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  • Writer's pictureSusan Lute

Published Author: My Journey—A Cautionary Tale?

Updated: Feb 24, 2023

It seems like I've been writing forever. In high school I had stories published in an anthology by my English teacher. That's the interesting thing about teachers. They believe in their students more than the kids believe in themselves. Teachers are cool. They don't have to do things like put out a publication of stories written by their students, but they do.

My next brush with publication came in December 1991, an article titled, Jessie's Choice, pubbed in a little known periodical, Listen Magazine, a monthly drug prevention magazine for teens.

I didn't get super serious about novel writing until 1997. I spent the next years proving I could string fifty-thousand words together over and over. The result was Oops..We're Married? published by Silhouette Romance in June 2003. And then in April 2011 came my first indie book, Jane's Long March Home. I have my own publishing company, Crazy Hair Publishing. So we could share our writing journey, my good friends, Nancy Brophy, Cassiel Knight, and I started our first blog, See Jane Publish. Sadly, we had to say good-bye to SJP. Today there are new Janes sharing their journey.

Now I work a full time day job and write whenever I can. It's been one heck of a ride. Here are some of the highlights:

10.2.2011 I could have been anything in the world. A geologist. An architect. A commercial artist. A piano player. Not a singer. That would be painful for everyone listening. A painter. A historian. A teacher. A hairdresser. Not a doctor. The list is endless, and I'm bored already, which is why I eventually chose to became a nurse to pay the bills...and later fell into writing to feed my creativity.

1.28.2012 One of my favorite films is The Devil Wears Prada, starring Meryl Streep, Anne Hathaway, and Stanley Tucci, who doesn't get top billing, but should. He gives a stellar performance as Nigel, a Runway Magazine—I'm not sure what you'd call what he does for the Editor-in-Chief, Miranda. Page layout artist, jack of all trades, maybe? His line, “Alright everyone, gird your loins,” is one of my favorites.

If you haven't seen the movie, The Devil Wears Prada is about a writer who becomes assistant to an impossibly demanding New York fashion magazine editor, and all the hoops she has to jump that might, in the end, be the death of her. Publishing is a bit like that. Indie, and traditional, too. As for Andy Sachs, the learning curve is steep, especially when you're also the editor-in-chief of your own career. There's a mentoring scene between Andy and Nigel. “Then quit,” he says. “What? I don't want to quit!”...Andy.

1.12.2014 Finding balance is always a challenge for authors with over-reaching day jobs that won't stay inside their natural working hours. And then there's the ongoing discussion among writers about how much time should be spent on social media and marketing. It can leave little time to actually write.

1.5.2015 Life is a journey. The stories I write are in part my journey, but they are also a fictional exploration of my characters journeys.

4.2.2016 I write in multiple genres—mostly contemporary romance, with a little women's fiction and paranormal/fantasy romance added in. To say I have a very active writing imagination is putting it kindly. When not working as a Registered Nurse, I write about heroes and heroines looking for home and community; stories filled with secondary characters that show our hero and heroine how finding love is worth the journey. Contemporary romance and dragons are my thing. When not writing, my favorite Zen moments are spending time with family, reading, watching movies, gardening, taking pictures of nature and architectural marvels, traveling, and remodeling the house I finally call home.

All of this is to say—in the immortal words of Commander Peter Taggart (played by Tim Allen in Galaxy Quest): Never give up. Never surrender. Cheesy, I know, but I like the sentiment.

Be Bold, Be Brave, Be Yourself (A Summer Journal)


Alpha Star: Big Sky Alien Mail Order Brides (great title, right?) Book One by Elsa Jade, one of my favorite authors. You have to like your books a little on the hotter side to enjoy this one, but wow! What a story. I could barely put it down. A Family Under The Christmas Tree by Terri Reed is a sweet, sweet read. I love her characters and how true to life they are. You might need a hankie at one point, but this is a perfect holiday story.

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