Friday, February 18, 2011

Taking the Plunge

Hey all,

Today's guest blogger is a woman after my own heart.  Suzanne Rock is a fellow Loose Id  and Truly Madly Deeply Romance Author and tells a great story of breaking through that first time worry of starting anything new.  But let's learn a little about her before we go any further...
After over a decade in the scientific world, Suzanne needed a creative outlet. She tried scrap booking, cooking, crocheting, painting, and piano, none of which held her interest for very long. Then one of her friends suggested writing. Thrilled with the idea of creating her own worlds, she opened up her lap top and never looked back.

When Suzanne’s not writing, she can be found playing with her two daughters, testing her husband’s latest kitchen creations, or curled up with her favorite romance novel in her central Massachusetts home.

Gotta love a woman who knows what she wants.  So let's see what she has to tell us, shall we?  Please join me in welcoming Suzanne Rock to the blog...


Do any of you remember what it felt like the first time you jumped into the pool? Were you scared or excited? Did you do it under peer pressure or because you were curious? For me, it happened so long ago that at first I didn’t remember. Then I took my daughter to her first swimming lesson, and all of the emotions came back to me.

I had been talking up the swimming lessons to my daughter for weeks. This was going to be a great adventure. She was excited, and so was I, but then we walked into the pool area and something changed.

I saw the look of horror on my little girl’s face as we walked over the tiled floor and breathed in the chlorine-filled air. She was scared, very scared. My heart skipped a beat. The mother in me wanted to march her right back to the locker room and save her from her fear. Unfortunately, doing this wasn’t going to help her learn how to swim. Since our family spends a lot of time around water in the summer, I knew that this was an important life skill for her to learn.

So, I held my tongue as we watched the other kids jump in and navigate the cool, clear water like experts. My daughter’s fear radiated from her in waves as she sat down and joined her classmates along the edge of the pool. I stepped back and hugged her towel to my chest. Questions filled my mind. Was she really ready for swim lessons? Maybe I should have waited, spent one more summer at the beach, teaching her how to float and kick. What if she couldn’t keep her head above the water? Needless to say, my nerves were shot. What was going to happen to my baby?

The teacher introduced herself, and then one by one her classmates jumped into the pool, their little heads disappearing under the water. My daughter looked back at me with this “Do I really have to do this?” expression on her face. I smiled, even though part of me was dying inside. I wasn’t sure if either one of us were going to be able to go through with it.

Then it was her turn. The plan was simple: jump into the pool, and the teacher would catch her. Afterward, with the instructor’s help, she’d swim to the edge of the pool and hold onto the side. I held my breath. The teacher held out her hands and my daughter gave me one last look. Fear shone bright in her eyes. For a split second, I wanted to grab hold of my little girl and drag her back into the safety of my arms. I didn’t do that, however. Instead I watched and waited.

Then my daughter turned back to the instructor, bent her knees, and jumped.

Water droplets flew in all directions as she flew into the waiting arms of the instructor. Time stood still. Then, in the next moment, she popped up and took a gulp of air. Then the teacher helped her swim to the side. My little girl climbed up out of the water and got in line again.

“That was fun, mommy!”

She jumped into the water three more times that day, and each time she went a little farther under the surface. I finally began to relax and enjoy her growing confidence. Pretty soon, I’m sure she’ll become a pro at jumping into the pool, just like her classmates.

Publishing a book is a little like jumping into a pool. At first you’re scared. Will people like it? Will they understand and love my characters as much as I do? How will they react? You wonder if you should really send that book out into the world, if it’s ready. Knowing that someone else will read and form an opinion about your work can be quite scary. At some point, however, you have to let it go. Some books do beautiful swan dives, and some do belly flops, but each one is special, because you learn and grow from the experience. After some practice, your skills improve. You begin to do more swan dives than belly flops, and your confidence grows. Oh, you still have the occasional belly flop, but now you’re doing twists and flips in the air before you hit the water – and it’s fun. You love the thrill of the jump, the way the water breaks around you as you hit the surface. You couldn’t imagine your life without it.

And you have this great joy in your life because you had the courage to overcome your fear.

