I left China uncertain about my next stop on the road of life but sure that China wasn’t for me. The writing, however, had really flourished there. I set myself clear goals to complete each weekend and would get up and sit at my computer early each Saturday and Sunday morning. I generally didn’t dress or leave the house until I’d written my allotment in mid-afternoon.
Then I’d eat, dress, shop and maybe go out on a Saturday night—I wasn’t a complete hermit.
Upon my return to the USA, I wanted to recreate that lifestyle. Little TV, because no English language channels except the very dull state-sponsored one existed in Luoyang—not even a movie channel. No distractions. So I reinhabited my little condo in Sacramento and prepared to work work work.
But life is, as Lennon said, what happens while you’re busy making other plans.
I ripped my rotator cuff in 2010 and so had to spend far more time than I wanted to dealing with health issues. Then my mom, who’s in her eighties, needed me to come live with her. And bless her, she has certain expectations. I want her to be happy, so I do my best to fulfill those expectations. I also cook for her, which is good, because in her later years she’s developed a notoriously touchy and sensitive digestive system. So in between cooking meals, exercising and carting her around, I wedge in some writing and editing.
This isn’t the life I would choose, but it’s a comfortable life. I’m grateful.
Since I started that first simple boy-meets-girl manuscript in 1996, I’ve written sixteen complete novels—about one every year—plus a number of short stories and articles on writing. Though it’s still a challenge, my writer’s block isn’t as crushing as it once was.
But, being American, I’m an optimist. Desire in Tartan is half done and I sort of know where I’m going with it.
And, being British, I maintain a stiff upper lip and carry on.
Best-selling, award-winning author Sue Swift, a.k.a Suz deMello, has written over fifteen novels, plus several short stories and non-fiction articles. She writes in numerous genres including romance, mystery, paranormal, historical, contemporary comedy and erotica. She’s a freelance editor who’s worked for Total-E-Bound, Ai Press, Liquid Silver Books and Etopia Press. She also takes on private clients.
Her books have been favorably reviewed in PW, Kirkus and Booklist, attained the finals of the RITA and reached the top ten on a bestseller list.
A former trial attorney, she resides in northern California. Her passion is world travel, and she’s left the US over a dozen times, including stints working overseas for many months.
Right now, she's working on her next manuscript and planning her next trip.
Her blog is at http://www.fearlessfastpacedfiction.com. Find her reading picks @ReadThis4fun on Twitter, and befriend her on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/SueSwift).