The Story behind the writer and thus The Proving Zone and why if you ever run into Jayne Ann Krentz you can tell her what she’s responsible for:

Although reading is one of my chief pleasures, serendipity clearly rules my life. Sixteen years ago four things happened in the same two week period that caused me to take up novel writing.  I’d never wanted to be a writer and found it quite impossible to even write letters to loved ones.  I can’t even figure out what to write on a post card or one of those pesky tiny cards that go in flower arrangement gifts.  Except novels—these situations all still apply.

The first:
I was just finishing up a Jayne Ann Krentz novel about a novelist.  One of the lines from the book explained that writers have so many stories of their own that they don’t want to write other people’s story ideas.  (By the way—I’ve found this to be absolutely true.  I am bombarded with more of my own ideas than I can use and perfect strangers do approach me with story ideas.)  As my husband entered the room, I tossed the book down.
He said, “Bad book?”
I said sadly, “No, just disappointed.  I’ve had an idea for a book that I wanted to read since I was 15.  If I had ever met a writer, I thought I’d tell them the story, they would write it and then I would read it and know how it ended.  Now I’ve found out that they wouldn’t want it!”

The second:
He gave me that you’re a dumb shit look and asked, “How old are you?”
“Then if you’d written a page a week, you’d know how it ended by now, wouldn’t  you?”
I had to agree.

The third:
I like watching the television sitcom Dharma and Greg.  An episode where Dharma inherits a violin came on.  Greg and his family insisted she needed lessons.  Her parents’ comment of  “No!  If you take lessons, you play someone else’s music.” struck a chord of intelligent reality in me.  There went the stumbling block that I had to wait for lessons before I began.  (Are you career writers horrified yet?) Besides, I live over 90 miles from the nearest place to take any kind of writing lessons.

The fourth:
            A fortune cookie.  I was having lunch with my sister at our favorite oriental restaurant and my fortune that day was—the world is always ready for new talent.

And therefore—I write.

            I have found that writing novels is some of the best fun imaginable.  Even if the stories are never printed, the putting down of them and the antics of the characters is extremely satisfying as well as amusing.  I find further satisfaction in pleasing other readers.  I like for readers to let me know what portions of my stories they like or dislike.  That way I can remove unlikable parts from my next books!

            As if turning into a writer wasn’t odd enough, I turned to writing about what I’d been doing for the last 20-plus years—troubleshooting reading and writing problems.  I wrote So…Teach Them to Read & Write…Easily between novels.  Without the practice of novel writing, I would never have even attempted such a book!

            It is my hope that readers find The Proving Zone by Blatant Appeal enjoyable and the story behind it amusing too.  And yes, there is a story there too….