I didn't always want to be a novelist. When I was really little, I wanted to be a police officer just like my dad and my grandmother. That didn't last too long, however. You see, I really dislike exercise. And police officers need to be fit.
My sense of justice didn't disappear with my change in career plans. After police work, I being a lawyer would be great fun. Oh, I didn't want to be just any lawyer—I wanted to be Perry Mason. I wanted to end every cross examination with a brilliant declaration of "who dun-it" because of course, my client would always be innocent.
I don't remember who convinced me that becoming a lawyer was a bad idea. It could have been my dad, who probably wondered how he would afford to send me to college and law school on a cop's salary. Whoever opened my eyes to the reality of a lawyer did so fairly quickly and my law school dreams were short lived.
I've said before that I was first published at the age of 7 in Daisy Magazine, the official Girl Scout magazine at the time. I always wrote, but it wasn't until a high school journalism class that the writing bug defined my life. That's when I decided to be a reporter.
Law enforcement and the media seem to have a mutual distrust of each other, so Dad wasn't all that excited about his oldest pursuing a career in that field. But he's always been supportive of his daughter's goals, so he "sucked it up."
It wasn't until I graduated college and couldn't find a job as a reporter (I did, however, work as a production tech for a local television station for a bit) that I opted to seriously work on fiction.
So what does this have to do with my novels now? I think it's one of the reasons I write mysteries. Obviously I've always wanted the "good guys" to win and justice to prevail. We all know that doesn't happen in the "real world" but in fiction we expect things to end that way. My protagonist is a free lance writer, which helps me use my own experiences and eduction for Cerri's benefit. And I've been able to use my dad as a great "expert" for my law enforcement characters.
I believe that people learn from every experience and every thought. What you learn, what you take away, is partially up to the individual. People just need to open their eyes, their ears, their minds, and their hearts to learn. As a novelist, I've been able to use my previous wants and desires in my fiction. Those same wants and desires allowed me to grow into the person I am today.
Am I were I thought I would be career-wise? Nope.
But I am where I'm supposed to be.