Once Upon A Time
As some of you know, once upon a time I was an author. And I don’t mean when I wrote Infertility Sucks. That memoir came years after I’d published four paranormal romances. Three novels and one novella. I’d written them directly after I lost my older brother in a hit-and-run. I was also a new mother dealing with a dangerously destructive bout of depression that lasted nearly three years. Those books helped me cope with crippling grief and helped me make sense of my emotions. But, I was spinning out of control and pretty much sabotaged my family and career. While on the road to recovery, I, along with Frankie, launched Lyrical Press. The company became an anchor in which I clung to while I pulled myself out of the muck. We have since sold the house to Kensington Publishing, where I currently enjoy a, incredible career working behind the scenes with a fantastic team that makes every workday one I genuinely look forward to each morning.
A year ago, after more than a few coincidences regarding the twelve years I suffered with endometriosis and my struggle to come back from depression, I listened to the universe and detailed my journey of living with the disease, undergoing numerous surgeries, two cycles of IVF, and my battle with depression. After ten years of writer’s block, it felt amazing to get back into the swing again.
I actually felt like the creative ‘me’ again for the first time since before I became a mother.
See, the thing is, I’ve been writing since I was ten. Whether it was a million starts with no middles, or scenes that popped into my mind, I was always busy bringing characters and scenes to life. After I finished Tempting Darkness (a failure in every way), I shut down the author part of myself and focused on motherhood, being a wife, and Lyrical Press.
Not writing never felt natural. But, I had to work on myself for a bit. Instead of creating new people, I had to figure out who the hell this Renee Rocco person was.
After years of soul-searching and self-discovery, I realized there were things about me I absolutely hated. Some thing actually weren’t so bad. Most importantly, I realized I had to stop caring about what other people thought about me and live for myself and for my family.
Soon after relocating to suburban NJ, I accepted the fact that I’m a suburban misfit. I’ll never be the Betty Homemaker type and that’s okay. My house, although clean, will always looked ‘lived in’. My kids won’t ever be in cheer or soccer. My husband will never a suburbanite who enjoys mowing the lawn on a Sunday afternoon. I’ll never see me posed next to a letter board on Instagram. And that’s all good with me. I’m rather fond of us as a whole, and as individual people.
With a newfound freedom that came with accepting myself faults and all, I settled back in at my computer to take another crack at writing romance.
I’ll tell you what… Fiction writing, after such a long break, feels a bit like relearning how to ride a horse…with the animal in full gallop. Thank goodness I thrive on challenge!
So, while once upon a time I was a broken paranormal author driving a speeding train into a wall, today I’m a proud suburban misfit just trying to appease the voices in my head by putting their stories on paper.
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