Monday, July 9, 2012

Meet Theresa Leschmann Author, Part I

Meet Theresa Leschmann Author, Part I

Today I am launching a new blog about my attempts to make it as an author in an ever changing world of publishing. This is a learn-as-you-go operation for me but then isn’t pretty much everything in life? What fun would it be if we could simply read a book and know exactly what to do for every choice we make or every new thing we attempt?

I guess you need to know a little bit about me as a writer if you are going to accompany me on this journey. 

My life as a writer started out with me being a reader. I was a voracious reader as a child. The school I attended sent home those little Scholastic Books flyers and I cajoled my mother into buying me one or two books every month. I read everything from “Black Stallion” and “My Side of the Mountain” to “Nancy Drew Mysteries” and anything published by Alfred Hitchcock. 

I never considered writing as a career while I was growing up but then I never really considered any career. By the time I was a teenager, I had aspirations of being a singing star but they weren’t terribly rooted in me. I took some voice lessons, did some community theater and moved on. 

It wasn’t until I was in my thirties that I began to le the thought of doing a little writing tumble around in my mind. I had a pen pal, James Bell, overseas who loved my letters and encouraged me to explore writing. For years I thought he was simply being kind. I got some great reviews from family members over my annual Christmas letter. If ever there was an endorsement to write professionally, what better one to have than friends and family gushing over my annual Christmas letter? Still, I was not moved to quit my day job. 

A few years later, I took a job at a small town library. I was surrounded by books and discovered more authors than I could list. I also discovered Loretta Ruff, a fellow library worker who encouraged me to accompany her to a meeting of the Writer’s Guild in our area. I went a few times and enjoyed the atmosphere. A couple of months later, I read an anecdotal piece at an open critique night which was well received. I later learned they received everyone’s work well but it still help boost my courage to take even more baby steps. 

A guest speaker at the guild meeting was the editor of newspaper magazine in our regional newspaper. We spoke after the meeting and she hired me, on the spot to write one or two pieces a week for the magazine. I was so excited as I had no journalistic training or experience. Still, it didn’t take long for the thrill of writing about medical center openings and baby pageants to wear off. It proved invaluable experience though. It laid the groundwork for the path my writing has taken since then. 

In the next post, I’ll talk more about how I became a writer of fiction and I hope you’ll come back and read more.

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