Thursday, April 26, 2007

In My Cave

I'm in my dark and lonesome cave, getting some writing done, and I thought I'd poke my head out a moment and say hello!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Love is a Mystery

That’s basically the quote I use for my romance and I want to share a story with you on why I believe love is a mystery.

My friend leads a normal life. She’s beautiful, single, works full time and has a fear of relationships because of past relationships that had gone sour. She’s young and somewhat ready to find someone, but it has to be the right one.

She has found someone she really likes, and he likes her too it seems, but they are taking their time, which is a good thing. She’s told me some things that keep her wall up and I tell her she has to let go of past bitterness so that it doesn’t make her just that…bitter. Embrace each new relationship as if it were your first, no matter how difficult.

That’s what I love about love. It takes time to develop, like a flower bud blooming then opening on a warm, spring day. You don’t automatically know someone the first time you meet, though you’ll make assumptions right away. If they cast all their problems out immediately, knocked their walls down so each of them knew what they were getting, then they probably would never work out. The best kind of love is slow love, IMO, even if the chemistry is immediate, especially if the chemistry is immediate, LOL.

Of course, real life romance doesn’t seem to work out they way they do in novels. People don’t always like to tear down their walls and would rather remain untrusting and single for fear of pain. He’s leaving soon for something he has to do, and it may be awhile for them to see each other again. If I were writing this novel, of course, I’d find a way to make it work, but we don’t always do that in real life, do we?

Ahh…the mystery of love. It’s not always the external conflict, the who-done-it or the how-are-we-going-to-solve-this? It’s the internal conflict, the not wanting to get hurt again conflict. I love to write about romance and I just love to hear about real life romance and I wish my friend the best of luck in her romance!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


This morning before my shower, my husband called to tell me the junk car he was (finally) going to have towed off had two kittens and a mother inside. Naturally, I couldn’t let someone haul off a car and let two kittens die, and he needed to get to work (he was there to put the title in the car) so I told him to go on and I’d check on them before I left to see if maybe the mother moved them. She’s a stray cat and wasn’t used to humans. I didn't even know she existed because I'd never seen her before.

After I was already running late, I tried to apply my makeup on through the steam in the mirrors. When the room finally cleared, I almost screamed in horror at my clown-faced makeup, found my face cleanser and washed my blush off, and went with barely any on today. In my haste to get out the door, I stumbled down the steps and had to go back up after realizing I forgot my lunchbox. (yes, I do take a lunchbox to work, LOL)

I made it to the junk car. It’s about a hundred feet or so down from the house and I didn’t walk since it’s on my way out. It was a little wet and muddy outside and I made the mistake of wearing flip-flops. Good thing I was standing back a ways from the window, or the mother cat would have mauled me on her rush out the window when I walked up.

But alas there they were, two sweet kittens that didn’t quiet have their eyes opened yet. I immediately called my husband and told him under no circumstances were those people to come haul this car off yet. They’d have to wait a few weeks until the kittens were grown enough to take care of themselves or if the mother moved them, which I thought she might (but hasn’t yet).

Like I really need more cats... :)

Surprisingly, I wasn't late for work, but I was ready for an excuse this time, LOL. If I get a chance, I'll post a picture. They are gray tabby type cats and very adorable.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Empowering Your Voice

Have you found your voice? What does voice mean to you?

To me, a writer’s voice is like one of those bands who you will always recognize, no matter what. The Beatles, Guns N’Roses, George Strait, Sublime. If you’re a fan, you’ll recognize their voice even if the song is new. A writer’s voice is their own way of saying something. Certain actors have their own acting style though many of them can go from action to suspense to romance.

The sky was blue. Plain and simple. Yet take your voice and describe it how you would do it. Every one of us would describe it differently, and we even would at different times or depending on what mood we’re trying to set. But there's always this deep, underlying voice.

It’s not always easy to change or even find your voice. Sentence cadence, one word, a comma where you don’t want one but it’s the proper grammatical thing to do. How do you feel about commas? I like them when they are important. I like them, when they are important. But I don’t think they are necessary as much as they are used. In other words, I, think, they, are, overused.

To me, commas are clutter and draw me away from the story when I don’t think they are necessary. That’s right. To me, commas are clutter, and they draw me away from the story when I don’t think they are necessary. Did you catch that? What about the paragraph above?

We writers are all different, but I think too many commas, too much clutter, is taking away from your voice. I also think a comma in a place that isn’t likely is a good way to power things up and shock readers. Unfortunately, sometimes that comma is accepted only as a mistake or the lack of comma may be considered a mistake. Unfortunately, sometimes that comma is accepted only as a mistake, or the lack of comma may be considered a mistake.

