I’m turning my blog over to Julieanne Reeves, a talented new writer whose debut novel, RAZING KAYNE, is about to be released. I’ve gotten to know Julieanne through the Facebook I-Team group, and I was impressed by some of the stories she shared about her life. A person who has lived through a lot generally has a lot of material to draw on for fiction.
Without further ado, I give you Julieanne.
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It’s almost here; launch day for RAZING KAYNE. I’m about to join the ranks of published authors. I’m excited and quite frankly scared. Publishing my book, sending it out into the world feels a lot like the first day I had to put my children in daycare. I bawled having to leave them that day. They, however, barely spared a wave goodbye; they were too excited to meet and play with their new friends.
The road to publication:
I took a creative writing class in high school in lieu of a traditional English course, and discovered that while I struggled with the mechanics of writing — grammar and punctuation — I flat out loved getting all the thoughts and emotions that swirled inside my head onto paper. So I wrote. For year and years after that class I continued to put stories on paper — well computer — that no one would ever see.
Not even my family or closest friends knew I wrote.
Then a few years ago I ended up spending weeks in the hospital with a systemic staph infection from a spider bite that went south on me. (Sorry Pamela, I know I used the S word, but that is what bit me) I of course had waited until my temp was nearly 105* F before I went to the hospital, which made recovering that much worse.
Laying there, miserable and sick, missing my kids like crazy, I started making a list of all the things I was going to do when I got out of the hospital. Most of that list involved my children and making special memories. But the one that was wholly just for me was a goal to be published before I turned 40. As of Tuesday I will have met that goal with months to spare. I’m still working on those goals with my children. They’re going to take a lifetime to complete.
It was also during that time in the hospital that RAZING KAYNE. That high school creative writing teacher drilled into us that you should “write what you know and do it from the heart.” Up to that point my writing has been fantasy and paranormal and I’d never dared share it with anyone. Honestly it was crap.
Searching for inspiration:
I took a long look at myself. I was a 30-something year old adult, I’d worked for years in law enforcement as a police/fire/911 dispatcher who’d been trained and certified in hostage negotiation and suicide intervention. Working in a small agency allowed me the opportunity to work closely with the Special Response Team, Narcotics Task Force officers and Property and Person’s detectives.
Heck, I’d even applied and been accepted to test for the police academy. I passed the testing though never went through the academy. Experiences I never would have had working in a big agency.
As far as my personal life, I’d adopted two children from foster care as a single mother. Up until going into the hospital I had been a full time stay at home foster mom. This meant that I usually had four kids in the house at any given time. Between special education issues, counseling and doctor’s appointments, and life in general I stayed busy. But, oh, how rewarding — and heartbreaking — it was.
Looking at all my experience — personal and professional — and thinking through the cases I’d been involved with, and remembering the ones I’d heard about, I realized I had a treasure trove of inspiration. So, I did what that creative writing teacher taught me; I wrote what I knew and did it from the heart. I spent three weeks in the hospital and several more at home on IV antibiotics, and by the time I was done, so was my rough draft of RAZING KAYNE.
It would take two more years and lots of encouragement from my online friends before I finally got up the nerve to publish it.
Now that moment is here, and I’m on a roller coaster of emotions. I think the only thing that makes this easier is that I know I haven’t seen the last of Kayne and Jessica and their wonderful children. In Razing Kayne we met some awesome supporting Heroes: Officer Nick Astenbeck, Detectives Trace St.Moritz and Rafe Chatham, Dr. Mark Oberly, and Fire-medic Joe Sutton. They will be getting their own stories over the next couple years. Payson, Arizona is a small town in real life and in fiction so I know we’ll be seeing the whole gang around from time to time.
I hope you enjoy RAZING KAYNE as much as I enjoyed writing it.
For two years, State Trooper Kayne Dobrescu has wanted only one thing: to understand why his wife inexplicably killed their children and then herself. Memories haunt his days and lay siege to his nights, leaving him questioning his reasons for living.
Jessica Hallstatt became a window and single mother the night her firefighter husband died in a fiery explosion at an accident scene. While her husband may have died a hero, he left Jessica with deep emotional scars that haven’t begun to heal.
When Kayne accepted a transfer to the mountain town of Payson, Arizona, he never expected to meet anyone like Jessica. From the moment he pulled her over for speeding, he was drawn in by her whiskey-colored eyes and sassy dimple. He knows she and her children are a forever type package, and he’s vowed never to give anyone the power to destroy him again. Yet fate has other ideas, throwing Kayne and Jessica together in a fight against an unknown enemy to save the life of a child — and hopefully one another.
Nov. 20. (Paperback through Amazon.com, E-book available through all major distributors. Pre-order NOT available.)
Leave a comment below and be entered to win an e-copy of RAZING KAYNE. One lucky winner – worldwide – will be randomly drawn on or about Friday, Nov. 23, 2012. Winner will be announced in the comments so please be sure to check back.
Want to read an excerpt? Go to http://www.goodreads.com/author_blog_posts/3252957-razing-kayne-uncorrected-excerpt for the Prologue and first two chapters.
Pamela thanks for hosting me, and to all her wonderful readers, thanks for taking the time to stop by. I hope you enjoy the upcoming holiday weekend.