The History of Misty

One writer’s journey into the country of dreams…

It’s 1999 – Ive been married for two years and my husband and I work opposite shifts. I’m in the grocery store and see a book called Tender Triumph by Dianna Devlin. I’m home by myself most nights with not a whole lot to do, so I pick it up, thinking it’s better than watching more Lifetime than is strictly healthy for one person. And I’m hooked on the romance…

That was the beginning for me. I devoured books after that, haunting used books stores and the local independent book sellers. I’d always been a reader, but ran more toward High Fantasy and Suspense. But now, my romance collection grew and so did my appetite for that Happily Ever After. I read them all – historicals, Harlequins, contemporary, romantic suspense. You name it, it was on my bulging shelves. I wanted to write for Harlequin so bad, I could taste it in the back of my throat. I had no idea what I was doing when we got a computer for Christmas one year and my husband cranked it up. I opened a word document and began a truly ridiculous novel called The Teacher’s Lesson…

Drums sounded, fireworks went off. I never got past the first three chapters. I decided that it must be easier to write Children’s Books because they were small and I could get my feet wet. I joined a Children’s Writers Group at the local independent bookstore whose name escapes me. I worked on many stories that I made into my own children’s books with artist paper and terrible drawings. The leader of that group and I were talking one day and I told her I really wanted to be a romance author and she sent me to her mother Elizabeth Sinclair…

I about fell over! This was a HARLEQUIN AUTHOR! She encouraged me and sent me a wonderful book called The Dreaded Synopsis, which she wrote. I worried over it but kept writing.

Fast forward a year. My husband’s mother is a graphic designer and she put together a monthly magazine called The Country Review. They wanted someone to write articles that would be of interest to the male population. She offered me up as a candidate and I began researching Antique Cars and my articles gained popularity. My name was on something! Well, the name M. Simon Penner was since they wanted me to be a guy…

But it was addictive. Even as I continued getting rejections for my children’s stories and struggled through my ridiculous romance, I continued to dream of writing novels. I entered a Writing Round Robin contest through Harlequin and won. I nearly fainted when I got the email. ME? Seriously? And it came with an offer to send in one of my own manuscripts. I did, one with seven points of view – even the dog had a POV. They politely declined but said they would be interested in seeing something else down the road. So began my affair with rejections…

And then I took one day courses at the local college and read tons of how to books. I got involved with a  group of women online who wrote Big Beautiful Women. I joined RWA and was writing greeting cards for which I was also getting rejected. However I did get an invite to submit something for a book Blue Mountain Publishing was putting together called Words of Wisdom from Our Grandparents. I submitted my ideas and received an offer to be in the book but no money. I was rolling.

In the BBW group they had a call out for an online retailer of BBW lingerie. You had to write a short piece using their inventory to entice someone to buy with the fantasy. I submitted and sold. My first real sale for actual money to someone I didn’t know! And I got to use my own name!

My next opportunity came with a now defunct online mystery magazine called The Crimson Dagger. They bought my Death By Hair Product – which got good reviews. Then I was invited into an anthology of paranormal erotic romance and another for retelling fairy tales. I was off and running.

I had to quit my job to stay home with our daughter so I wrote, promising myself that if I could sell a full length novel before a year was up that I could stay home and do this. I sold 362 days later to Rida Allen at Draumr Publishing and The Ivy Morris Mysteries were born. I haven’t looked back since.

I continue writing and submitting, getting rejections and contracts. Working on my writing even though I have a full time job again, making that time because I love to share my stories, the people in them and the hope of a Happily Ever After.

Let’s see where the next chapter takes us…

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4 thoughts on “The History of Misty

  1. Misty, I love reading about you and your journey to be a writer. I’m so happy for your success. I always love your Ivy stories 😉

  2. How awesome your story is, and so encouraging for someone like me whose still trying to write something others might enjoy reading! Just put your book, Wicked Ink on my nook! See ya at Megan’s!

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