Guest Post: Nurturing a Writer and Other Fun Facts by Bailee Abbott

Nurturing a Writer and Other Fun Facts – Bailee Abbott

Becoming a writer is something that’s nurtured throughout one’s life, from childhood to adulthood. At least that’s been my experience. In fact, I’d bet a lot of writers could relate to my story or parts of it. I was born late into my family, raised like an only child, a very shy, introverted only child. My neighborhood had very few kids my age. I spent a lot of time entertaining myself. Like most writers, I’ve had a lifelong love of reading, and as a child, I devoured books. (No wonder my second grade teacher commented about her concerns on my report card that during free time, I preferred to sit alone and read a book instead of socializing with the other kids!) At home, I acted out scenes from books in front of my mirror. Sometimes, I’d create new scenes or change the details of the stories. Besides being a little nerdy, if that behavior doesn’t shout writer-in-the-making, I don’t know what does! 

This progressed into writing my own stories. At first, very short stories. Maybe only three or four sentences, like, “once there was a princess. She wanted to slay a dragon. She did. The End.” Yeah, not winning any awards, but I would’ve been only six or seven at the time. Pretty impressive for that age, if you ask me. And I kept a diary, starting around then. Obviously, also not great, but I loved writing, well, maybe not daily entries…maybe a month of pages were left blank sometimes, but they held all my precious thoughts and secrets. I was proud of those diaries. Year after year, they got better, until I finally stopped keeping one at around age twenty because life got too busy. I took Creative Writing in high school and joined the Writer’s Club. Maybe someone should’ve shouted at me then, “why don’t you pursue a career as an author?” But that wasn’t my plan. Writing was put on hold while I attended college. Because I also had a love of foreign languages, I chose to major in French. I guess sometimes life takes you on many journeys to get where you really would love to be. Anyway, writing was put on hold, but not reading. I devoured books even more, sometimes passed on a fun night out with friends to stay home, curl up in bed, and let my imagination dive into whatever story had my attention.  

From childhood to adulthood, I went through stages of interest in what I enjoyed reading. Like many, I have a full library of Nancy Drew Mysteries. Nancy was my idol for many years. I wanted to be Nancy, sleuthing to solve a case. Later, as a teen, I spent hours reading romantic suspense novels. Mary Stewart was my favorite author at the time. There were still those elements of mystery in them, but a story with a faster pace and, of course, romance. Eventually, I broadened my interests, and, in my mind, I traveled that epic journey with Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit. It was around this time and after college that I made my first real attempt at writing with the intent to sell. Need I say this didn’t end well? After submitting a few short stories and collecting as many rejections, I quit. Maybe I didn’t want it badly enough. Marriage and raising kids definitely took almost every ounce of my energy. Maybe those were only excuses. Could be I needed time to miss writing enough to want it again. 

As I mentioned, life can take you on many journeys. Some of mine involved the jobs I’ve had, but they also nurtured that creative gift to write. My first “grownup” job was working as a manager of a bookstore. Where else besides a library would a booklover feel at home? After that, I pursued a teaching career and was certified in French and Special Education. Ending up in a classroom of special needs high school students, instructing them in reading and writing, seemed like a natural fit. Another part of nurturing the creative gene. Right? 

Finally, I hit my groove. In writing, that is. As the publishing world “logged on” to the internet, allowing queries to be emailed instead of snail mailed, showcasing their websites and posting what they were looking to publish, accepting manuscripts in electronic form rather than having an author spend lots of dollars to print and send through the mail—the possibilities seemed endless. I dreamed of being that giddy writer with dozens of requests from editors. Then came the reality check. More rejections. More frustration. And then…and then…a request. After years of trying, of querying, of emailing, of waiting…yeah, I know. You’ve heard the story before. Yet, that’s the way it happens, all the time. What I’m trying to say is that most people don’t just wake up one morning and announce, “I’m gonna become an author today.” There’s natural ability, there’s nurturing, and then maybe after a while, there’s success, a time when you can shout to the world, “Hey, I’m a published author!” 

Thanks for inviting me to your blog today. I’ve enjoyed the visit and sharing some thoughts about me. Happy reading, everyone!

A quiet lakeside town in western New York state is the new home of Manhattan artist Chloe Abbington and the backdrop for murder in this series debut by Bailee Abbott.

For Chloe Abbington, the transition from fine art painter in New York City to painting-event business owner in charming Whisper Cove is more than a little jarring. But when poison-pen journalist Fiona Gimble writes a viciously negative review of the newly opened Paint with a View, Chloe learns that critics are the same everywhere. And when she finds Fiona’s body behind her shop with a painting knife in her neck, Chloe realizes that this picture-perfect town offers anything but peace and quiet.

Suddenly, bustling Artisan Alley is a crime scene, and Chloe is the prime suspect. Her sister and business partner, Izzie, isn’t much help–she’s busy running the shop, and besides, she has secrets of her own. As shrewd Detective Barrett tries to paint her into a corner, Chloe soon finds that Fiona had plenty of enemies. The Whisper Cove Gazette columnist wielded her pen like a sword, slicing and dicing just about every shop owner in the lakeside town.

Chloe sets out to prove that she’s been framed for Fiona’s murder. But she’d better learn the fine art of detection quickly, before the real killer paints the town red again. Otherwise, she may end up trading in her paint smock for an orange jumpsuit…or a green burial plot.

Purchase Links – Amazon     Barnes & Noble    Kobo      Apple  

Bailee Abbott is a native Ohioan who spends her days plotting murder and writing mysteries. She’s a member of Sisters in Crime as well as of International Thriller Writers. Bailee lives with her husband and furry friend Max in the quiet suburbs of Green, Ohio. Visits to Bemus Point, a town along the Chautauqua Lake in southwest New York inspired the setting for the PAINT BY MURDER mystery series. She also writes the SIERRA PINES B&B mystery series under the name Kathryn Long.

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