Part #2 of our chat with @ToniBlake LUV: When did you know you wanted to be a writer? How did you embark on the journey to publication? Toni: At the age of ten, I announced to my mother I was going to be a novelist when I grew up. I was an only child, raised on a farm, so books, TV, and my imagination were what entertained me. (The cats, chickens, and cows notwithstanding. ;)) To this day, I’m a proud TV-aholic and I credit a lot of my storytelling ability to what I learned by watching TV growing up. My first “novel,” penned that same year, was nineteen notebook pages long, and I think about half of it recounted an occasion on which I was chased by bees. ;) But I wrote a novella at thirteen, and tons of short stories in high school, where I was also the editor of the school newspaper and yearbook. A guidance counselor told me it was impossible to make a living as a novelist, so I spent some years trying not to write, but I kept coming back to it, almost against my will. Finally I thought: I don’t want to wake up one day when I’m eighty and wonder if I could have done this. So when I was twenty-eight, I told my husband I was going to start locking myself into our bedroom every night and trying to write a book. At first it was western tomes (I was going to be the female Larry McMurtry), and then it was literary novels – but I was scattered and not sure what I had to say to the world until a friend handed me three Jennifer Crusie novels and said, “This is what you should be writing.” She was correct. She also introduced me to the Romance Writers of America, an organization which would play a large role in my journey. I sold my first book at thirty-one and next year I’ll celebrate twenty-five years in the biz.

Posted by LUV Team at 2022-07-19 19:01:03 UTC