My first word was not mommy or daddy. It was "Hi". The world was an exciting and challenging place and I just couldn't wait to participate in the fun. I don't remember a time when I didn't create stories, in the sand pile building farms, with
the animals in my life, and later when I learned to read real books, the kind with long stories that made me laugh and cry. Those books showed me even more of the world around me.
I rode a horse the first time on a midnight trail ride because I had read it in a book. Since the only rides I had ever taken were on a lead, I was given the quietest horse in the remuda. He spooked and started bucking. The result was the trial boss had to cut my hands out of his mane. I was not coming off. The girl in the book hadn't so I wasn't going to either.
Another book, a mystery, had offshore racing boats in it. When I had a chance to ride in one, I jumped at the chance.
Life happened. I married and had children. Reading was my favorite form of relaxation and when I was too busy to read I kept ongoing stories in my head with characters who grew, lived, loved and laughed as I did.
Until the day I ran out of books.
I decided to write my own story. I didn't expect anyone to see it but me. It would be something to read, to do until my book shipment arrived at the bookstore. Once I started, I couldn't stop, didn't want to. The characters just grabbed me by the pencil and yanked me into their world. I had to see it finished.
The day I finished the book, I stopped by my bookstore for the latest shipment of books. The owner of the store was a friend and asked what I had been doing. On learning about my book, she told me she had just been talking to a woman who had started a writers club.
"Did I want to go?""
Hmmm, I could go and listen to other people writing books. You betcha! I was soooo excited! Here was a source I had never considered.
So off I went, clutching my story in hand. At the end of the meeting, the leader, a published author, looked at me and said, "Let's hear yours.""
I wanted to hide under the table! Nobody mentioned that I would have to read ten pages of what I'd written. The couch was too low so I couldn't hide there. I read. No one said a word. The silence was awful. My writing had to be too.
The minute the meeting was over I was ready to bolt. The host must have known. She got between me and the door, and I swear she was like a quarter horse cutting a hapless calf from the herd.
"I'll send this to my agent," she said. With those words, she plucked my story out of my hands and I escaped. I sold multiple books that year. And, so it began, the exciting and challenging world of being a published author.
I was fortunate enough to work with and for some of the biggest publishing companies in New York. I learned so much. My favorite publisher was sold and my personal life took an unexpected turn. My family needed me. My life for the next ten years was consumed with caregiving for those who mattered to me.
Those ten years saw a great change in the book industry. Self-publishing fueled by social media offered infinite possibilities and potentials. More importantly for me, it offered a challenge I could not resist.
Since I owned all my copyrights, I decided to reprint the first book of my very popular Pippa Series. This time I didn't have to write for a certain page length so I included new pages in this enhanced version. I was delighted with the reception. That support from my readers encouraged me to write a book on Caregiving, my first non-fiction. That too, surprised me by its reception.
Another series, the Live Oak Series is in the works with the first two books already in print.
The challenges are without number on this new path I have chosen, but, like that first time when I received my advance copy of my first book in the mail, I can't wait to do it again.
Lacey Dancer is one of the pen names for Sydney Clary a.k.a. Sara Chance, Sherry Carr and Sydney A. Clary. She is an award-winning International author; Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Best All Around Series Author, two Romantic Times Career Achievement Awards, and two Woman of the Year Awards just to name a few. Although she is best known for her women's contemporary fiction, she has also published two historical fiction novels and one non-fiction.