Hello all! Today I have another amazing guest post from N. D. Jackson! Please give her a warm welcome. I love hearing how writers came to do what they’re most passionate about, even if they had a different kind of education!
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My name is Natasha (if you know my books you know me as N.D.) and I guess you could say I came to the same way most writers do; just doing it. As a kid I used to write stories that were pretty much my secret hopes and dreams but as I became a consummate bookworm, my stories took on a life of their own. It was always something I just did when I was happy or sad or if the mood just struck me. Sometimes it was poetry or song lyrics but mostly it was always stories. Always involving politics or romance or murder…or all three.
In high school I took a few creative writing classes to help me improve upon my craft and to find other wannabe writers. A few poems and stories were even published in the literary magazines published by my high school and university. Of course by the time I got to University I was set on…law school! I still wrote stories and poems but writing was put on the back burner while I pursued a political science major and psychology minor. It’s strange that as much as I loved reading and writing that I never considered an English or Lit degree, but that’s probably because I loved arguing with people…still do, actually.
After my undergrad and graduate degrees were complete I decided, what the hell, and went after my dreams of working in politics.
Well we all know how the 2004 Presidential election turned out so let’s not rehash, but let’s say that the process and all the rest of it kind of soured me on a life of politics. That winter I began taking small freelance writing jobs doing things I had already perfected: press releases, marketing, fundraising etc….
I moved across the country and took on more and more freelance writing jobs, while finally getting back to my writing. My first love is politics and so it should come as no surprise that my first full length novel was a political satire…which no one wanted to touch as the economy was tanking.
But after my first year in Europe I was encouraged to just bite the bullet and do it, publish a novel. I decided to start with romance because I had written a few of them in the past and figured there was a wider audience and…here I am with 2 romance novels published under my belt. My third book is a political satire and it will be released later this month.
My path to becoming a published author wasn’t as direct as the 12 year old me would have thought but when it’s in your blood, in your bones you will always find your way there. While pursuing my Master’s degree I did more writing than I ever thought I would between endless papers and my thesis, and that kind of helped me reconnect with my first love. Of course writing on the drug trade in the Golden Triangle wasn’t the same as my Mustang Prairie series but it did help me find my old friend.
In fact if I ever decide to publish that first novel you can see the policy wonk in my writing!
I don’t think it’s necessary to pursue a degree in a particular field to become a successful author as long as you have the passion and the skill as a writer. I mean it helps to be former FBI if you’re a famous writer of crime books but a few interviews with the right people can still get you the information you need, which is where any degree can help. If there’s one thing we all learn how to do by the time those college years are over it’s how to conduct good research!
That’s my two cents!
Find me online:
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Thanks so much Natasha! If you want to learn more about her books check out A Little Bit in Love!
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