Most know that my 'good twin' has been writing a bit longer than I have and was published first. We happen to share a body and so have to be lenient with each other LOL. I have been taking up the space since this blog kicked off but Gwynn says she needs to have a bit of time and space too so I turn things over to her today!
Gwynn here. Hello all. I quietly say that I taught Deirdre all she knows but that is not strictly true. She has boldly gone where I never would and explored a depth of human interaction that I was timid to enter. I think that is good--mostly. I still blush to read some of her tales but behind the explicit parts, the same imagination and muse speaks. We both write about the places we love and try to make the settings totally real to our readers, almost a critical secondary character in the story. Our people are 'real' in the sense most of them are folks you could meet in New Mexico, Arizona or other places in the southwest and even those in futuristic or past times are generally ordinary everyday folks. We do not write much about royals and celebs--you can get that on TV and the news, the tabloids and People magazine. So anyway let me talk a little bit about my work.
I began writing as a small child and by my teens was scribbling 'ranch romances' in steno notebooks and reading them aloud to some of my girlfriends. That pretty much set the tone--everything Deirdre or I write has a love story, often as the main plot or an equal plot to whatever action or adventure is going on. Our work has both as a rule. People do not fall in love in a vacuum. True, we may totally focus on a loved one, at least early on, but there is still life and other issues. Writing real demands that we recognize this.
I'd gone thru most genres in my reading over the years and stumbled onto romance in the 1980s when it was emerging as a growing and powerful genre. Most of the novels I read earlier had a love story--those that didn't seldom held my interest except for a few fantasy/sci-fi tales--and it was great to find books that focused on this! Of course I soon began to draft my own. In the early 1990s I joined RWA and entered contests--as a grass-green newbie. I didn't even know how to do correct manuscript form at first! I was in on the development of the Outreach Chapter and came to find a number of mentors and partners who helped me develop my professional level skills. I tried to sell to Silhouette and Harlequin and got some great rejections but soon realized I was not writing in their box and probably never would. That was when I discovered the new e-book phenomenon and the small publishers growing up with it. Voila! A place for me!
My first novel to get into print--and e-form--was one I had worked with for some time. It is still available and still holds a very special place in my heart. I could do it better now and someday may pull it and revise but Powerful Medicine will always be the first. It hit some issues that were unresolved at the time (reservation casinos) and delved into the struggles of many young Indians (most that I know prefer this to Native American if their real tribal identity is not used) in melding their traditional world with the modern one in which most of them come to live. Another aspect went into some spiritual and semi-paranormal areas and to avoid offense in this I created a tribe, and named them InDinay, since they combined much I knew of the Apache and Navajo people. The setting is real, the events were often right out of the days' news and I am still proud of this story! I'll share the cover and an excerpt shortly. The book was ten years old last summer--it was released in August 2001. Hard to believe it has been that long!