June 28, 2011

How Exactly Did I End Up Here Again? By Deborah Coonts

Author of Lucky Stiff

I know a lot of writers and they each have their own reasons for writing. Some love to play with words. Some love to craft devilish plots. Some love the fantasy. Me? I write because I am eminently unemployable.
I don't play well with others, never did. And my mind seems to jump around like a water droplet in a hot skillet -- either I am insatiably curious or I'm gluten-intolerant and have ADD -- either way, boredom is an issue. I can't imagine doing the same thing over and over, day in, and day out. If that had been my life, I would've punched my own clock years ago.
So, I make stuff up. It's safer that way. Trust me.
According to my mother, I was born to be a professional liar. However, back when my talent first reared its ugly head, I was punished for it, now I'm paid for it. Go figure. Ironic, isn't it?
There's a lesson in there somewhere and it is this: find your best thing and go with it. You laugh at the simplicity or even the innocence, but doesn't it have the ring of truth? I know it does, you see, I'm proof.
A good observer, I learned early on that I was expected: to speak only when spoken to, to consider anything written by Emily Post to be second in importance only to the Bible, to be fluent in china and silver patterns and, to aspire to marry the scion of some oil family and join the Junior League. And if my husband was voted in as a member of the Dallas Country Club? Well, I would have achieved far beyond my potential. You see, I was raised in Texas during the last gasp of the Donna Reed era. Suffice it to say, brainpower was not in the top five traits most admired in a woman. Hell, it probably didn't even make the list.
My grandmother used to tell me I was smart enough to play dumb. Apparently, she wasn't accurate in that assessment. So, I retreated into stories where adventures awaited and I could be anything, do anything -- the world was my oyster. Unfortunately, this forward-thinking ideal hadn't reached my little corner of the universe.
I was told I had to become an accountant. I loathed accounting. Thus began a duplicitous existence. I studied accounting, but I also majored in kinesiology (Heretic that I was, I thought I wanted to be a doctor). It turns out neither was a good fit. But I didn't know what was. I mean, who announces at twenty she is going to make a living as a novelist? Certainly not the little girl who was told she could aspire no higher than the Junior League.
A great disappointment to my southern friends and knowing there had to be more, I launched myself into the adventure of life. I've been everything from a mom (life's very best adventure) and a wife (I'm not so well-suited for this one), a tax lawyer (boring), a business owner (close), a pilot and a flight instructor (sometimes too much of an adventure).
A veritable Walter Mitty, my well of human experience is deep. And since you gotta live it before you can write it, I've come full circle back to my best thing. But it wasn't quite that simple. Oh, I started putting words on the page -- long, rambling sentences, too much backstory, plots with holes you could drive a tank through, purple prose . . . drivel.
But I was writing! Watch out Sandra Brown!
And, over fifteen years later, I'm an overnight success.
Along the way I put in my 10,000 hours, my million words. And I learned some things along the way: I'm no Sandra Brown . . . no, I've got way too much funny bone. And I'm not terrified to speak in front of a crowd. Apparently I'm over 40/64th hambone. Who knew? God, don't give me a mike and an audience, you'll regret it. And I have a terribly inappropriate sense of humor, as my mother would tell me. To be honest, I like that part.
Finally, I am me.
© 2011 Deborah Coonts, author of Lucky Stiff

Author Bio
Deborah Coonts, 
author of Lucky Stiff, says her mother tells her she was born in Texas a very long time ago, though she's not totally sure -- her mother can't be trusted. But she was definitely raised in Texas on barbeque, Mexican food and beer. She currently resides in Las Vegas, where family and friends tell her she can't get into too much trouble. Silly people. Coonts has built her own business, practiced law, flown airplanes, written a humor column for a national magazine, and survived a teenager. She is the author of the Lucky O'Tool Las Vegas adventure series.

The first book in the series, Wanna Get Lucky?, has been nominated by the Romance Writers of America for the 2011 RITA awards in the categories of Best First Novel and Best Novel with a Strong Romantic Element. Her second book, Lucky Stiff, was published in February 2011.
For more information please visit http://www.deborahcoonts.com/, and follow the author on Facebook and Twitter

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing. I'm a HUGE fan of your books :)