“I’ve always been something of a romantic.”
Unlike most authors who cut their baby teeth on the bindings of the classics, it was never in my plan to become a writer. I didn’t even catch the reading bug until college, merely tolerating
fiction for book reports and class assignments. My family couldn’t understand my aversion as they almost always had their noses buried while my formative years were spent performing. Theater, dance, professional voice lessons, piano. Song writing was about the only creative writing I did without coercion. I even cut a few demo records and had something of a band, Amy and the Heartbreakers… catchy, right? Totally kidding! We weren’t cool enough to require an actual name.
One day I was arguing with my big brother Jeremy in typical teenage fashion when he basically dared me to read this book. A historical novel set in ancient
Rome. A love story about a Jewish slave girl and a Roman aristocrat. This was a thick book too. Even the thought of slogging through the 550 dusty pages made me want to peel off my corneas for a way out of the endless task. But hidden behind an unremarkable cover was an incredibly riveting adventure. A pulse pounding, heart in my throat, emotionally desecrating tornado that swept me up and dropped me in a first century gladiator arena to face the lions. I did not sleep. I read straight through book one. And then two and three in less than a week. I was hooked. I branched out, finding new genres, annihilating book after book. I finally understood the allure. I was a reader. Took me a while to get there but I eventually found my way. Thanks, Bro.
Simpson’s Debut Novel WHEN FALL FADES A “2015 Must-Read Romance”–USA Today HEA
I’ve always been something of a romantic. I was even Cinderella (literally) for a few years in college. I’d starred in the musical years before. Already had the dress and tiara. So I started my own business and wove magical fairytales for little princess birthday parties. (Not a bad side gig and loads of fun.) And when it came to my fiction, I discovered I needed that romance on the page or I lost interest. Although most often I craved another type of adventure helping to propel the plot.
Meanwhile, I met my own Prince Charming, made a home and a family. Started living my happily ever after. And still I read when I could. But I’d go to sleep restless, rearranging someone else’s stories, adding some danger, ramping up the tension, forming the story I really wanted to read as I drifted off.
At some point there was a shift. The stories no longer resembled anyone else’s.
They were mine.
Sure I could spout a lively retelling of one of my many mommy adventures and mishaps, but I wasn’t a story teller. I didn’t know anything about writing a novel. The thought was absurd! Me, with my useless sports medicine degree and old notebooks of angsty chick rock and smaltsy love songs, a novelist?
I wrestled with those persistent characters in my head (yes, writers are weirdos… we most definitely hear voices). Wrestled with the stories keeping me awake when I should have been stocking up on some shut-eye while my newborn and toddler sons managed to both be sleeping. At the same time! I wrestled with God about my ability to actually write a novel. But I figured I’d give it a shot, more than likely vomit out 20 pages of dribble and call it a failed experiment.
Six weeks, probably thirty hours of sleep, and over 80k not entirely terrible words later and I had a story. Maybe not a great one, but I’d learn to make it great. I was green as a fake ficus, but I was a writer. I loved it. I dove into the craft, found writer friends and encouragers. Joined an amazing group blog, The Writer’s Alley. Signed on with a superstar agent who believed in me. And I let all those stories I’d tried to ignore pour out of my head (and heart) in the most amazing labor or love. Books about ordinary women who aren’t necessarily crime fighters but who are strong and brave and sassy, and who don’t necessarily need a man to rescue them–even if they do look darn good doing it and manage to steal some hearts in the process.
My upcoming release, the title for which is being market-tested (news on that soon) was my very first book baby. I have learned so much since these very humble beginnings but this first book will always hold a very special place in my heart. This story makes me laugh and smile and swoon and think and feel so deeply I could cry. There’s mystery and suspense, sweetness and spice. Love and loss and finding beauty in the mess. And even though I know it inside and out, it still takes me away for a few glorious hours. I feel so blessed to be able to share it and I hope you enjoy the journey as much as I still do.