I’m new to this writing profession.
That’s only partially true – I have two nonfiction books in print that I like to say are Limited Editions. They are. I wrote them when I had other careers. So, unless you are interested in Demystifying Leadership, or A Reflective Journey – Connecting Your Head, Heart, Spirit and Body in your Teaching, you’ll have to wait for the publication of my first work of fiction. (Please check Amazon if these two books interest you.)
Making the leap to romance writer (I prefer women’s fiction) has been difficult! I didn’t need to have a large social media presence, do book signings, or format for publication in my previous professions. I had a wonderful helper (AKA administrative assistant, Chris) who did all of that for me!
My audience knew me. I worked nonstop. Conferences, numerous associations, and business organizations made up my networking arena. When I was being sworn in as President of the Downtown Green Bay Rotary, I was asked to sit down until “we introduce the other wives.” Now that’s funny! I kept standing. People remembered me from that incident. Great PR and a few new clients were the result of that evening.
I’ve keynoted, conducted countless break-out sessions, and set up tables at national and international conferences to get the word out there! It was exhausting, and at times I just wanted to quit. I did when cancer selected me as its ‘one in eight’. Overnight, I left a thriving business.
Now I’ve decided to write for a different reason. I find it cathartic. I find the humor in widowhood, death, cancer, alcoholism, and taking care of the older generation.
I’m told I have a great sense for making the serious humorous. I say, that’s just life happening to all of us. I love writing dialogue; narrative is not my forte. I know my strengths. I also know my weaknesses.
Now I am transitioning my skills to women’s fiction (AKA Romance genre) and I keep plugging away.
My first book is almost ready to go. I took my teenage granddaughter’s sage advice and wrote my three plays into one novel. I think she viewed me as the new Hunger Games phenome. I’m pretty sure that is not going to happen with The Café on Main Street. It’s the story of two widows who form an unlikely alliance to get on with their lives as they plot to get back at the person who stole their money. Funny!? I know too many women in similar positions when widowhood puts them in near financial ruin.
I’m learning to navigate a new industry. It has been tough, but I’m tough too, or I wouldn’t have survived cancer, taking care of an older generation through assisted living and dementia, dealing with a loved one’s alcoholism, or dealing with death – not only the older generations but a baby granddaughter, a niece, a husband, friends, and — well you get the picture. All are topics for future works.
Keep plugging away! That’s my message. No matter how messy life gets, keep plugging away. Plug away the best you know how. But keep going. What you write is important to the whole world, so never think you don’t count or aren’t important. Who knows, The Café on Main Street could be optioned for a movie (It’s already in play form, I have a casting wish list; it was produced to standing ovations). It could make the best seller’s list. I’ll keep plugging away.
You keep plugging away too! We need you! Your message is as unique to you as mine is to me. So, let’s plug on. Together.
Gail Buntin Blohowiak
Gail A. Buntin Blohowiak is a playwright, novelist, and essayist. Most of her work is fiction; some pieces are memoirs. Do not confuse the two!
Her recently published and produced plays, LET THEM EAT SPAM (2015) THE REVENGE OF SPAM (2016), and DEATH BY SPAM (2018) are comedies centered around two sixty-something women who find themselves widowed and broke. They must find a way to get-rich-quick. Their journey is hilarious, poignant, and true-to-life.
Her novel is still a work in progress and in the final draft stages. She also has two non-fiction books to her credit.