I think commas are best underused rather than overused, because if the book is good a reader will usually read read read and not notice a comma. They’ll put they’re own pause where they think it should go, but a pause where they don’t think it should go may draw them out of the story. It happens to me. Has it happened to you?

Okay, so I’ve gone from voice to commas, and I really do have a reason for this because I believe a writer’s voice can be heard through the little things, such as commas. What do you think?

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Skipping Scenes

When writing, do you skip over chapters, write each scene in congruity or do you write each scene as they come to you and piece them together later?

Most movies don’t film scenes from beginning to end. Many of them begin at the end or somewhere in the middle.

When I first begin my story, I usually write a lot of scenes, then piece them together. But later I’ll try to write from the beginning, get stuck in the middle and skip over that, write the end, and go back.

How do you manage your scenes? What is the hardest part to write for you? Beginning, middle or end?

For me it’s the middle. I always seem to get stuck somewhere, and going to a new story is only a temporary cure.

Which brings me to my next topic. How many of you writers write more than one story at a time? I'm talking longer 50,000+ novellas and novels, not short stories. Do you ever get thoroughly into a novel and have a great idea for another one that you don't want to put off? That's where I'm at right now and so far it seems to work. After all, if I'm stuck on a scene in my first novel, I can work on my scenes in the next one, but will they ever get finished like this? Hmm...only time will tell, as long as I keep writing.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Wesley Interviews James Buchanan

Today, Wesley interviews James Buchanan.
Wesley is still looking for interview subjects, so don't be scared! It's fun and he's met some interesting people and learned a lot.

Wesley: What is your favorite color?

James: Purple. Second favorite is Black. Sorta the whole bruise scenario.

Wesley: What is your favorite food?

James: Mashed Potatoes actually. They remind me of my Grandma. Every Sunday we'd walk to her house for dinner. There was always Mashed Potatoes and homemade Mac and Cheese.

Wesley: I noticed you’re a Clive Barker fan. What is your favorite work by him?

James: The Lord of Illusions.

Wesley: Has he been a big influence in your writing?

James: Yes and no. The big thing I’ve learned from him and other masters of horror is the acknowledgement that you should mix the real with the surreal to make it scary. One of what I call the “step to the left authors.” You take the everyday and ordinary, then take one step to the left and you’ll creep people out. Plus his paintings are gorgeous.

Wesley: Do you prefer cars, trucks, or SUVs?

James: Prefer classic cars and trucks, but I drive a station wagon on steroids (ML320). I’ve owned, over the course of time, a ’63 T-Bird, ’69 Mustang, ’62 Dodge Pickup (really bastardized… had the gear shift of a Mack Truck with a bit old hole cut into the floor, and a Chevy engine. It came out of a machine shop where they just kept cannibalizing other trucks to keep that one going. That truck was the inspiration for the one in My Brother, Coyote), ’67 Fiat Spider, ’63 AMC Rambler, ’61 Mercedes 190E and a ’57 T-Bird.

Wesley: Nice. If you could drive any automobile in the world, money is no object, what would it be?

James: My ’57 T-Bird. Right now it’s sitting in the drive waiting for a complete re-do of the brake system, almost every gasket needs to be replaced, one hub-cap is somewhere in San Francisco Bay, the floor panels are rusted out b/c the weather stripping has dried out, and I think my bro installed the radio wrong so the battery keeps dying. Lots of work to do.

Wesley: LOL, that’s the fun part. What got you started in writing?

James: I’ve always written. My mother has a “book” I wrote when I was five on a roll of calculator tape. It goes through all these bugs, until the end where the lizard is. I wrote stories in grade school, I was on the literary magazines in HS and College. I did Vampire Poetry in Law School. I did some freebies on Literotica and people started telling me I should write professionally. I subbed some stuff to contests and one of them sent me a letter back saying “It’s great, I love it, too long for the contest” but then pointed me in the direction of Torquere Press where I sold that story.

Wesley: How long have you been writing?

James: All my life.

Wesley: After perusing your site, I noticed you write mostly homosexual erotic running the gamut of mystery, thriller, horror and sci-fi. Is there anything in particular that got you started writing in this genre?

