Thursday, October 20, 2011

One Path to Writing

Please help me welcome Sylvia A. Witmore to the Book 'Em North Carolina blogspot today! Sylvia will be joining us at Book 'Em in Lumberton, North Carolina on February 25, 2012. We hope you'll come out and see her and about 80 other authors. It's going to be an exciting time. And if you are an aspiring writer, you're sure to find inspiration in Sylvia's tale of publishing success.

I have always been an avid reader of murder/mystery/romantic intrigue books.  I cut my teeth on Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys while I was still in 1st & 2nd grades.  I skipped two grades in school, graduated at 16, received a year's scholarship to American University in Wash. DC.  I found out early on that I didn't want to write for a newspaper or magazines so I changed it to Creative Writing.  To make a long story short, I was unable to graduate due to illness of my father and I met and married my husband of 40 years before I finished.

We had 3 sons who are all married with children today.  I've always wanted to write and I started writing at night on a Selecttric Typewriter after my sons were in bed.  I worked at Scot Mem Hospital and Home Health for 35 years before retiring.

I started sending them to publishers in 1980 & 1990, but I just kept getting rejection slips.  In 1998 I wrote Wheels of Danger, which is a book about NASCAR that takes place in Rockingham, NC at The Rock where racing was really strong.  An editor in NY sent it back and said that racing was a Southern, redneck sport and would never flourish beyond the south.  Well, look what racing is today.  Nevertheless I wrote a sequel to Wheels called Treacherous Hearts about a female race driver.  This was before Danica Patrick won her race in Japan.

I also wrote a 3rd sequel ECHO OF FOOTSTEPS which takes place in Hamlet, NC where I was raised.  I changed the racetrack then to Arca racing because they are now racing at the track.  In 2008, I received a call from an publishing company, Authorhouse in Blooming, Ind.  The guy there said that he had turned my book about racing to his editor in NY but that's the one who turned me down; now he was working for an editor and told me that his boss loved Indy racing and if my book had not sold, they were interested in it.  I sent it to them and then received a 3 book contract.  Now I have an unlimited contract.  My last 3 books are on Kindle and Nook as well as hard & soft copies through or through the publishing company or me.
All of my books take place in and around North & South Carolina where the characters go to familiar places around here.

I have had six books published in hard cover now and have just finished a 7th one which I will be sending out soon.

I love to keep my reader in suspense; most times they are surprised when the killer is caught.  My writing has really been good therapy since I lost my wonderful husband 2 years ago.