Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A Published Author Is...

By Franny Armstrong (Guest Blogger)

What does becoming an author do to your lifestyle?

For years I lived by the moment, moving from one job to the next and was never satisfied with the work I did. My first jobs were working in a bakery, waitressing, motherhood, then, three years of college (late bloomer) and into laboratories as an Environmental Technologist.

Working with chemicals was not a great idea since I ended up with a chemical brain injury that caused an environmental illness called Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) that made me react to many chemicals like fragrances, cleaning products, exhaust fumes and so on. This took away eight years of my life while I suffered through depression and illness. I became agoraphobic and had panic attacks, and even slept up to twenty hours a day.

One day, someone suggested I write books since I read so many of them. It was like a huge light bulb went off in my head. Suddenly I was on the computer night and day, pounding out stories and learning all I could about becoming a published author. I joined the Romance Writer’s Association as well as my local chapter in Toronto, Ontario and took classes online.

In six years I had twenty books written. Granted, many of them require a lot of editing as I’m still learning new ways to make my characters leap off the pages and express themselves. Needless to say, my first printed book came out March 11, Extrasensory Elements Series Book 1-Author’s Demise.

Though not the first book I wrote, it’s my favourite (so far). I hope readers love it as much as I do. It’s a paranormal romantic suspense with a hunky undercover cop, a feisty telekinetic CEO of a publishing firm, a Shakespeare quoting serial killer, and plenty of extra characters to make the plot unfold with a ‘whose doing it’ theme.

Writing has kept me motivated and excited about my life and brought me out of the pits of despair and set me on my feet. Of course the amazing support of my husband, children, mother and sister has made all the difference. I don’t write because I want to be the next J.K. Rowling, I write because I absolutely love what I do.

My health gets better one day at a time, though I may never be completely well as I was told that MCS is a lifetime illness, but I don’t dwell on that. Focusing mainly on writing, promotions, marketing, and networking, I have few minutes in the day left to dwell on what might hold me back. As a matter of fact, I don’t believe that anything can! That’s where two mottos come in. I keep them pinned to the wall in front of my desk. ‘NEVER SURRENDER! NEVER GIVE UP’ and ‘A PUBLISHED AUTHOR IS AN UNPUBLISHED AUTHOR WHO NEVER QUIT’. Yes, I’m shouting them out. Without them, I don’t think I would have persisted.

If you wish to see the rest of the books I have out, please visit my site, which I share with my equally published sister, author Kali Willows. We do EVERYTHING together.

Franny Armstrong-ParaNovelGirl Co-Hostess Sundays at 2 PM EST


Anonymous said...

First, I love the question you pose: what does becoming an author do to your lifestyle? (trust me, I can go on and on about that one!)

Yours is a wonderful and very uplifting story, Franny. Many authors (including me) worked at all sorts of crazy jobs.

I'm very sorry to hear about the MCS and the 8 years of illness. You are so correct -- writing keeps many of us motivated and excited about our lives, too. I have a permanently injured back (broke 2 bones a couple of years ago) and have a hard time walking and sleeping. Like you, I try not to dwell on it -- I focus on my writing. I've recently discovered all these wonderful book blogs (like this one), and I love talking to other authors - the book-blogosphere is loads of fun.

Great, great post! Very encouraging, I'm sure, to many people! Beautifully written! You brightened MY day - thank you!


Lisabet Sarai said...

Hello, Franny,

Welcome to Beyond Romance, and thanks so much for sharing your odyssey. I really admire your determination.


Franny Armstrong-ParaNovelGirl said...

A little tardy answering, and I apologize for that. Thank you Lisabet for having me. I'm sending Lana an ebook of Small Packages-A Christmas Story. I hope she enjoys it.
Thank you again

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