About Me

I am a writer.  I feel this title was bestowed on me in the womb.  It’s imprinted on my skin along with my fingerprints.

How did I figure out I wanted to be a writer?  It was around third grade.  I had always enjoyed reading books, but had not discovered the joys of chapter books yet.  When a girl in my class showed me her new book, the first book in the Sleepover Friends series, I was intrigued.  She let me borrow the book and I devoured it.  How could this be- that there could be a story that not only told you what happened, but it explained what the characters looked like, what they liked, what activities they preferred to do, and then had a plot on top of it all?  It blew my little nine-year-old mind.

From fourth grade through middle school, I fell in love with these preteen chapter books.  Sleepover Friends remained my favorite, but then there was The Baby-sitter’s Club.  Not long after was Girl Talk, which seemed a little more grown up.  I also loved a good Judy Blume, as I was a very inquisitive young teen.  There were a few other authors (which I am embarrassed to admit I cannot recall now) that touched on sensitive teen subjects like sex, which I also enjoyed.

Once I became a certified teenager, I also developed a love of the horror/suspense genre.  Christopher Pike and R.L. Stine were standards.  There was a Dean Koontz that made an impact as well.  I was discovering the many facets of my writer’s mind.

Then, in ninth grade, I discovered romance.  Specifically smutty romance- Harlequin, historical bodice-rippers, and contemporary thrillers.  I couldn’t get enough.

When I began making up stories in my head, coming up with characters, and ways to bring them together, I knew it was time to try writing for myself.  I stuck with teenage subject matter, but threw in a lot of adult themes.  I was ahead of my time, or so I liked to think.  I had done this with my Barbies as a girl- giving them elaborate story lines that involved subjects like rape and single parenthood.  I was a bit intense.

My high school writing endeavors were mostly cutesy girl meets boy stories.  I did try out a few suspense plots, but I didn’t have the skills to develop them properly.  By college, I was adding depth (from my own more adult experiences), which sent my characters down more contemporary adult pathways (Nora Roberts was a favorite read of mine at the time).

But, nothing stuck.  Nothing seemed to make it further than the first climax.  I had trouble finishing, or I would put it down for a year before finally deciding to try it out again.  It wasn’t until I was firmly in my twenties that I was able to finish my first novel.

This was after I had established myself as a “real” adult, one with practical knowledge.  I had also taken time to mature and get some identity work out of the way.  During this time of coming of age, I also discovered yet another genre- chick lit.

How wondrous!  A genre that combined my favorite- romance- with sassy, stylish characters and situations I could relate to.  They also touched on the deep subjects that I aspired to write about, while still being witty and even all out humorous.  FINALLY, I had found my niche.

My first three novels were solidly in the chick lit genre.  Each one had a slightly different voice.  The elements that seemed to make up my “signature style” were well-developed characters, emotional depth, and comic relief (in the form of “jester” characters and dialogue).  I have also always LOVED details and description.  I want my reader to see, hear, feel, taste, and smell everything that is happening.

Though I thought I would end up staying in this genre, in the last five or so years, I have added another genre to my mix.  While my characters still tend to be modern and hip, I am now incorporating fantasy/paranormal elements into my plots.  I believe this developed out of my love of sci-fi and fantasy movies and TV shows.  I needed some excitement that played off the emotionality of my story lines, which I felt were getting stale left as they were.

My journey as a writer has not ended- not by a long shot.  Who knows where I’ll go next?  But the one thing I’m sure of is, I will never abandon romance.  It is the glue that holds all my stories together.  If I compared my novels today to other authors out there, I would say I’m a British chick lit author (a la Sophie Kinsella, Jill Mansell, Wendy Holden, Freya North, et al.), mixed with the intrigue of Nora Roberts, Linda Howard, and Lauren Wilig, and a generous sprinkling of JK Rowling’s imagination.  After finally reading Outlander last year, I firmly believe I have a bit of Diana Gabaldon in me as well.


3 thoughts on “About Me

  1. Pingback: About Me | Liz Gehris

  2. I love how you said that being a writer is imprinted on you like fingerprints. I can tell just by reading this page that you have a great talent. What are you working on? What are your plans? I can’t wait to learn more.

    • Thanks for reading about me :)! The novel I’m currently revising for publication is a paranormal romance set in Yorkshire, England on a military base (inspired by the base I lived on as a child). It follows the adventures of a high school teacher and her band of misfit friends. To summarize (I don’t have a blurb written yet), the heroine arrives at her new job on the base to find an old affliction comes back to “haunt” her, finds an old journal in the school library that leads her on a scavenger hunt to find an artifact that is the key to proving a well-known legend, and has to basically save humanity in the process. All while juggling romance. Right now it’s too long and I’m trying to condense it. Also trying to find beta readers for polish. How about you? Any plans for a full length novel?

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