars that Tule believed enough in the story to publish it. I say this at a stage in life when most people are retired, yet I’d submitted a book to a new publisher, aspiring to open a new chapter in my writing life.
When I was growing up, I often referred to myself as a late bloomer. That title is particularly true about my writing career, which I refer to as my late mid-life crisis event. I’d started and finished a twenty-five-year career as a Registered Nurse before I found myself writing my first book. After putting it off long enough, one day when the characters wouldn’t leave me alone, I gave in. Over fifteen years, and thirty-two books later, I can’t imagine how my life would have been if I hadn’t discovered who I was meant to be. Don’t get me wrong, I loved just about every single day of my adult life before, especially after becoming a mother, yet way in the back of my mind there was always this daydreamer who wouldn’t give up. Nudge, nudge, nudge. Yes, I would have survived if I’d never discovered my inner writer, but I suspect I would have been frustrated and restless, and not nearly as happy the past decade and a half. What a journey I’ve been on!
I still get a kick out of calling myself a writer. Not great. Not amazing. Simply put, good enough. A good enough writer. With more stories to tell.
What’s your inner muse telling you to do? Maybe today’s the day you’ll listen.
Lynne Marshall used to worry she had a serious problem with day dreaming, until she discovered she was supposed to write those stories. Now traditionally published for more than ten years with over twenty-five books as a category romance author, she has also gone hybrid. She is a Southern California native, has been married to a New Englander for a long time, and has two adult children of whom she is super proud. She is also an adoring grandmother of two beautiful little girls, a woman of faith, a dog lover (Milo can vouch for that), a cat admirer, a meandering walker, a curious traveler, and an optimistic participant in this wild journey called life.