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I Write Therefore I Am


I tell stories. It’s always been that way for me. I don’t simply go to the grocery store. I live a short story. First, there’s the background. “I drove the truck because the car was out of gas.” Then the conflict. “I parked next to a sports car taking up two spaces.” The climax. “When I hopped out of the truck, the sports car owner came running up with a cart and rammed it into the back of truck because I’d parked too close to his precious Lamborghini.” The resolution. “He apologized profusely when I pointed to the lines on the pavement and gave me the name of his lawyer so I could buy a new truck.”

One of two things happens as a result of my irrefutable penchant for storytelling. Those who know me best don’t ask about the details of my life, or if they do, they grab a beer and a bag of popcorn. Then they ask.

What else could I do but write fiction? One time a friend, in a rather annoyed voice, asked, “Can’t you ever just shut it down?”

No, I can’t. Therefore, I write. And, therefore, I am.

Even though I’ve always told stories, I never acknowledged the writer in me until I decided to stop teaching teenagers to write. After seventeen years as a high school English teacher, burn out hit me like that grocery cart rammed into my truck. I often spent my evenings pondering what else I could do. Where did my talents lie?

Then it hit me. Write. I pulled an old manuscript out of a drawer and began working on it. I spent one summer hammering out the complete novel. I wrote a couple of things for the local Chamber of Commerce. And then the newspaper in the nearest large town contacted me. Would I like to be a correspondent reporting on local events in our small town? They’d read a press release I’d written, and they needed someone to cover school events. I accepted. Then the weekly local paper called. Would I work for them as a freelancer? Those little jobs didn’t pay much, but they paid. At the end of the year, I did my taxes and filed a Schedule C for the first time. While working full time as a teacher, I’d still managed to rake in $5,000 as a local correspondent for two newspapers. What could I do if I worked at it full time?

I quit teaching. The same month, I won first place in an essay contest named after one of my heroes, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings of The Yearling and Cross Creek fame. A small publisher in California accepted my first novel for publication. I never looked back from that watershed year of 2001.

Since then, I’ve written ten more novels and six nonfiction books. I became a reporter, columnist, editor, publisher, and public relations director. I did anything and everything that kept me writing and making a living. In 2010, I married and moved where my husband worked in Pittsburgh. He gave me the greatest wedding gift of all by believing in me as a writer of fiction and allowing me the freedom of working full time at the art without worrying about making money.

However, with that freedom came disillusionment with the publishing world. I’d had several publishers, and even an agent for a year, none of which did anything for me. I sold my first 1,000 books—paperback—through my own sweat and handshakes and hours of setting up and attending book signings. Grueling work with very little support from anyone but the folks who liked my books.

Within a year of becoming a full-time novelist, I discovered that the online world of publishing was changing everything. The Indie Author movement captured me in its strong web, and I met like-minded souls willing to help each other succeed. By 2012, I published my first novel on Amazon and continued to publish a book or two each year. This past year I’ve participated in box sets with other Indies, which has taught me more about marketing than I’d ever known.

Marketing proves to be the most challenging aspect of my new job, but I learn something new every day. And I continue to write. I have several works in progress right now with plans to write three other novels in the coming months. My greatest challenge lies in finding the time to write while still managing the marketing end of the business.

Somehow I manage, and I consider myself one of the luckiest people in the world. I work at my passion, and with a little bit of sweat and luck, I’ll even manage to make a living from doing what I love.

And as always, I tell stories. Did I tell you the one about meeting my new neighbor for the first time? Don’t ask, or I will.

26 responses to “Welcome”

  1. Hi again
    Do you read poetry? For environmentally aware poetry (ecopoetry) have a look at Earth Shattering, published by Bloodaxe Books here in the UK. I’ve got a short review on my blog( from ‘goodreads’.)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I just read your Florida series and loved them! I got them as a free download. Thank you and it is great to meet you. I am a reviewer for Lit World Interviews and will be reviewing the books! Thanks again. P.S. I live in Pensacola, FL. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hello P. C. Zick, it is nice to ‘meet’ you. I love your zest for outdoor life. You left a comment on my contemporary romance novel – Kiss My Lips (Holiday Series #2) – post featured on Staci Triolo’s blog late last year. Thank you.

    I live in London and I write contemporary romance. But I have my first historical romance – Royal Cowries – due out on Mar 31st 2015. it would be great to stay in touch.
    Best wishes,

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I just finished reading your Behind the love books. I am always looking for new authors as i read about 10-20 books a week. I was delighted to find your books Leah & Susie just drew me in,i could not put it down. I am eagerly awaiting the next book.

    Thank you from Texas.

    Happy writing


    Liked by 1 person

    • Wanda – Thank you so much for leaving the comment. It keeps me going. I’m finishing up a novella for a sports-themed romantic box set right now. I hope to write Behind the Curtain this summer. It would be wonderful if you could leave a short review on the site where you purchased the books. Reviews are very helpful to us Indie Authors. Thanks again. You’ve started my week on a high note:)


  5. Hello,
    It was so nice meeting you this morning. I can’t wait to read your new book “Third Base” and also the “Florida Fiction Box Set” I ordered. Heard so many wonderful things about you and it was a true pleasure meeting you and chatting for a bit this morning..
    I can’t wait to read your books… Was my lucky day, cause I was looking for a new author to read and I found one today..
    Thanks again..
    Debbie Malobisky

    Liked by 1 person

    • Debbie, how wonderful to meet you, too. I certainly hope you enjoy my books. I’ve ordered them all and should have them at Body Buzz either next Friday or Monday, July 27. Sometimes they are slow to get them sent! I shouldn’t have packed all of them away in storage!
      See you at Body Buzz soon. Pat


  6. Hi, I ordered Native Lands from one of those free book sites, and not realizing they were stand alone books, bought the first two to read them in order. I found them particularly interesting, since I have two sons who live in Florida, and one is a wildlife biologist. Imagine my surprise as I finished up Native Lands while on the plane after visiting them in Florida and read your acknowledgements. You listed your address as Raccoon Twp. and I was on my way home to Aliquippa!


    • Hi Susan, thanks for contacting me. I hope it was a free deal on Amazon (otherwise it’s a pirated copy!) but nonetheless I’m pleased you enjoyed reading the books. I lived in Raccoon Twp (Aliquippa) for five years. We moved away in 2016 but still come back to visit family and friends. Good to hear from you!


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