In one way or another, I’ve been on the path to publishing my first book for most of my life. It started when I was a child, creating stories in my head for fun and acting out the scenes. I studied English and journalism in college and was always drawn to the arts, which led me to pursue a career as an actor in my early twenties; it feels like yesterday that I was twenty-three years old and cast as a background actor on the set of City by the Sea to play a homeless person. I can still remember my excitement dressing in run-down clothes and getting dirt painted on my face by the on-set makeup artists. I fought hard for the leading role of Nellie Forbush in South Pacific playing at New Jersey’s oldest community theater, The Radburn Players. I don’t believe I was the director’s first choice, but I remember her saying to me that she couldn’t ignore my passion and determination to take on the role. I wholeheartedly embraced each of my performances.
After a stint in Los Angeles trying to make it in movies, I hit a wall and knew in my gut I needed to come back to New York. I always wonder if things would have been different if I’d stuck it out in LA for a little while longer, given my perseverance, but there were too many experiences making me question if an acting career was my destiny—working for a shady “agent” and walking in on him receiving fellatio from a wannabe actress was the last straw. Perhaps if I’d tried to conquer Hollywood at a different time, it would have been a more positive experience. I’ve since visited during my PR days and enjoyed the City of Angels very much. Who knows? I have my eye on writing and producing a TV show one day, so LA and I may meet again.
Back in New York City, I was employed by the same company that had allowed me to work remotely from California, and my human resources representative brought to my attention an open assistant position in public relations suggesting that this might be the field for me and make for a nice transition from the arts. Her hunch was right and I went on to build a career in public relations, which led to a variety of writing assignments.
As I continued to grow in my newfound career path, I came to the realization that I wanted to write books. Given my creative imagination paired with the rich experiences I was gaining as each year passed, I knew I had a novel or two inside me with the desire to come to the surface. A few years ago, I sat down and wrote the first page of my book and it’s now finally coming to fruition. I was never in a rush to finish it, as I wanted it to feel right. What started out as a singular idea has become something so much more. I like to think that my manuscript has grown over time, paralleling my personal life and making an integral transformation over the past few years. I wanted to enjoy every moment of watching the progression of the plot, soaking up all I could learn for the many books I hope to write in the future.
This spring I will be self-publishing my first book, a contemporary novel titled Unexpected Love. It feels surreal to write that, even though it has been a long time in the making. I’ll be sharing more about the book on the blog in the upcoming weeks: telling you about my writing process, revealing my book’s cover design, the enlightening editing process, sharing a teaser of the plot, discussing a Q & A with me, and more.
I’m looking forward to seeing the finished project, knowing the hard work that went into what started initially as a concept. Just as important as the finished project is the writer’s journey along the way. It’s a place where you see the heart of the matter, and I like to think I have plenty of heart.