So I’m asking all of you today, do you remember what it was like to jump into the pool for the first time? Do you still jump into the pool today, or do you sit on the sidelines? Did you ever have to overcome an inner fear? How did you do it? Tell me about it!


Oh, Suzanne, I'm a huge pool jumper.  LOL  Sidelines are for sissies!.  I'm had to overcome a lot of fears in my life and though it's always a challenge, the prize at the end of the road is totally worthwhile.

So, what about the rest of you?  Answer Suzanne's questions in the comments below. To find out more about this amazing author, check her out at her WEBSITE (don't forget to sign up for her newsletter), her FB Page and Twitter.  And don't forget to take a peek at her upcoming release, Dark Obsession...

Long ago Javier chose to walk away from one person that mattered most in his life. Now that he is free to once again roam the Earth, he becomes obsessed with making up for past mistakes. His mission is to gain Catherine's vote on the Immortal Council, but when he sees her he realizes he wants much more than her support for the vampires. He wants her heart. When she disappears from the Immortal Council’s halls, he tracks her down, determined to get her to remember the past -- and the love they once shared.

Catherine can’t let the passion she had with Javier rekindle again -- no matter what the cost. Much has changed since he abandoned her so long ago. With the Immortal Council fragmented and her werewolf king abducted, Catherine has little patience for Javier's empty promises. Still, Javier is persistent, and soon she sees the value in having an ancient vampire for an ally. A deal is struck: she will submit to his every carnal desire if she can gain his aid in finding her king. Unfortunately, things don't go as planned, and their erotic interludes ignite the passionate anger of Catherine’s only fey ally. Now all three of their lives are in jeopardy, and to survive Javier must build an intimate bond with the only woman who has ever rejected his love, and a man who’d like nothing more than to see him dead.

This book is coming soon from  Red Sage Publishing.  Check out the book trailer, HERE.

I'll be back on Monday with a brand new blog about the wonderful time I had over Chinese New Years with my visiting son.  You all have a great weekend!!!

CJ England

Follow Your Dreams


Catriana S. said...

I've actually just taken the plunge myself. My first novel will be released this June by Silver Publishing.

Do I remember? Well, it's only been less than a month since I signed the contract, so heck yes, I remember! I felt so...amazed. I never thought it would happen, I had only really seen being an author as a pipe dream. I mean, there's so many authors out there!

My friend pushed me towards publishing. She told me I had the talent, and that if I want something, I should just go for it. And I did. Now I'm here. It's a wonderful feeling.

Awesome post, I enjoyed reading this.

CJ England said...

Congrats, Catriana!

That first novel feeling is beyond awesome, though I've now signed more than I can remember and I still do the happy rabbit dance!

Hugs on your first sale!


Suzanne Rock said...

Congrats Catrina! There's nothing like the feeling you get when you sell your first novel. That's fantastic!

Thanks so much for having me on today CJ. It's great being here. :)

Anonymous said...

I'm a pool jumper, too! Life's too short to sit on the sidelines, plus it's far too boring. My mother doesn't swim, so she made sure I learned when I was really young. I can remember the first time I went off the high-dive into the 12 foot water ... I was probably ten. We were at a community pool and my mom was on sitting on the side. I'll never forget the look of sheer terror on her face when she saw me at the top. I smiled and waved and ... Jumped! I recently had two books release with a new e-publisher and became a PRO member of RWA. It felt like jumping off the high-dive. (And I still love it!)

Phylis said...

It was my Dad who made us take the plunge! Except it was at the ocean or the lake when we were younger. He would walk out with us in his arms and then let us go! Paddle or sink. Although he never let us sink. I'm kinda half and half. lol I took the plunge a couple of times and had poems published but haven't done enough writing for a book of my own. Great blog and Congrats to Catriana!

CJ England said...


I too can still remember my jaw dropping open when I got the letter.

It's beyond awesome.


CJ England said...

Hey beckymoore,

LOL. That's a great story. I remember doing that to my mama a few times. I got is sooooo much trouble, but it was totally worth it. And it's stood me in good stead as I've gotten older.

Now I take the plunge with intent! LOL


CJ England said...


I know exactly what you mean. I was taught to swim by getting tossed off a dock too.

But I was never quite sure about my father. *grin*