Today’s IWSG question:
What was your very first piece of writing as an aspiring writer? Where is it now? Collecting dust or has it been published?
To start my writing career with a bang, I decided to write a romantic suspense series about a family of international, art-theft investigators, based in Amsterdam, who travel the world looking for lost and stolen art. I called the first book, The Stolen Rembrandt and the second, The Lost Vermeer. Both books won several awards in contests, but I haven’t published them.
The problem is they start out strong (which is why they did well in contests), dwindle in the middle and then end. Not the perfect book recipe.
The third book evolved into a series of its own, because the heroine took over the plot. It became Covert Danger the story of a sexy, CIA operative posing as an international model who takes on an Egyptian arms dealer. Tag line: A single woman – a double life. It was the first book I published (independently).
But back to my first piece, The Lost Rembrandt, which I originally called, The Dutch Kiss. I wrote it after spending a month in Amsterdam and falling in love with the city and Dutch culture. The story opens with a single woman waking up to the sound of footsteps in her hallway coming towards her. She escapes out her third-story bedroom window, and as she teeters on a thin piece of rotting wood that runs along the side of her building, she hears two men going through her things. They’re looking for something.
Of course she’s afraid of heights and the wooden ledge keeps breaking. Her nails dig into the brick wall. Adrenalin courses through her system making her leg muscles cramp…
Meanwhile … the hero, a handsome investigator who is shadowing her in the hopes of finding the stolen Rembrandt, is watching her from his car parked below. He gets a good look at her legs.
Long story short: the heroine’s father stole the Rembrandt and everyone thinks she has it. To save her own skin she teams up with the guy who likes her legs to find it. They discover the etching and love.
There are things I like about this story, especially the parts set in Amsterdam, but I resist going back to it. It’s easier and way more fun to write something fresh. But I will always remember the woman teetering on the ledge.
The first contest I entered it in was the Daphne du Maurier. I got the call that I had been shortlisted, six months after I started writing seriously. I was excited beyond words. I even wrote a blog post about it. That summer I went to the RWA National Conference in Anaheim, attended the fancy, Death by Chocolate event and was awarded third place. It was a wonderful beginning for my writing life and a memory I treasure.
And that’s my story about my first writing piece. Since then my writing life has been a roller-coaster.
What is the IWSG?
It’s the Insecure Writers Support Group.
What the heck is that?
“A database resource site and support group for writers and authors. Featuring weekly guests and tips, a monthly blogfest gathering [like today], two Facebook groups, and thousands of links – all to benefit writers!” (from the IWSG website)
This post is my entry into the blog hop for this month. Now I’ve published it, I will read what other authors have written on the same subject. Writers love reading about stories about other writer’s journeys.
Photo credits: Puzzle is from Pixabay, Amsterdam is from Shutterstock, my photo is by Judith Hudson