When I was a child, I never thought about what would happen after I turned 21. I thought 21 was ancient. I assumed my life would be set by that time, which meant to me, married with children. Obviously, I hadn’t a clue about the reality of life. So when I graduated from college, I asked myself—Where do I go from here?
I had gotten a degree in medical technology and still didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. My dad wanted me to be a doctor. I didn’t. Couldn’t get over dissecting a cadavar. I had let my college advisor talk me into becoming a Med Tech. I went along with it because I didn’t know what else to do. I did my internship in New Orleans at Alton Oschner Medical Foundation. Right before graduation, I did one of the stupidest things I have ever done—turning down the FBI. The FBI came to recruit for their CSI lab. I had no desire to live anywhere except near my home in Northeast Mississippi. If I took the opportunity with the FBI, I would have had to live in Washington D.C. I didn’t want to move. The question becomes— what was I thinking? Because a few years later, I got married to my Yankee and moved to Boston.
After settling down and having a family, the desire to write gnawed at me. I thought my time to learn the craft was behind me. I was almost forty with three children when my husband encouraged me to do what I wanted to do. He said go write.
I couldn’t afford to give up working. So I began to work overnights and write during the hours my children were in school. It meant I didn’t sleep much, but it worked…except I didn’t know how to write. I had all these great ideas in my head only to discover how hard it was to put those ideas down on paper. Eventually, I taught myself…by trial and error. Finally, I got to a point where I was happy with what I was creating. Then I learned a hard lesson—there is a lot more to writing than creating a book.
I went through a mountain of rejections. I was finally published by a small publisher, Wild Child Publishing, but after a while, I decided to go Indie. Again I didn’t have a clue what I was doing. At times, I feel I still don’t. I have gone through obstacles that in my wildest dreams I didn’t ever think would happen to me. The worst was the troll/stalker I had…still have. I was not prepared for the nastiest I had to face.
I will admit there was a time I thought I was going to give up writing. Then, I got my break. Book Bub picked up my book, Seductive Secrets under my penname Colleen Connally. It turned my writing career around. The hardest part of being an Indie author is putting your book into the hands of readers. Book Bub allowed that to happen.
I now am an Amazon bestselling author under both Jerri Hines and Colleen Connally. For that, I am most sincerely grateful.
Last year, I began the novel I always wanted to write—Southern Legacy. Again, I found myself with a challenge. This time is was on how to release the book. It was too long…way too long. Every option I tried, I got turned down…then I decided to release it as a serial. I was told it would never sell. Readers don’t like cliffhangers…I knew they didn’t, but I didn’t feel I had a choice. I released Belle of Charleston last December, Shadows of Magnolia in January, Born To Be Brothers in May and the conclusion, The Sun Rises in October. Southern Legacy has become a bestselling series on Amazon.
Today, I am happy to say, Southern Legacy has been released under one cover—Southern Legacy Completed Version. This is the novel I always wanted to write. Now the question becomes—where do I go from here?
Finishing up Southern Legacy, I had to take a small break. It took a lot out of me. When I write, I pour my heart and soul into my books. I had to take a step back. Also, during the last few months, I’ve had several things to contend with (my mother-in-law past away in August, my mother had a stroke and my father-in-law past away a couple of weeks ago)… The fact of the matter is that the reality of life has pushed back my time schedule.
So where do I go from here? I am happy to say I have a couple of projects set for 2016. The first is a collaboration with my son. I am thrilled. We are working on a contemporary suspense for the second book in Boston Crimes of Passion series. Going back and forth on its name. At the moment, it is Mockingbird. Then my sole attention will be on Set Fire To The Rain, the much anticipated conclusion to Winds of Betrayal Series. I had wanted to have this book out this year. For that, I have to apologize, but be patient with me—it will be worth the wait.
Have a good one!