James: Originally I was a poet, which pays horribly for the amount of blood, sweat and tears that goes into a piece. While I could get my poems published, I really wanted to write just plain old fantasy, science fiction and horror. And it just didn’t work, my characters were dull and lifeless, the plots got stuck, yadda. I could go through reams of what editors didn’t like about my work. I put the non-poetry writing aside for a long time.

Then two things happened. I found a Hugo Weaving fan community and we’d challenge each other to write fan fiction. And then I stumbled across Literotica and started reading. That’s when it hit me. What everyone responded to in my fan-fics was the hot sex (they were just drabbles) and the one thing I never let my original characters do was do each other. I got my feet wet writing a few original erotica pieces, posted them on Literotica and got really good feed back. Plus they have a HUGE forum community where I found other authors and volunteer editors there who tutored me in how to clean up my writing. So then I decided to jump back in and entered The Darkness into a best fantasy erotica competition. I didn’t get accepted… but the reason was it was too long and that editor told me to get my butt over to Torquere with that story. It took me a few months to get up the balls to sub it. I was floored when they accepted it.

Wesley: Any plans to venture into another genre?

James: No. Well I might write non-erotic some day, but I’m guessing that I’ll stay in the gay-fic realm. I don’t write women that people like. Really, I’ve been told that people want to bitch-slap my heroines in the few het pieces I tried.

Wesley: Do you have a set schedule, something to get you going before you write?

James: No, I tend to write when the mood strikes me. If I’m in the “zone” I can crank out a 5-8k short in a weekend. Other times it’s pulling teeth and I jump back and forth between 5 or 6 projects. I’ll get centered on one and finish it, but I don’t schedule things.

Wesley: Do you prefer music, television, or silence when you write?

James: I have two spawn, three cats, two dogs and a Sexy Guy who plays on-line poker in the same room where I usually write… I’ve learned to write with just about anything going on. If no ones around I’ll put on the “In Dark Faith Eternal” channel from internet radio. It’s Goth ambient.

Wesley: What books and/or authors have most influenced your writing?

James: Ray Bradbury and HP Lovecraft. Bradbury for the descriptions. I can see, feel and taste his settings. I wish I was half that good. Lovecraft… I wish I could manage that creepy.

Wesley: Are you a sports fan?

James: Not particularly. I watch poker, but mostly because the Sexy Guy does. Oh, wait, most people probably don’t consider that a sport huh?

Wesley: Tell me about your current release.

James: April 18 my story Technique comes out in the Hand Cuff Toy Box from Torquere Press ( ). Torquere does a lot of mini anthologies, three to four shorts around a central theme. This one was actually written due to prompting by my editor. She kept reminding me that “we’re doing hand cuff shorts” in April or “you have some hot cops in that novel we’re running (Cheating Chance is in their serialized novel catalog).” I would just tell her I know. Finally, she gave up the hinting and just came out and asked, “You’re going to write me Nicky and Brandon and hand cuffs, right?” So I did.

The other current release is Pat Down in the Under Arrest! Taste Test. Again another mini anthology through Torquere which came out in March. That one happened during a chat where two other authors and I were lusting over cops. We kept teasing that we had to write a set of stories about sexy cops. So we did. Pat Down is told from the perspective of the other side of the law. Basically, what happens when two guys who secretly lusted after each other in high school wind up face to face… and one has become a cop and the other is, well, a bad boy.

Wesley: Any upcoming projects you want to talk about?

James: God, tons of them. I’ve always got four or five balls in the air. I just finished writing the sequel to Twice the Cowboy… its called Twice the Ride. I’m half way through the sequel to Cheating Chance and the third book in the Jules LaRousse stories, Lutin’s Heir. In the midst of that I’ve got cops I need to write for a ManLoveRomance anthology ( is an author co-op and we’ve decided to write a few anthologies to help defray some of our advertising costs), I’ve got a longish short due for Phaze Phantasies III, I’m writing firemen for a Force Heat Sheet submission. And then there are the projects I just need to write. A ghost story involving Maximilian’s Treasure, a science fiction space opera, and a Hopi story.

Wesley: Who or what inspired you to write your first book? How long did it take to get published?

James: If we’re talking about my first book… it took almost 15 years. It was the proverbial trunk novel. It was based, loosely on a D&D character of mine and those of some people I played with. I started it out just to chronicle things for us and developed it beyond that a bit. But, like I said, it was flat and just not good. So I put it away. While I was doing my little bits on Literotica I was cleaning out a file cabinet and found it. I picked it up, dusted it off and went into it mercilessly.

