23 years ago, I left my acting career behind to pursue a writing career. 20 years ago, I graduated the Cal State system with my creative writing degree and very little knowledge of the publishing industry. I went to numerous classes and conferences in order to learn about the industry, which in many ways, was similar to my Hollywood career. Since that time, publishing has changed immensely and writers had to adapt or get left behind. I chose to adapt.
It wasn't always easy for those of us who started out when the internet was new, before eBooks became popular and Kindle, Nook, online piracy didn't exist, and people bought books from brick and mortar stores, that are now gone. But I stayed the course, even as some of my writing colleagues quit the business.
Writing and publishing is not an easy business but Hollywood prepared me for the ups and downs and the numerous rejections. My only regret is that I didn't start this career earlier, because I absolutely love creating new worlds and characters that often surprise me and have become like family to me.
So far, I've written 14 novels, 12 of which are published, with another scheduled for release this summer. Each book takes at least a year for me to research, finish, edit, and prepare for publication, sometimes more. Still, I can't imagine doing anything else.