Queen of the Three Chapters
Catchy title, huh? My name’s Lynn Crain and I’m the writer of over fifteen published books in the erotic romance and paranormal genres. My friends tell me I write the ‘weird stuff.’ This is a little look into my journey or how it all began. And it’s been long and fun and rewarding!
I’m sure those of you reading this wonder just what the heck I’m writing about. Well, like most writers my education has been long and tedious. I began writing at twelve because I felt sure I was as good as Margaret Mitchell. My first novel would be a fabulous Civil War romance with all the right characters and the right story line. But first, I need to learn about writing...after all I was only twelve.
I started many, many years ago with RWA. In 1983 to be exact. During my first few year, I learned, or thought I did, everything I could about the romance genre and how to write it. Then I entered my first Golden Heart competition and failed miserably.
So miserably that the judge there told me I couldn’t write myself out of a paper bag. At first I was sad, really sad and told myself I would never write again. But I loved writing. I had said, I had been writing since I was twelve when I sold my first poem. I didn’t want to do anything else with my life...I wanted to be a WRITER!
I allowed myself to wallow, and wallowing it was, in self pity for about twenty-four hours before I got mad. I decided then and there, I would show this person, this judge who ripped me to shreds. And I would do it the correct way. I would learn everything I could about writing and the genre of writing.
So I went to every RWA meeting and conference I could afford. I became the founding chapter president and gathered around me like minded people. I even worked for a small press publisher as I wanted to understand both sides about the business. I eventually became a member of RWA’s National Board and learned even more about the industry.
During this whole time I was entering contests. Lots of them. So much so, my chapter and those who knew I wrote started to call the Queen of the Three Chapters. And at the time, it was well deserved. I had perfected just how to put together a five page synopsis and a kick-ass first three chapters. But did I really have a book in me.
Sure, I was slowly and I mean slowly working on one but it was hit and miss. Then came the day that RWA required, heaven forbid, a full manuscript to enter the Golden Heart. Now that novel didn’t have to be pretty or anything, it just had to be done. LOL!
So, here I was, sitting in front of my old desk, wondering where to go next. Sure, I knew what to do. I understood how to get from point a to point b. It was all the stuff in the middle I worried about but if I were going to enter the Golden Heart ever again, this had to be done.
So three months out, kicking myself for not paying attention more in all those classes about the wonderful endings and saggy middles, I proceeded to complete my first book. And once it was done...it was a labor of love...something to this day I stand by proudly. Has it seen the light of day? No, but I’m hopeful because it was the first in a series of seven called the Nevada Nights series. It’s my hope that I will complete that series one day.
Since that fateful day when I finally finished the first novel, I have written something every day toward my goal of being a full time writer. About five years ago, I was lucky enough to make the dream come true. It was after I decided to go back to school to further my education so I could get a job I might enjoy. My husband came to me and told me I could stay home to write full time if I wanted. My first thought was to say immediately yes but I had to weigh the pros and cons.
It took me about 24 hours but I knew I had it in me to make a career of writing. I work every day at this career, even sometimes writing three chapters of a book. Now, my reasons are different as I know if the story doesn’t click with me in those first three chapters, I need to start over. Those ideas get shuttled back to the idea file for use maybe at a later time.
Yet, I remember the days when the first three chapters were all I ever wrote on a novel. My advice is to not rely on just being able to write a great hook and subsequent two chapters but to hone your skill for the middle and end just as much. Yes, you may be able to sell a story based upon those three chapters and a synopsis but remember, you have to complete the book before any sale is finalized and the money gets to your bank account.
Lynn, thank you so much for being here with us today.
If you'd like to find out more about Lynn's books, please follow the links below and browse her website. You can also follow her on Twitter and Facebook.
She loves hearing from her readers at email@example.com.
Yahoo Group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/XtraOrdinaryRomance
eXtasy Books: http://extasybooks.com/
Loose Id: www.loose-id.com
Lynn Crain realized at an early age she wanted to write. She took the long way to that goal by doing a variety of things like nursing, geologist, technical writer and computer manager. Even though she is no longer in the medical field, Lynn has studied natural medicine and remedies for years. She is currently getting her Ph.D. in natural medicine with an emphasis on historical medicine and is still utterly fascinated with all things medical. During her free time she weaves fantasy, futuristic and paranormal tales as well as erotic stories for various publishers. She lives in the very hot southwest with her husband, son, one dog, three cats and a snake named Sandune. She is a past board member of the Romance Writers of America, past VP of EPIC and current EPPIEs Chairman for EPIC.