I posted that rough draft in a workshop environment and people liked it. I started subbing it. It was still pretty rough and garnered a slew of rejections. But every time an editor sent the MS back, I got lucky and they commented. So I did what they said. It was almost a year into publishing with Torquere that Phaze accepted Lord Carabas for publication. It came out February this year. Now there’s a sequel, Cry Melusine, coming out in July, Lutin is scheduled for late 2007, and Phaze has an option on the other five books in the series.

Wesley: If you could have any career in the world, what would it be?

James: I’d be able to write full time.

Wesley: Up until you were 15, who do you feel has made the greatest impact on your life?

James: My maternal grandmother. She was the kind of woman who never let anything stop her. My grandfather died in WWII, when my mom was 3mo old. She knew she had to make it so my grandma went door to door to trade schools until she found one that would allow her to trade tuition for work – she cleaned the floors the bathrooms, yadda – and became a dental hygienist. Her passion was not her work. Her passion was birds. I can remember hand feeding sparrow hawk chicks in her kitchen.

Wesley: What about after the teen years?

James: Hmm, actually, some of it was negative influence… in a positive way. I was with people who did not live good lives. Eventually able to step back and see what they were doing to themselves with drugs and sex and other things. I knew, I could see where they’d be in 20 years and knew I didn’t want to be there.

Wesley: Good for you. What is the most embarrassing moment you’ll own up to?

James: Waking up in a field on Nov. 1 after a 3 day Halloween Party, where I’d messed myself up on lots of stuff (see the above answer). The guy next to me was cute, he was blond, he was not the guy I was living with, we were both naked and didn’t know each other’s names. A wee bit awkward there.

Wesley: Which star or celebrity would you most like to hang out with and why?

James: Actually, living in Los Angeles, I’ve had the chance to. I was setting up a Vampire Live Action game (yes I was and am a geek). Met another guy who was trying to as well, so we could combine forces. The conversation went something like:

Me: “I’m in law school, what do you do?”

Him: “I’m an actor.”

Me: “Really,” feigned over-interested voice inserted here, “what restaurant?”

Him: Polite laughter, “No, really, I’m a working actor.”

Me: “Okay, what have you been in recently?”

Him: A really wicked look passed over his face. “Well, Stargate.” This was the premier weekend BTW, and I was going to go see it with a good bud of mine. “But, I’m not in it until the second half of the movie and none of my lines are in English.”

Me: “Great, I’m seeing that tonight, I’ll look for you.”

Fast forward to the movie that night, theater darkens, promos are over and intro rolls. I whisper my bud, “look for this guy. His name is Alexis Cruz. We need to stay for the credits so I can say I saw him.”

He’s watching the screen and whispers back... “you mean THAT GUY?” The fifth name down in the credits. BASTAGE! We hung out for about four years before we drifted apart.

Wesley: What have you learned about yourself in the past year?

James: That I can’t do this alone. Promotion is harder then writing. I need a degree in marketing. And that I can write a novel in a month if I put myself to it.

Wesley: Do you have any advice for other writers?

James: Write, write and write some more. Listen to what other people say. Criticism may be hard to take but sometimes it’s necessary. I use a few die hard fans as my beta readers. These are people who are not afraid to tell me that they don’t understand something, or like something or that I’ve missed things. Now I take it with a grain of salt, but these are the people who buy my books. If they see it, others will too.

Wesley: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

James: Does groveling on the floor in thanks count? Honestly, I’m stunned that I have “fans,” people who tell me they buy every book I write. Holy cow! I’m still floored by it every time I hear it.

Thanks for the interview, James! It was…interesting.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Wesley Interviews Kissa Starling

Welcome to Wesley's first interview! For those of you who do not know, Wesley (the hero in HOLDING FAST) is seeking interview subjects. You do not have to be an author or a writer. If you're interested in being interviewed, friend him and make a request on myspace. If you don't have myspace, just email him at

Kissa Starling is Wesley's first interview. Welcome, Kissa!

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Wesley: What is your favorite color?

Kissa: Lavender

Wesley: What is your favorite food?

Kissa: French fries with ranch dressing

Wesley: Do you prefer cars, trucks, or SUVs?

Kissa: Anything convertible

Wesley: If you could drive any automobile in the world, money is no object, what would it be?

Kissa: Volkswagon bus with flowers painted all over the outside by me

Wesley: What got you started in writing?

Kissa: I started writing in diaries when I was young- a form of expression- an outlet if you will

Wesley: How long have you been writing?

Kissa: I started writing, with the intent to submit, about ten months ago

Wesley: What is your favorite genre do you write in and do you stick with one genre or several?

