Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Guest Blogger - Dorothy Howell


December, 2009

Becoming an author seemed nothing but “magical” years ago when I was struggling to get published. I was passionate about writing, dedicated to learning the craft, compulsive and obsessive about carving out time to put words on paper.

Of course, it wasn’t easy. Nothing worthwhile in life is easy, I’ve found, and breaking into the world of publishing was no exception. I had a teenager and a baby, a husband in the Air Force who was often gone for weeks or months, and a full time job. When I finally figured it all out and got my chance, it truly felt magical.

I’ve sold 23 historical romances, most under the pen name Judith Stacy. Now I’m writing the fashion sleuth Haley Randolph mystery series under my own name. Check them out at and

I soon learned, however, that writing isn’t about the author. It’s about the reader.
And seeing my words in print was nothing compared to the magic of hearing from readers.

Feedback from readers is rewarding, eye-opening, and humbling. It’s rewarding because they’ve taken time out of their busy lives to e-mail. Eye-opening because you never know what they’re going to say (so far it’s all been good, whew!). Humbling because they sometimes share very personal stories of how my books have touched their lives.

I’ve been blessed to hear from mothers, daughters and grandmothers who connected through my books. Readers have shared with me how the humor in my stories made them laugh after the loss of a loved one. Others have told me how they bought my books to help a friend or family member get through cancer treatment. A woman in England told me how her mother had died during the Christmas season and she hadn’t celebrated for years until she read a Christmas novella I’d written.

To touch someone’s life and make it better is, for me, the real magic of being an author.

Looking ahead, 2010 is shaping up to be lots of fun. SHOULDER BAGS AND SHOOTINGS, the third book in the Haley Randolph series, will be released in July and is already available for pre-order on Amazon. PURSES AND POISON, now on bookstore shelves in hardcover, will be released in paperback in June. I’ve accepted another 3-book deal from Kensington Publishing to continue the series so I’ll be doing a lot of writing.

After attending about a dozen romance writers conferences, I’m going to my first mystery conference, the Left Coast Crime conference in Los Angeles in March. I’ll be touring, conducting workshops, and making appearances when the new book is released. And, hopefully, hearing from readers!

Best wishes to everyone for the warmest and brightest holiday season,

1 comment:

  1. Your mystery series sounds like a lot of reading fun ahead for me. What magical moments we can create through our characters for our readers.



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