Last Friday, my 26th novel became available from my publisher, this one under my second penname, Cara Covington. Considering that my debut novel came out in March of 2007, that’s a lot of books in a relatively short time. You probably surmise that I spend a lot of my time writing, and you’d be right.
The most amazing thing is, if I was still waiting for a publisher to say “yes”, I would still be writing, although probably not with as much confidence.
I guess I had to have a heart attack and then open heart surgery to get to the place where I was able to do what I love most in all of the world to do.
Before my medical problems—at age 48—I worked for nearly 30 years in the field of accounting. I did accounts payable, accounts receivable, balance sheets, and payroll and benefits. I knew beyond a doubt that a credit was a debit and a debit was a credit, and just because it balanced didn’t mean it was right. I was pretty good at what I did, and I had been told by more than one boss that they’d never seen anyone work so quickly, or with so few mistakes.
A co-worker once accused me of treating my “job” like a career, a comment she thought was an insult, but which I took as a compliment. I have always believed that if you’re going to do something, you should do the best damn job at it that you can—especially if you’re being paid for it.
I carried that attitude over to my writing, of course. My beloved will tell you he shakes his head in amazement at how much time I spend looking things up, contacting experts, checking my facts...doing research to try and ensure that I get things right.
My sister-in-law once told me—and yes, I am still speaking to her—that since I was only writing porn and not The Great Canadian Novel, she didn’t see why I had to be such a perfectionist about it.
Well, aside from the fact that I don’t write porn, thank you very much, I am writing the great Canadian novel. To me, that’s what every one of my books truly is. Yes, they have graphic love scenes. But they also have compelling characters, and good plots. They often address real challenges that women, and men, face in life.
Each of my stories has more than one level to it. And even if they didn’t, there is value in simply giving your reader a few hours away from the challenges and stresses in their own lives.
If that was all that my books were about, I would still strive to write the best book I could.
The thing is, I love what I do, and I’m proud of what I do. If I wasn’t getting published, I would still be doing it.
I guess that’s the definition of happiness...and passion, too.
I know how lucky I am that I can devote my days to doing what I love.
I know what it’s like to go to work each day, and sometimes wonder if you’ll get through the eight or ten or twelve hours. Folks who do that, who go to work day in and day out, even though they don’t like what they’re doing are, in my opinion, the real heroes in life.
I can’t say that I had a passion for accounting the way I have a passion for writing. It was boring work at times, but I found a way to make it interesting. I don’t put up with boring. I never have. If something needs to be done and it’s dull and dry, I find a way to make it palatable, and I work as quickly as I can to be done with it.
I may never be famous, or monetarily wealthy. Those things don’t really matter to me. I’ve always said that as long as I have the makings for a good cup of coffee, and plenty of toilet paper, I can get by.
But I am enormously rich in the work that I do, and the friends I have made, and the readers who read my books and then write to me to tell me that they love them.
I am blessed, and highly favored.