Kissa: I love Erotic Romance but I have submitted a Chick Lit story recently. I am also working on several children’s stories.

Wesley: Do you have a set schedule, something to get you going before you write?

Kissa: I usually write when everyone else in the house is asleep. That way I don’t have to worry about anyone interrupting me. I take a glass of Crystal Light and sit in front of the computer for hours. I try to make it to bed before everyone else wakes up!

Wesley: Do you prefer music, television, or silence when you write?

Kissa: I like listening to music and sometimes have the television on but once I get in my groove I am oblivious to any background noise.

Wesley: I noticed on your webpage you prefer to spend time with family and pets. What kind of pets do you have?

Kissa: I have two German Shepherds, two rabbits, two hermit crabs and two adult cats- my Moon just had six kittens and they are adorable.

Wesley: If you could be any animal in the world, what would you be and why?

Kissa: I would have to say a cat. They get away with everything! I would hunt during the day, eat whenever I liked, and lay around- only interacting with humans when I felt like being scratched.

Wesley: Tell me about your purses.

Kissa: Last count I had sixty. My husband vows it’s more. I can’t seem to go shopping without buying a purse. My favorites are beaded and vintage. I have one in every color imaginable and even take odd items and make them into purses. I never get bored because I change them so often. I could talk about purses all day long!

Wesley: Wow, that’s a lot of purses! What books and/or authors have most influenced your writing?

Kissa: When I was young I loved Judy Blume and V.C. Andrews. I enjoyed a few fantasy stories like ‘The Chronicles of Narnia’.

Wesley: Are you a sports fan?

Kissa: I adore baseball. The Atlanta Braves are my team of choice. I go watch them play a few times a year and keep up with the scores online.

Wesley: Tell me about your current release.

Kissa: I have a short story, ‘Candy Kisses’, coming out June 6th with Twilight Fantasies Publishing. It is a Twisted Fairytale- the x-rated version.

Wesley: Any upcoming projects you want to talk about?

Kissa: I have several stories out with publishers right now and I’m hoping to hear back from several of them this month. I am off in the summers so I plan to finish my first novel this July for publication.

Wesley: Who or what inspired you to write your first book? How long did it take to get published?

Kissa: I was browsing online and happened upon a Christmas writing contest. I wrote my first novella and submitted it. They asked me to revise and resubmit but I was devastated and worked on something else for a while. I have since learned that is all part of the process. I first published online last June, about two weeks after I started writing, at Sensual Venus. They accepted another story of mine in July. In November I sold my first short story to Steamy Audio and then I was offered a contract with Twilight Fantasies Publishing in January of this year. I’ve been really lucky so far.

Wesley: If you could have any career in the world, what would it be?

Kissa: My husband keeps telling me to win the lottery so we can retire. I picture myself living in Savannah, close to the beach- still pecking away on my laptop (that I will buy with the lottery winnings). I would like to someday paint my own book covers in watercolor. (I used to be an art major).

Wesley: Up until you were 15, who do you feel has made the greatest impact on your life? What about after the teen years?

Kissa: I have had my grandmother to look up to my entire life. We don’t live close but she is always there for me. She is a writer also. Other than her I would have to say my son. He has made me want to be a better person- I want him to have all of the opportunities I missed out on.

Wesley: What is the most embarrassing moment you’ll own up to?

Kissa: I had to think about this one. I have regular ‘blonde moments’ in my life. One time the remote entry pad batteries went dead on my key ring for the car. I asked my husband how we were going to get in- imagine my embarrassment when he said- “Use the key.” I have to admit I have went to the copier and asked, “Where are the pictures I printed off the computer?” at work. They just look at me and shake their heads.(For the blondes out there- computers print to printers, not copiers)

Wesley: LOL, Emma’s computer at work will print to her copy machine, so you can just use that as your excuse next time. Which star or celebrity would you most like to hang out with and why?

Kissa: I would like to meet Mel Gibson and dance with him on “Dancing with the Stars.” I love to dance and wear extravagant gowns.

Wesley: What have you learned about yourself in the past year?

Kissa: When I go for something I go all the way. I am even more determined than I first thought.

Wesley: Do you have any advice for other writers?

Kissa: Persevere- keep writing.

Wesley: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

Kissa: I love to hear from readers and opening mail is one of my most favorite past times. I want to thank every person who has every read one of my stories.

Thanks for taking your time to interview with Wesley and congratulations on your success!

Thursday, April 05, 2007

What I Love About Easter...

