“Sometimes life barrels down like a Cat-5 hurricane, veering off its projected path and forever altering the landscape, just to remind us who’s in charge.”

That’s the current first line of my book PURPOSE. Though I haven’t lived in Southwest Florida long enough to personally experience a Cat-5 hurricane, I feel like that’s exactly what the last year has been. By writing PURPOSE, my landscape has been forever altered…and the winds continue to swirl and blow around me.

I used to write fiction, many lives ago. I wrote my first urban fantasy when I was eight years old (didn’t know it was an urban fantasy, though – it was a school assignment) and fell in love with writing. Through my adolescent years, writing let me escape my own world I couldn’t make sense of and be the main character in one I could. Those stories never went anywhere, though – I wasn’t so great at plotting then. Notebooks full of these story starters sit in a box in my attic.

I started college as an English major but became practical at some point and finished with a marketing degree. In past lives I have been a nationally published, award-winning resume writer; a writer/editor of online training programs; an award-winning journalist; and a marketing communications consultant. So I’ve always been a writer…just a practical one.

I still have a day job. Many writers say “evil day job” but I can’t call mine that. Although, my characters – the voices in my head – think it’s evil because it takes my attention away from them. I co-own a business (www.LicensesEtc.com, I can give myself a plug, right?), serving some absolutely wonderful clients. And I have the BEST business partner in the world. No kidding. Not exaggerating. If you’re in business, you only wish you could have her. But she’s taken. And I appreciate her most of all because she puts up with me and my creative fantasies. She’s my #1 fan…but in a good way. I don’t think she’ll hack my feet off.

I also herd teenaged monsters I call my family. Three boys, 14, almost 16 and 17 – which means I can no longer get between them when they’re messing with each other because they just pick me up and move me out of the way. Believe it or not, I love this age! Because they aren’t really monsters. I’m blessed to have great kids who, for the most part, stay out of trouble. They keep our house lively and full of laughter. I actually don’t look forward to the day they leave our nest, but don’t tell them I said that. And then there’s boy #4, The Man, but that’s a complicated story I won’t bore you with right now. He’s The Man. ‘Nuff said.

So how did I find the time to write a huge-ass novel with all this going on? It happened by accident as the result of several combining factors: Son1 got his driver’s license and helps with taxi duties (Son2 is only a month away); the boys’ sports and activities are much more limited than they used to be as they focus on what they truly enjoy; teens like to do their own thing and don’t need as much entertainment; and The Man…well, he sometimes still needs entertained but he’s very tolerant. Oh, and I stopped doing housework. (Okay, not really, but I wish!)

What started as character sketches got carried away in the hurricane of PURPOSE as these characters started telling me their stories. And they wouldn’t SHUT UP! As I write the next book of the series, they still chatter away all day long until I finally give them my undivided attention. They are the voices in my head making me an A Mused Writer.