Merrillee here, thinking how much fun it is to create characters and places--in other words making up stuff. Ever since I was a kid, I've had imaginary people in my head who had conversations with each other. I didn't know that those voices would one day lead me to become a writer. I didn't plan to be a writer when I was young. I wanted to be a teacher, and I became one. But I had always enjoyed reading a good story, and one day I decided I should write one of my own and try to sell it. I wrote for years without making that sale. A little more than a year before I made my first sale, I received a rejection that made me question whether this dream of becoming a published author was something I should continue to pursue.
I decided to quit.
That was in November 2002. In January 2003 after I had put away the Christmas decorations, I started writing again. I started again because Jillian and Sam kept telling me that I had to write their story. Those imaginary people wouldn't let me quit. So I began writing their story just to get rid of them. After I did that, then I'd quit. I had no idea that Jillian and Sam's story would become my first sale to Steeple Hill. The Heart's Homecoming came out in August 2005. I had created a town for Jillian and Sam that I called Pinecrest. My imaginary town is located near Spokane, Washington. I wrote two more books set in that location.
In February, the first book of my new Kellerville series, Hometown Promise, will be available. My latest imaginary town, Kellerville, is located in Ohio near Cincinnati. Juliane and Lukas are the imaginary people who brought me to that little town, so I could tell their story. I hope you will take a journey with me to Kellerville. Check out the cover where you can see the town square with its gazebo and clock tower.
Using your imagination is fun whether you are a writer or not. What kinds of things do you like to imagine?