Debuting at Forty-Two or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Writing Process

From the age of nine or ten, I was passionately certain I would be a writer when I grew up.

Now I’m forty-two, and my first book has just come out.

If I could talk to ten-year-old me about this, she would be appalled. What have I been doing for the last thirty-two years? Shouldn’t I have had a novel out by twenty? That was always the plan. I was going to get my career started early, get popular, get rich, buy a house in the country, fill it with dogs (I was ten. Dogs were still better than boys.), and steadily write novels while simultaneously answering letters from my adoring fans. It was my destiny to be a writer. I had a knack for writing stories, and I loved doing it, so how could I not succeed? As I progressed through my teens, I started picking up those ...