I had trouble finding someone for the spotlight this month, so I guess you get me. HA!
My writing career began on a very serious note around the age of 5: "Life is a cookie with some ketchup and cake, and we all stick around for it to bake." Profound, no?
I then set about working my way into a journalism career--I was the news reporter for three different 4-H clubs. They kept re-electing me because I actually enjoyed doing it.
Alas, my profundity at age 5 would fade as I delved back into poetry in Jr. High. ALL of these poems have been burned. I wrote slightly less terrible poetry in college, then hit on something I would do off and on for the next 20+ years--writing for the stage.
I started off with a play I wrote for my senior theatre project--Chosen--a fresh take on the Nativity story that focused on Mary and her possible thoughts and fears. Soon after my two boys made an appearance in the world, I began attending a church that was all too happy to let me write for them, and I wrote numerous children's productions and skits for women's events. I eventually compiled these all into one book: Chosen and other productions, programs, and skits.
You can't have children (and cats), though, without coming up with a couple of stories. After getting back into watercolor painting, I tried my hand at illustrating a fictional story about two real cats and called it, of course, A Tale of Two Kitties. My second children's book, The Stubborn Princess, came from who knows where, as I do not have any princesses in my life, stubborn or otherwise. My younger son Tracy did the drawings for that one, and I did the watercolor.
It was my mother who encouraged me to try writing novels. A big romance reader, she read every romance in her tiny small town library and then reported to me that she was just sure I could write better books. I didn't give it a whirl until she was gone, but I think she'd be proud. I'm about to publish my eighteenth novel, and a number of them are award-winners.
I have done what any reasonable person would tell you not to--write novels in multiple genres. Under the big umbrella of Clean Romance, I've written Contemporary Faith Fiction, Suspense, Time Travel, and Humorous Sci Fi. What can I say? I like variety!
I returned to Children's Books last summer and got stories, songs, and poems I've had laying around for years illustrated. Three of these are my Sing-a-Story books for birth to 3-years-old, created from songs I made up for my boys when they were toddlers. Another is Going Home, an Early Reader book about a young boy who has to go back to the city after a summer in the country. The last is my pride and joy--a book simply called Cats--filled with twenty watercolor cat portraits painted by moi, illustrating a fun poem about the nature and activities of our feline friends. I couldn't get this one done with Print On Demand (long story) so I have TONS of them! If you're a cat lover, please (I'm begging you!) please buy one and rescue me from a sea of boxes!
You can find out all about my books, art, and other creations at JodiBowersox.com