How I wrote my first novel
By Jude Deveraux - June 21, 2011
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Back when I was teaching, my favorite thing to do on Friday was to go from the elementary school where I was teaching, to a bookstore, buy a paperback, and stay up all night reading it. One day I bought two paperbacks and was horrified to find that they were both rape sagas. The so-called hero forcibly had sex with the heroine. In anger, I threw the books across the room, turned out the light, and started thinking, “If I read the perfect book, what would the plot be?” The sun came up and I was still imagining characters and dialogue. For three days I walked around in a daze, unable to think about anything but the plot to the book — and it kept expanding. I thought maybe if I wrote down what I was thinking it would go away. I had no typewriter (and was a very bad typist) so I bought a pack of lined school paper and a three ring binder and began to write. I couldn’t stop. I wrote before and after school and when the children went out for recess.
When I had filled hundreds of pages with my story, I paid the next door neighbor’s teenage daughter to type it. When it came back, stained with coffee and with wrinkled pages, I packed it up and mailed it to Avon books because I thought they had pretty covers. They responded a month later by asking if they could please buy the book and send me money. And would I write more books for them?
The next day I quit my teaching job and haven’t stopped writing since. And by the way, I still write all my books by hand.