So Pure Bliss, which releases today, is my fifteenth book. That’s a completely insane number considering the fact that I’ve only been publishing for about two years. I think I’m making up for lost time. Every writer’s journey is individual and unique. My path, it seems is a circuitous route that has brought me back to the beginning. Back to my first love.
I started writing about the time I could pick up a pencil and knew enough letters to form words. Even before then I loved stories. My father would read to me at night and during the day he would make up stories, the craziest tales of princesses and sharks and whatever his mind could think up. He sat beside me when I was in fifth grade and helped me write my first poem.
And I was off. I wrote poems and stories. I joined the newspaper. I won UIL essay contests and speech awards. I had my first full length play produced by the time I was seventeen. I was accepted into the Tisch School of the Arts and I was on my way.
Except money got in the way. I didn’t go to New York. Plays didn’t pay well – or at all. And life intervened. The raging ambition of my youth got swallowed up by the realities of the world and I set my pen down. I had my babies. Two of them, sweet, crazy, wild things who filled my life, but that piece of me still slept.
I wrote a few books. Three over the course of ten years. I didn’t send them anywhere. Just wrote them. I told myself that I was a mom. That was my priority. I didn’t really have time. I didn’t need a career. It was just a hobby. Just for me.
My children grew. My husband’s career took off. And I slept.
My father died. It’s an ache I still feel sharply at times though it’s been seven years. I put down my pen again and let grief shade the world.
And then something happened. I turned thirty-seven and became pregnant. My children were 13 and 10. It was crazy – and it turned out to be very dangerous. I almost died the day I gave birth to my youngest. I lie there on the table as they worked to save her, to save me. I bled and nearly floated away and when it was done, when I left that table, I was a different person entirely.
I was awake again.
I wrote roughly nine hundred thousand words in the year after my Zoey was born. I wrote them when she napped. I wrote them at four in the morning. I wrote any time she wasn’t in my arms. And finally at the age of thirty-nine, I was ready. I wouldn’t accept no – especially not from me.
I guess the moral of my particular story is that it’s never too late. Those dreams you had as child can come roaring back to life if you let them. The girl or boy you were is not dead, merely sleeping and waiting for the moment to wake.
I watch my daughter, my little miracle, dancing, singing, making up the craziest stories and I understand the true meaning of bliss.
Sophie Oak writes erotic romance for Siren Publishing.
Her latest, Pure Bliss (Nights in Bliss, Colorado 6), is available today.