With: Laverty Sparks
We’ve all been asked this question as we progress through time: What do you want to be when you grow up? No matter who asked, no matter what stage of life I was in, I always had the same answer: to be a published author. Armed with that infatuation, I never faltered or changed my goal.
Writing has been my gift, curse, and craving.
Throughout my working career, I always wrote in some form or another on the side. My journey has taken me through poems, short stories, song lyrics, and journaling. As luck would have it, before my early retirement a few years ago, I landed the one perfect job that impacted me the most. A gig as a radio copywriter, a dream job! I was able to combine my passion with my profession! However, the economy tanked and I was forced out.
But I persevered. Since I left the working world in 2009, I’ve published five books (three contemporary romances, and two nostalgic short story collections). The accomplishments were far from easy as life continued to make its presence known. And, being a panster doesn’t help matters. All in all, it’s my lifestyle, writing or not. Flitting here, flitting there, I get the job done; in the meantime, cramming in every spare minute I can for the important projects. True, there are times when the creative fires burn down, but they seem to leave a clean ash to be rekindled for the next time.
I lean heavily on the influence of my life-long love of nostalgia and incorporate it into all my works. Inspiration continues to come from visual and auditory resources. It’s not uncommon for me to watch a vintage YouTube video or VHS tape (yes! I still use a VCR player!) to get my juices flowing or listen to a song that conjures up emotions and memories.
And as I shift more into being a seasoned romance author for those later-in-life audiences, I haven’t neglected the patterns that have been instilled. I’m one who still likes to get dressed up (even leaving the house momentarily), minds her manners (and business!), and watches black & white movies/shows. I still use a landline phone and desktop computer, consult my grandmother’s cookbook, wash dishes by hand after cooking at home, iron when necessary, and do my own housework and shopping. I even return library books on time, place grocery carts back in appropriate stalls, wait my turn in line, listen respectfully, sympathize and empathize. To this day, I don’t use a GPS (I believe in maps!) and don't own an e-reader (even though I publish digitally). I’ll forever choose to hold a book in my hand. In any case, you’ll find these nostalgic factors incorporated into my stories.
As far as my published novels, I’ve been asked if the stories are partly non-fiction. Well, I’ll let you decide after reading them! Nonetheless, I’ll be the first to admit I’m far from perfect. I’ve been divorced, participated in a secret love affair, left jobs and a marriage unannounced, drank when driving, lived with regrets, drove over the speed limit, have cheated on a school test, have been arrested. But I’ve used these lessons to pass on some of these flaws onto my characters.
Back to the matter at hand. On the whole, I’m living testament to following a dream. I’m the happiest I’ve ever been, working at a passion I’ve never deviated from no matter how many times I reinvent myself. There are no time limits, only infinite zero hours.
Aside from writing, I frequently indulge in casino gambling, add to my beach bucket list, and support my husband’s passion for the late rocker Jimi Hendrix. In my mind, my spouse is considered one of the rock legend’s biggest fans.
So…the question remains: What do I want to do when I’m MORE grown up? How will I embrace the future? What possibilities are left to me? WRITING! What else?
Please enjoy my recently published contemporary romance novels of LEATHER HORIZONS and PRIVATE PURSUITS. My next work THE MINK WRAP IN THE ATTIC will be out in December.
"The Comfort Zone bar was a den of has-beens, wannabes, and those caught in-between. Misty Briscoe often wondered which category she fit into. She knew one thing for certain. Campbell Colter would never approve of her being here. Never! Not that she required his approval." An excerpt from LEATHER HORIZONS.
“The images of war stayed deep inside him. And the past had a way of bringing up the rear. Was he a body without a spirit? Or simply a spirit lost within a body? He knew in all actuality his soul was deformed. Perhaps his service to his country had killed a lot more of him than he realized. For now, instead of combatting the good fight, he’d fight for what was left. Because the best battles are the ones never fought.” An excerpt from PRIVATE PURSUITS.