Charlotte is my home. I love it here and don’t want to live anywhere else, but I still feel out of sorts on the Charlotte writing scene. It’s not the other writers I meet here, it’s me. My writing roots lie in a small town to the east.
I started writing in 1993, the same year I moved to Roanoke Rapids. I worked, raised my children, and learned to write there (I would say “grew old there” but I’m barely past the half-century mark).
My son was born in Roanoke Rapids in 93, as was my first novel. Now, he’s out of college and working, and that first novel is collecting dust in a drawer. I like to think that this means I had my priorities straight, but it probably means that I had a lot to learn about writing. (And let’s face it—you’re never ready for parenting. You just do the best you can and there are no re-writes.)
I joined my first critique group in that little town around 1995. I still thought my first novel was ready for a Pulitzer Prize and was working on my second novel (Which is also sitting in a drawer). That first critique group helped me to realize how much I didn’t know about writing.
I left town for a couple of years around 1998, and when I came back the group was disbanded. I call this my online period, where I joined several online critique groups like Hatrack River, Zoetrope, Critique Circle, Liberty Hall, and Notebored. I met several fellow writers in these forums from all over the world.
I’m a face-to-face person at heart though and decided to start the Roanoke Valley Writers Group back up. I’m guessing that was somewhere around 2002. I published my first book (The Order of the Wolf) when I was a member of this group in 2012. They were a great bunch and are still going strong. I’ll admit, leaving this group was the hardest part about moving to Charlotte.
Another first for me was doing my first book signing. This happened at the Riverside Mill in Weldon. It is a huge antique mall and consignment shop (there are no books stores in the area). The staff of the Riverside Mill was very supportive when my first book came out. I had a book signing there, and they still carry my books for sale to this day.
I will always be grateful to the folks at the Riverside Mill for their support. That’s why you’ll find me there this Friday afternoon and Saturday signing books (hopefully) as part of their Endless Yard Sale.
Stop by and see me, buy a book, or just shop till you drop. There’ll be plenty of other merchandise to choose from. Of course, none as good as my latest novel.
Of course, you can always find my books on Amazon if you don’t want to come out and shop.