What's your favorite Easter treat? Mine? The Cadbury Creme EGG. I also love deviled EGGS, and there's plenty of boiled EGGS to go around to make those deviled EGGS.

Anyone have any good deviled EGG recipes? I usually leave making them to someone else, but that someone else won't be there this year.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

What I've Decided

I want to thank everyone for their comments, their support and their understanding. I've decided not to tell my boss. If he finds out, he finds out. He may think less of me for not telling him but who knows? At this point, he should know what kind of person I am (I've worked for him long enough) and he should know my second "career" hasn't affected my job yet, so why should I have to worry about the risk of telling him?

With that in mind, I'm going to keep doing what I'm love of writing. It may mean I can't promote to my local library, but there are plenty of other places to go that I haven't ventured to yet. Many of the people I work with are pursuing their dreams, they are doing exactly what they want to be doing in life, or at least somewhat, so they should understand.

With that, I leave you with two Eleanor Roosevelt quotes. She said some pretty awesome things in her lifetime:

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Living your dreams, confronting your fears, enjoying life

Okay, I’m going to put this on the internet for the whole world to see if they choose and hopefully, it will help me to confront my fears. I have no excuses to hide anymore.

Feel free to share your fears, too. With a team effort, maybe we can confront them together.

I’m a shy person. I never know what to say though my family wouldn’t agree and my friends would say I’m likeable, even gregarious. Writing has always been my dream but with those fulfillments come other problems.


I don’t like to talk about myself. I’d rather listen and with some people I’ve learn they’re just the opposite. They want to talk, they don’t want to listen. So it’s easy for me not to “fight” for that space and just not talk. Silly, I know, but true.

As a writer, that’s just one of my fears to confront. Self-promotion. Actually going into a bookstore and talking to a stranger about buying my book. Fear of failure, fear of bad reviews, of no reviews, of judgment, of the answer to this question: what if I can’t write another one?

Well, guess what? I have succeeded. Anyone who has ever accomplished their goal has succeeded, whether it’s losing ten pounds, getting a college education, buying a new home, or starting a new business. Whatever you’ve done, the first step to success is doing. Be proud of yourself for accomplishing your goal and be proud of yourself if you’re still in the doing phase. Just trying is an accomplishment.

I can write and I will continue to do so. It is my passion, and even if I never publish again, I will have succeeded at what I set out to do.

Another fear is the fear that (some) people look down on romance writers (though I think we all need more love in our lives, including romance). Why do some people scoff at love and romance? Isn’t love what makes the world go around? Money may be the dominating factor, but without love, this world would not have gotten to where it’s going and without love, this world is going where it is…downhill.

Where am I going with this? I have a problem I’ve been hiding from but a problem that is hindering my writing career. My boss, whom I have worked for for almost nine years, does not know that I am a writer. Better yet, I am an author with two published works. Because of my small town, only a select few individuals and my family know.

My boss does not like people to pursue other careers, especially ones that affect his public image. Without saying what kind of public image I’m trying to protect here, let’s just say it’s a pretty important political image.

I feel this is hindering my writing career, but I can’t afford to quit. I can’t go to the local library and tell them about myself, I can’t have an article in the local paper, and I can’t market myself in the way I’d like to market myself.

Though I don’t think my job would be in danger if he knew, I fear other repercussions.

Why do I feel shameful? If I wrote thrillers, John Grisham novels or Stephen King bestsellers, would I feel this shame? What’s wrong with romance? Conflict, action, suspense…passion, love, working things out…there’s nothing wrong with romance. I even had a family member say “Oh, you write that smut stuff.”

No, actually, I don’t but if I did, who cares? I’m fulfilling my passion in life, following my dreams, and that is something a lot of us have been trained to think we can’t do these days. Like our mission in life is to be in this box, living the life you’re supposed to live, being the good little girl you’re supposed to be. You go to work, that’s just how life is. NOT having and fulfilling dreams!

So what’s my point in all of this? I am seeking opinions. Do I tell my boss, or not? Do I risk he find out without my telling him or do I continue to hide? I have two bosses, actually. My supervisor does not appreciate the joy of reading and I won’t mention how I think her response would be to my news.

Should I tell my boss and if so, how do I go about it? Do I go into his office and say, “There’s something I wanted to tell you before you find out elsewhere and I’d like your permission to market myself.”

And for those who think I’m crazy for even questioning all of this, you’d just have to know my boss and the people I work with to understand my dilemma and if you’ve never had to worry about these types of people, you’re lucky!