By Angela K. Roe

Many times over the past few years, people have asked me how I decided to become a writer. Speaking only for myself, it wasn’t a choice, it’s simply what I am.  I’ve been making up stories and entertaining people with them since I was a small child, long before I knew how to read or write. My brothers used to tease me when we went on long car trips. I’d gaze out the window, creating elaborate stories about the cows in the fields, the tractors on dirt roads and people living in unfamiliar towns.

The first book I wrote was when I was a teenager. My mother and I had a terrible fight and I was reading a book entitled “The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane” by Laird Koenig. In this book, a young girl and her poet father move to a new town after the death of her mother. The book is a love story/murder mystery in which Rynn essentially lives alone. While I had no desire for my parents to leave forever or to perish, I did envy Rynn her largely unsupervised life.

I filled three notebooks with the most horrible writing ever, filled with teen angst, run-on sentences and terrible grammar about twins (my best friend and I) who lived alone and went to school and held jobs and had more fun than I was having in my life. I found it a few years ago and read it and was amazed at how poorly written it was, but it was pretty cool to see how long it was and I was proud to see I’d finished it.

As an adult, I’ve been fortunate enough to be involved with writing groups comprised of high-quality writers like Mike Manno and Stephen L. Brayton. Through these groups, I’ve learned how important it is to surround yourself with successful writers. From critiques to support through endless rejection letters, from shared successes to shared tears, the friendships I’ve made and the lessons I’ve learned continue to help shape me as an author today.

When I used to imagine what my life as an author would look like, I imagined myself in a fancy home office filled with bookshelves, comfortable furniture and a fancy desk. I pictured walls displaying my book covers and a fluffy white dog at my feet as I furiously wrote my next best-selling novel. Of course, my editors loved everything I wrote and so did my fans, and I was filthy rich…

Reality is a laptop balanced on my knees while I sit in the living room. Most of the time the phone is ringing, one of our five children or my husband need of something and I alternate writing between flipping the laundry and doing the dishes. My house isn’t cleaned, I don’t have an office and I am filthy rich, just not financially.

So why do we authors do the things we do? Why do we get up at all hours of the night to scribble down a phrase or a scene? What is our obsession with the written word, cover art, critique partners and editors? It’s the voices in our heads. They hound us, they harass us, and they demand we tell their story. They come to us fully formed and with a life of their own. That life includes struggles and heart aches, lost loves, murder and mayhem and conflict that demand resolution, and only we can provide that resolution. Only we, the author that is haunted by her characters, can do justice to these voices. And truth be told, we love our voices. These characters are friends
that live inside of us. Writing a book that introduces the world to our characters is an honor and an obligation. We want you to like our friends as much as do. We want you to love their stories as much as we do. That’s why authors write.  It’s not what we do, it’s who we are.

Author Bio: I am a romance novelist, a freelance writer, and a freelance photographer. I have a variety of published EBooks and online articles based on topics as diverse as home improvement, ballroom dancing, fitness, marketing and research, computer programs and business associations. I provide SEO copy to industry-leading Web content providers.     I am happily married to my best friend. We share five children, seven grandchildren, a dog and a fish. We also share a crazy rollercoaster of a life and we depend on each other to make through the laughter and the tears.

I think in words. I am amazed at how many ways we use 26 letters to create so many unique stories and I love being a part of that process. I have been a writer for as long as I can remember. When I was very little, I made up stories in my head and told them to anyone who would listen. As a teen, I voiced all my teen angst in hand-written notebooks, pouring out such horrible writing, it’s a wonder the paper itself didn’t protest. As I grew older, I joined a writers group that was instrumental in teaching me the fundamentals of crafting a story and developing it into something more than a vague idea. I am blessed to be able to earn a living writing both non-fiction and fiction and I count those blessings every day! My hope for you is that you too, can do something you love every day.

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2 thoughts on “A Calling to Write

  1. Amazing interview, Angie and so true, growing up with all that imagination inside of you, it was like I was reading my life! I’ve heard great things about This Montana Man and I can’t wait to read it!

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