I’ve wanted to be a published author since I was old enough to hold a crayon. I would draw a stick figure in varying situations, write a story about those drawings, then bind the pages together with yarn. My first book was all about “Stuff my Dad Does.” It was a Father’s Day gift, and he loved it so much, he hung it on our fridge. As I grew older, the crayon faded, and the paper yellowed, but there it stayed, beneath the porcelain pig magnet on my parents’ refrigerator, until well after I graduated from high school.
I was born in Salisbury, NC, and currently reside in a small town just outside of Charleston, SC. I participate in a small (but austere!) writing group with a few of my local colleagues, and most recently attended my first ever writing conference, PubSmart, right here in our lovely city. I am currently seeking an editor, as well as an agent, as I navigate the path toward publication.
When I look on Amazon or Barnes and Noble to try and find a niche for my books, I’d say they best fit into the “contemporary romance” category. But, if I was to describe them to you, I’d call them “romantic comedies” or RomComs. As you’ve seen here on the pages of AbbyGabs, my writing has humor and levity at its core, and you’ll find the same thing in my books. I’m not looking to write, or publish, the next great American novel. I’m looking to engage my readers with entertaining, funny, witty reads that will keep them coming back for more.
In 2012, I finished my first novel, “The Contest,” which I’m currently shopping. It’s about a 30-something named Lena, who finds herself stuck in a dead-end job. The only thing keeping her sane is her love for her favorite childhood boy band. When she hears the band is reuniting, she finds out they are hosting a contest, looking for a fan-turned-creative specialist who will help them relaunch their brand, on a one-month internship. Lena takes the chance, enters the contest, and wins, upending her life and sending her on a job she couldn’t have dreamed up for herself. She learns about the business, discovers her own courage, and finds love along the way. Here’s a snippet for you:
She was in the process of re-alphabetizing her DVD collection when she heard Greg’s sharp intake of breath. “Lena, it’s up.” Before he’d even finished the sentence, Lena was parked beside him on the sofa, gnawing on her already obliterated fingernails.
“Looks like another Twitvid,” Greg said, and clicked on the link. A video popped up a still picture of the boy band sitting around a small coffee table, with a laptop between them. When the video had loaded to one hundred percent, Greg clicked play.
“Hello sports fans!” Derrick Walsh greeted the camera. “It’s Derrick, Corey, Chris, and Zacky O in the house!”
The other members waved and smiled at the camera. Corey mumbled a “what’s up.”
“We are overwhelmed and humbled by the huge response we got for this contest. I think I speak for all the guys when I say thank you for your excitement. For the contest, the new album, AND the tour. We couldn’t be more blessed. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Our fans are the BEST IN THE WORLD.”
“That’s the truth, Derrick,” Zac said. “We read every single one of your Tweets, and we love all these ideas coming in! But we could only pick one winner. And we know how much you guys want to know who that winner is. So, can we get the cameraman to zoom in on this computer screen right here?”
The picture went blurry as the camera panned to the laptop and zoomed in close. As the camera operator began messing with the focus, Lena heard Derrick’s voice in the background say, “The winner of The Beantown Boys Twitter Contest, and the fan who will be working with us, and helping us launch our new tour, for one whole month is … drum roll, please, fellas.”
The guys started drumming on the table as Lena’s picture came into clear focus on the screen. And Derrick Walsh said, “LenaBean613!”
Greg screamed like they were on a roller coaster. Lena sat and stared at her own picture in disbelief. She’d done it. She’d actually won.
“Congratulations to LenaBean613. We love your idea,” Derrick said. “Once you start breathing again,” the guys chuckled, “send your contact info via private Twitter message to me.” The camera pulled out and focused on Derrick’s face. “Can’t wait to meet you, Lena. This is Derrick Walsh and The Beantown Boys. See ya soon.” The video faded out.
Greg hopped up from the couch and pulled Lena to her feet. “YOU WON YOU WON YOU WON!” he squealed. He grabbed her hands and started jumping up and down. “Lena, you totally WON!”
“Oh my God.” Lena whispered. “I won.” And everything went black.