Every writer has a dream, but bringing it into the realm of reality is the hard part.

I haven't always known that I wanted to be a writer. That dream didn't speak inside me until a few years ago. Reading was my first love. I've enjoyed the wonder of books since...well, before I was born. At least I did according to my mother. She is an avid reader of true story magazines and often read out loud to me while I lay nestled in her stomach. She even told me that whenever she changed the inflection of her voice, I'd kick as if I'd gotten excited about something. While I think I was probably responding to her voice rather than the story, the sentiment is touching.

I jumped into writing with full force. After I started on a story, I joined a critique group. I went to the first meeting expecting to hear that my story was wonderful, better than a Nora Roberts novel. Boy, did I get a reality check that day. Instead of hearing tons of praises, I learned I had a fatal attraction to adjectives and was seriously comma challenged.

While my heart was broken, I was also excited. This wasn't the end but the beginning. I could work with constructive feedback. It was something that would move me closer to making my dream a reality. So I hung in there through all the rejections until I made my first sale. Ironically, it was to True Story magazine. Go figure. Next I sold a story to Wild Rose Press, which is due out soon.

I'm grateful for those two sales. They justify the small still voice that lives inside me. YOU CAN DO IT, it says every time my dream wavers like a mirage. So no matter what anyone says, never, never, never let go of your dream. And remember the fear of rejection is temporary, but the feeling you get from seeing your name in print lasts forever.

What started you on the road to publication? Post a comment and share.


  1. Nightingale // November 28, 2009 at 3:58 PM  

    Glad you stuck with your dream. You're an excellent writer. I look forward to reading your new release. I read Anne Rice's Vampire Lestat -- thought I can do that and started writing. Boy was I wrong in at least one aspect--making the money she's made! My first sale, Black Swan, is about vampires, however.

  2. Mary Marvella // November 28, 2009 at 4:17 PM  

    Dreams are important. Sometimes they change or evolve. I've always been a storyteller. I want to share my stories, and yes, sell them. We must never give up on our writing.
    (That means Pam and Linda and Scarlet and every last one of us!

  3. Scarlet Pumpernickel // November 28, 2009 at 4:19 PM  

    Pam, I'm glad you found the courage to continue writing past the rejections. What Pam isn't telling us is that she also got positive feedback from Harlequin's Instant Seduction contest. An editor wants her to submit a new story to her!! Way to go Pam. You are a very talented lady and we are glad you are a fuzzy! I read Kathleen Woodiwiss' Shana, finished the book,sighed and said--I want to do that!


  4. Judy // November 28, 2009 at 5:06 PM  

    I've always read and written stories from the time I was a child. My sister and I finaled in a Redbook writing contest way back when. Then I began writing children's stories. Sent my first one off to Highlights for Children and sold it! Yay! Piece of cake! Right? Wrong. Sold two more magazine stories for children and began the hard grind to try to publish a novel. Two short stories have sold and I hope I'm close to publishing both women's fiction and middle-grade fantasy novels but it's been a long, painful, exhilerating, depressing, hopeful ride. But I can't stop! Writing is too much a part of me, coloring my thoughts and hopes and dreams.

  5. Barbara Monajem // November 28, 2009 at 6:23 PM  

    I too have been writing stories since childhood. The more books I read, the more I wanted to write my own stories. Now, I find it almost impossible not to write.

  6. Pamela Varnado // November 28, 2009 at 8:04 PM  

    Nightingale, I loved your story Black Swan. It gave a new twist to the vampire lore and was soooo sexy.

  7. Pamela Varnado // November 28, 2009 at 8:06 PM  

    Mary, my dreams do keep evolving. The more knowledge I gain the bigger the dream. I wonder what the end result will look like. I can't wait.

  8. Pamela Varnado // November 28, 2009 at 8:10 PM  

    Scarlet, thanks for the kind words. Like you, I love Kathleen Woodwiss stories. My first love is historical romance but I can't read them as much as I used to because my writing voice takes on a historical tone whenever I do. This is especially bad when I'm working on a contemporay novel.

  9. Pamela Varnado // November 28, 2009 at 8:11 PM  

    Judy, it is hard to let go of the dream of writing. It almost as if it's a part of your soul. Without it you'd feel empty.

  10. Pamela Varnado // November 28, 2009 at 8:14 PM  

    Barbara, I know you're excited about seeing your dream come to reality. Even in small doses, it's a great feeling. I can't wait to read your first book.

  11. Mary Ricksen // November 28, 2009 at 9:23 PM  

    What started me was a need to prove that I could do it. I always loved to write but could I leave the legacy of a book behind. I was here and my book proves it.
    That had to be my motto Never give up!
    You made it Pam, you made it big!

  12. Pamela Varnado // November 28, 2009 at 11:17 PM  

    Mary R., when most people think of leaving a legacy behind they think of money, but that's all not it can mean. Words have the ablility to affect people generation after generation. Just think of all the quotes spoken by people who lived centuries ago. They still inspire and motivate us to reach for the highest star.

  13. Anonymous // November 29, 2009 at 9:53 PM  

    I never knew your mom read True Romance stories to you in utero. That's sweet.

    Hang on to your dream. It definitely gets hard, but those who quit never reach their goal. And getting published is my goal.

    Connie Gillam

  14. Anonymous // November 30, 2009 at 6:18 AM  

    Momma~I want you to know that I am so proud of you for doing what you do. I know if anyone can suceed it is you, I can only hope to be half the woman you. I love you and I miss you more then words can say. You can do anything you put your mind too....isn't that what you have always told me?

    Your Wonderful Daughter....SmOoChIeS

  15. Joanne // November 30, 2009 at 2:45 PM  

    I love your dream, Pam. Perseverance in this business, as well as a strong drive, has paid off for you.