Book 1 of 6: Just Beyond the Horizon: The de Laisser, Ravenscar, Santiago Series

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When asked to describe my writing process for this book, I often don’t know where to begin. Perhaps that is because I began writing the book in my early 20s only to stop when a well-known author told me I had no talent. You might actually agree.

The takeaway, however, is that I allowed my passion, or my path if you will, to be determined by someone else.

So here I am, some thirty years later, and I can tell you that I am proud of the work it took for me to get this done.

When I first began writing Out of the Shadows, it was a more innocent time. Or maybe I was a more innocent person. Take that as you will.

I do remember having a difficult time finding my voice, a true voice, when I was younger. I saw everything in terms of black and white, heroes and villains. As such, there was little, if any, nuance to my characters. When I returned to the work, I struggled to revise the “bones” of the story.

Two different women were writing. But the vision was still the same.

I knew my hero, Luc de Laisser. And I knew who his heroine would be. I simply hadn’t accounted for the parts of me that were actually in each character. And that was the challenge. While my hero hadn’t changed, I had. So too had Sarah Marshall, the female protagonist.

And it is perhaps safe to say that as Luc became less perfect, Sarah became less naive. That’s a good thing.

She had matured. Grown.

Thanks to her, and the focus I had on transforming her innocence into strength, my writing voice began to develop.

I pushed myself to complete the novel within a given amount of time, afraid that if I didn’t adhere to that timeframe, I would never write again.

I’m glad I kept writing.

Tia Casey, a minor character in this book, becomes the main character in the sequel, Into the Light. She was so easy to write, mainly because I felt more empowered given that I had finished the first novel. Max de Laisser, her partner in the novel (and eventual husband) was also pretty easy to write. Both of them were truly reflections of my own “groove.” They were grown, as was I.

From that second novel, a third and a fourth were formed: Somebody’s Calling My Name and The Bright Side of Dark. The Ravenscar brothers are the yin and the yang (in my mind.) Both honorable and upstanding. But one is haunted, while the other more than the sum of his parts.

And finally, the first four novels led to the fifth and final title, Not Without You. More a novella than a novel, this writing endeavor was my goodbye to characters I first met thirty years ago.

Saying goodbye hasn’t been easy, but I know, thanks to the parts of me that exist in each character, that I will keep writing.

Why wouldn’t I?

There is so much more of “me” to know.

My characters have told me so…


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