by Marie Ferrarella
It has been four years since my last blog (Oddly enough, the first words in the Confessional begin the same way—except with a different time reference). One reason is that I’ve been exceedingly busy upping my book count (presently at 297 titles sold, 286 of which belong to the Mother Ship—Harlequin). Another reason is that until just after Christmas, I was usually busier than God trying to keep all the balls in the air at once. These last nine weeks, however, I have been housebound due to some reconstructive surgery I had done—no, not on my face (which would have been welcomed)—on my foot. I now understand the true meaning of the term “cabin fever.” It consequently has made me duller than dishwater after two recyclings so this isn’t going to be overly promising. But you are here and so am I so here goes.
I began writing because, back before the first woman burned her bra (and if you don’t know what I’m talking about, I am really older than you), all the heroines in stories ever did was stand around, wring their hands and do a lot of fainting (when you’re born without a spine, there’s not much else you can do). I wanted to be an actress and I wanted to play heroines who were brave. Faced with this lack of decent female parts (I did have Annie Oakley and Sheena, but those roles were already filled by Gail Davis and Irish McCalla respectively) I decided to write my own. I began small—I gave the Cartwright boys of Bonanza a sister (Kit) and took off from there. Since I had no idea what a TV script looked like, I wrote the episodes in the form of short stories. I progressed to my first novel, a historical that took place during the Civil War. The sequel took place with the same cast of characters during the Reconstruction. Somewhere along the line, I stopped thinking about becoming an actress and focused on becoming a writer. Specifically a published writer.
The journey from my first rejection slip to my first contract took a mere twenty-two years. The path between was littered with rejections slips and tears—lots of rejection slips and lots of tears. Why am I boring you with this? Simply to tell you that if you really, truly want to write—write. No excuses, no procrastinating, write. Don’t let anyone tell you that you have no talent, or that you’ll never make it, or that anyone who ever said you could write lied to you. All of this and more was said to me at one time or another. What saw me through all this was not an abundance of talent, but the overwhelming desire to prove everyone (except for my mother who always had the utmost faith in me)wrong. That and I had all these stories that were looking for an outlet.
Now I have one, thanks to my wonderful primary editor, Senior Editor Patience Bloom. I am also encouraged by Senior Editor Gail Chasan and if that isn’t great enough, there’s also Senior Editor Kathleen Scheibling. If I’m bragging, it’s only because there were many dark years between here and there where editors would buy one proposals and reject six, shredding my confidence along the way. Now there’re only the thrill of creating new worlds and populating them, the way I am able to do with my Cavanaugh Justice Series for Harlequin Romantic Suspense. What began as a possible five book series is now up to thirty-two books and counting. The latest book (number 31) is out this month, CAVANAUGH OR DEATH. And for that I have Patience Bloom and you to thank—every night of my life. I hope you like it.