Monday, November 23, 2015

I'm An Author, But Almost Wasn't

Christmas hype often overshadows Thanksgiving, but it shouldn't. Around Thanksgiving, I can't help but be grateful for my many blessings, chief of which are the gift of life, the gift of love, and the gift of country.

I've also received another gift, one that sees me through hard times and give me joy. That is the gift of writing. My earliest recollections are of my father driving me and my brothers to the library, where we'd take out stacks of books to bring home and devour. 

As I grew older, I dreamed of being a writer, but that's all it was, just a dream. I had no idea how to follow through, or even if I could. That all changed one evening when I attended a presentation at my local library, There, various members of the Chicago-North Romance Writers of America chapter shared how and why they wrote. Though they came from various walks of life, and seemed like normal, everyday people, they'd managed to write books,and many of these women had actually gotten there books published. If they could do it, maybe I could.

Fascinated by the idea, I joined the chapter. It was wonderful being among people with the same interests. Not only did I enjoy the bonds of friendship, but also, when my first book, Two Wrongs, was published, I'd finally learned enough about the craft to finally realize my dream about becoming a published author.Since then, I've published eight more books, and have a few more in the works.

None of this would have happened, if not for that one presentation at my local library. I'm so very thankful I was there that night.

Would any of you like to share how you became a writer?

Experience the diversity and versatility of Morgan Mandel. Romantic Comedies: Her Handyman, its sequel, A Perfect Angelstandalone reality show romance; Girl of My Dreams.  Thriller: Forever Young: Blessing or Curse,its sequel: the Blessing or Curse CollectionRomantic suspense: Killer CareerMystery:Two Wrongs. Short  and Sweet   Romance: Christmas   Carol
Christian Women's Fiction: Hailey's Chance: Will Baby Make 3? Twitter:@MorganMandel Websites: Morgan Mandel.Com    Morgan Does Chick Lit.Com.


  1. The library can serve as inspiration for writers with workshops, author events, etc. One of my writing groups met in the library meeting room. We will always need libraries.

  2. Love that attitude of gratitude, Morgan ... as for moi, I've probably already related my tale of slogging through the corporate trenches, grinding out copy for bosses and clients who wouldn't hesitate to criticize my stuff ... harshly ... which, while it had the positive effect of toughing my hide ... helped me realize that I was a fish out of water ... I didn't really belong in cubeville. When I finally cut loose, I became a free-range writer ... doing what ever I wanted, and, lo and behold, a couple of books happened. At least I think that's how it happened.

    1. Our hearts guide us where they want to go.

  3. I can't pinpoint a single event that inspired me to write as a youngster, but I found out decades later that, as a young man, my grandfather penned poetry. Did I hear about that or listen to any of his poems as a small child? I don't recall. (Maybe the love of reading and writing is passed down in the genes.) When I was in high school, studying journalism and starting my first attempt at novel writing, my youngest brother became my cheering section of one. At that time numerous trips to the library fed my desire to write, and I would read one or more books in a day or two so I could go back for more. Then I got married, had kids, and embarked on a busy family life. We adopted a Korean orphan, and an article about that process was purchased by a magazine publisher that, I think, was located in Chicago. Years later, a dear friend got a settlement on an accident, and she purchased a short story writing course from Writer's Digest for each of us. Years after that, I embarked on, completed, and self-published my first novel. It had been a long road with several detours, but I will forever be grateful to those who urged me along the way to keep my focus on my goal to one day be a writer. Love your post, Morgan. It's really good to be reminded about those who encouraged us to reach out for our dream.

    1. I was also in Journalism class. It taught me to write tight. On the downside is I have a tough time writing descriptions.

  4. I never wrote one word, not one, until I was 58 years old. I had an idea for a story and started to type it out on the computer. Something happened to me. I became obsessed. I found an editor on the Internet and paid him to edit the book. I remember the email. The story is fantastic. The writing needs work. That was the beginning. Then my friend told me of a meeting about 25 miles from my house with a group I'd never heard of, Sisters in Crime. I met a couple of women who asked me to critique with them, and the rest is history.


The Blood-Red Pencil is a blog focusing on editing and writing advice. Some of our contributors are editors, some are authors, and some are writing sheep. Yes, sheep.


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