It was serendipitous that I ever read the book in the first place. I'd never heard of Elizabeth Berg. I didn't make time for reading fiction. And I'd heard enough about breast cancer...or so I thought. But...as I've already told you...the book was thrust upon me and it has been with me ever since.
It was the spark that ignited my smoldering desire to write...though little did I know what I was getting myself into.
Naivete...no, make that pure, unadulterated ignorance...was my friend when I started out. I had no grandiose expectations, no agenda, no ulterior motives. I knew nothing about story structure and character arc. I simply enjoyed the process of stringing words together one after the other. It was a game to me, a change of pace, a simple pleasure...until my own novel started to take shape.
Before long I found myself struggling to compose a synopsis of the story--no small task. I started sending out query letters and pitching agents at conferences. I learned the meaning of the word "rejection".
I learned just how difficult it can be to find a agent, much less a publisher for a book, and how hard it is to do your own marketing.
The point is that I now have a deeper appreciation and profound respect for anyone who has the ability and skill, the imagination and creativity, the determination and perseverance to write and publish a book...any book! It is a monumental task and it deserves a standing ovation from all of us!
So...I want to applaud Elizabeth Berg and all the other wonderful writers across time and space who have worked so hard on our behalf. Writers who have engaged us with their imaginations and transported us to fantastic new worlds. Who have taught us and encouraged us and mentored us in our own nascent efforts to follow in their footsteps.
"Talk Before Sleep" may have been the spark that ignited my passion to write, but smoldering embers surrounded me for years before Elizabeth Berg even thought about a career in writing. I'll top off Sparkfest tomorrow with a tribute to a couple of people who helped me along and a couple of other books that hold a special place in my heart.