Thanks for joining me!
Update! February 2019
Please come join me on this journey! You can find me at the following places:
Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton
I started reading early in childhood- earlier than most. Growing up in foster care, reading was my escape from the world around me. I got lost in the stories I read- far off places and friends that I wouldn’t have to leave behind when I would move from one home to the next.
Then, when I was six, I had a social worker give me a journal. It was that same year, as a first grader in elementary school, that I won my first writing contest. Writing filled me up. Writing meant that I could make up my own characters and they could do whatever I wanted. I wrote about children in normal families. I wrote about adventures in lands beyond my travels. I wrote about love, acceptance and family- three things I didn’t have but I wanted so badly to experience. In my stories, my characters could be what I couldn’t be and have what I never would. My writing evolved over the years. A traumatized child turned into an angsty juvenile. The juvenile went off to college and explored her identity. The collegiate fell in love with a handsome soldier and became an active duty army wife. The wife became a mother. Soon, years passed. Seasons ended. Life marched on. No matter what changed, writing stayed. A forever friend, dependable and true.
No matter what happened in the past thirty five years, I have always been drawn back to writing. I was a professional journalist and penned a popular fictional blog. I wrote in my personal journal and sought out venues to contribute my form of the arts to. I wrote educational pieces on PTSD, War, Trauma and Child Abuse. I wrote autobiographical pieces to further child advocacy. I wrote what I was asked to write. I wrote what I needed to say. But, no matter what, I always found my way back to writing fictional romance.
Romance authors get a lot of unfair slack. The stigma is ridiculous. When you are writing a book with a well developed plot and also merging characters together and having them fall in love- well, that takes talent. I feel that romance is combining two stories- the mystery, suspense, crime etc. and the plot of two people becoming one.
In middle school, I had a foster mother who read a lot of Harlequin romances… which meant I read a lot of Harlequin romances. I once found, sandwiched in her stack of ten cent garage sale books, a book written by Johanna Lindsey. I was hooked. I went on to read every book she ever wrote and progressed from Harlequin to more substantial romance novels- more focused on plot and less purely on sex. These books were about the relationship, the vulnerability and the journey towards love while taking you on an adventure throughout history in England and Scotland, on a pirate ship, in outer space, during a war… I fell in love with the depths of the character development in each story and yearned for just one more book. Before long, I was writing my own romance novels.
Then, my first serious boyfriend came along and introduced me to the world of domestic discipline and bdsm. Suddenly, my eyes were opened to a lifestyle I never knew existed. I scoured the internet for stories containing these themes. Power exchange, alpha males and feisty females. I loved it. I started dreaming about them and before I knew it, I was writing my own spanking romance stories. I love developing a plot and my characters. Occasionally, my heroine will trip and fall over his lap and into his heart. Lets face it- the female characters in my books always end up with a sore bottom at one time or another. They just can’t help themselves. Just like I just can’t help writing about their naughty endeavors.
Fifteen years ago, I started to look for an outlet for my stories. I wrote a lot on Spanking Classics (Spanked Army Wife & Spanked Wife), developed the Spanked Army Wife blog and became part of many different domestic discipline forums. I really enjoyed the writing that I did. For fifteen years I’ve written romance novels with domestic discipline themes. Fifteen years. That is a little less than half of my life.
I watched my favorite website turn into a publishing house and flirted with the idea of submitting but never did. I never thought I would be good enough to publish with them. I didn’t have the confidence to submit and didn’t think I could ever measure up to my favorite authors.
In recent times, I’ve met several of those favorite authors online. They encouraged me, they mentored me and they cheered me on.
I learned just last week that an online friend of mine, one who had taken me under her wing and had been an amazing mentor, had passed away this summer. She had brought me into the fold of a private forum and had encouraged me for years to submit my stories to the publishing company that she wrote for. I always put it off. I lost contact with her about a year ago and when I heard of her passing, I went and pulled up our email exchanges. The encouraging words and the nudges to send my work in was the added push I needed.
Finally, I submitted and just this week received word that my book was approved! My journey and my passion for writing will continue. I will fan the flames and fuel the imagination while chugging forever through whichever season of life I find myself in. The great thing about trains is that there is plenty of room onboard them for others to join in on the fun. I sure hope you will join me!
I really hope you enjoy my books. I sure love writing them.
Email her: AuthorRJGray@gmail.com