I started writing in early 2008. I had left my job and had applied to start full-time studies in a Master of Business Administration program in Toronto. Having received word in March that I was accepted to the program starting in September, I had six months to fill.
I decided to write a 60,000-word book and was finished within six weeks. Writing was a daily, 9-to-5 endeavor. Each day I noted how many words I had written. Some days I wrote 200 words. On my best day I wrote 5,000. The next day I deleted most of them.
Then the hard part began! How does one publish a book? I had read a lot about agents and publishers, and people were beginning to self-publish. Not one to wait for someone to bless my work, I decided I would publish it myself and let the readership decide. I published Death in the Forsythia with iUniverse, which was probably a good decision as I did not have sufficient knowledge of the industry. Three years later the industry had changed significantly and I was more equipped to self-publish in the true sense of the word. I learned what services I needed, and found my own editor, cover illustrator, cover designer, e-book formatter, and print publisher. The rest I did myself, including securing ISBNs (seven of them!) for all of the print and e-book formats. The result was a much more fulfilling process.
5 things you may not know about Andrea
1. I received a ribbon for perfect attendance in Grade 2. (Ya gotta wonder why I still remember that to this day.)
2. I love to read! (That's probably no surprise.) My early favorites were Agatha Christie, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and "Alfred Hitchcock Presents".
3. I have four cats! Tabitha, the marmalade cat in Death in the Forsythia, is based on my oldest cat, Montana. He can be quite demanding when he sets his mind on something.
4. I find weeding in the garden relaxing. It is a great opportunity to let your mind wander. Sometimes, it is the best way to work through plot problems so you can get to writing the next scene.
5. I was inspired to start writing by Laura Childs's Tea Shop Mysteries.