Marsha West is a friend of mine from the Romantic Suspense Sisters of Suspense blog and a fellow member of RWA and the Kiss of Death. She’s also a former elementary school principal which I find fascinating. Part of this is because all I wanted to do in school was escape. When people said, ‘you should be a teacher,’ I looked at them as if they’d grown two heads.
So I asked her what that was like. I still don’t feel I have the full picture since I’ve known some other teachers and principals and they can usually tell some pretty good stories. But in case you’ve ever wondered what you’re missing…
1. How has being an elementary school principal influenced your writing?
The frustration of the job made me search for an escape. Writing became that just as reading had been. Toward the end of my time as an administrator, I found myself working seven days a week, yes, Sunday, too. I couldn’t get the work done any other way. No balance in that kind of life and the stress was probably going to kill me had I stayed. Retiring allowed me the time to really jump into what I didn’t realize would be a new career.
2. What would you say to anyone wanting to be a writer?
Read a lot in your genre. Write. Take on-line classes and attend conferences. Write. Get a couple of critique partners. Write. Grow a thick skin for the rejection from your CPs, contest judges, agents, editors, and publishers. Write. And write some more. I won’t tell you that you have to write every single day because I don’t. But that is the advice you’ll get most often. Everyone has to find their own way, develop their own process. There’s no right or wrong. You just have to find what works for you. And you do that by writing. There’s no more supportive group of folks than romance writers.
3. What makes you the Sister Of Second Chances and how does that influence your work?
Personally, I’ve lived lots of different lives and gotten lots of second chances. I think that has influenced my writing. When “they” tell you to look to see what your theme is, I realized that I wrote about second chances. People who had loved and lost and didn’t think love would be a part of their lives again. So when we had to come up with a name for SOS, that seemed a natural choice.
4. What would you like to do other than writing if talent/skill didn’t matter?
I’d be a singer/actress on TV, in movies, and on the stage. That’s what I always wanted to do, but I was too shy to go for it. My advice to folks is always to go for whatever you want. You might make it. If you don’t try, you know you won’t get there. I’ve been blessed to do lots of cool things in my life, but still, there is that small part of me that wonders… SECOND ACT, Book 1 of the Second Chances Series, has a theatre setting. I hope to bring out another book this year, not a part of the series, that has a theatre setting. It’s a fun world.
A widow since 9/11 and a mother of a grown daughter, Kate Thompson wants to keep her and her daughter safe, but the inheritance of land in Maine pushes her out of her comfort zone in Texas and into the arms of a Maine lawyer.
Maine lawyer and environmentalist, Jim Donovan wants to protect Aunt Liddy’s land and keep it from falling into the hands of the developers, but first he has to convince Kate Thompson she should hold on to the family land when she doesn’t even want to go look at it. However, he’s unprepared for the attraction each feels for the other, but denies exists.
Will they be able to settle the land deal before anyone else is killed or they break each other’s hearts?
And from a lady who clearly knows less is often more a short, very short,
Excerpt (Really more of a snippet)
Mildred stopped and nailed Kate with a beady-eyed stare. “You do plan to turn over the Thompson land to the Conservancy Trust, don’t you?”
“I don’t know yet, Mildred. My daughter’s coming to visit, and then we’ll decide together what we want to do with the land. It’s possible she’ll want to keep it in the family. Be a nice place for her to get away from the hectic-ness of New York City.”
“Liddy would be pleased with either the Trust or you keeping it in the family, but she’ll haunt you if you sell to Holland.”
Kate leaned away. The venom in the woman’s tone made Kate’s heart rate trip up and her hands grow sweaty. Mildred completely believed her statement, enough to cause Kate nightmares.
“She’s giving every option plenty of consideration,” Jim jumped in. Was he afraid Mildred’s hard sell would reverse Kate’s leaning in his direction?
“I’ve had my say. Good night to you both.”
I don’t know about you, but that certainly leaves me wanting more. If you want more details click on the book for the Amazon buy link or the links below:
Amazon print http://amzn.to/1KrBwEK
Apple iTunes http://apple.co/1QoeJjA
B & N http://bit.ly/1PO4pgb
To learn more about Marsha drop over to her website, http://www.marsharwest.com/
It was great fun having you here today Marsha. I always enjoy your blogs over on our #RSSOS blog.