This week, we were going through this wooden wine crate (which once housed Argentinian Cabernet Sauvignon, for those of you who are interested), that we picked up for $10 at our local liquor store a long time ago. We keep all of our rough handwritten notes, sketches, research, and ephemera pertaining to our Poppy Cove Mystery series in this sturdy and attractive box. Near the bottom of the chest, we came across some of the very first ideas we scrawled out, on different scraps of paper — some lined, some on napkins, ripped out of notebooks, whatever was handy at the time that inspiration struck. There was the original premise for STRANGLED BY SILK, with the playing of names and plots. Not many of these notes were dated, but there it was, at the top of one of the first pages, June 16, 2003! Exactly ten years ago from this blog post date!
We couldn’t believe it. Ten years. Wow. There were starts and stops along the way. A brilliant, fast start in the first couple of months, followed by complete floundering and about a year that we didn’t go near it, although we both discovered that during that time we didn’t talk about it, we were both thinking and hoping to get back to it and complete it together, and not just one story, but a series. Then we sunk our teeth in, focussed, got the first book written, brainstormed and made copious notes about the rest and got direction for the rest of Daphne and Margot’s adventures. We took a break between completing and looking to get published, what with so many options these days — traditional publishing, agents, small publishing, self publishing — getting a little overwhelmed, stepping back a little, then moving forward. Our pen name Barbara Jean Coast was born and she certainly helped propel us further, egging us on to succeed with her devil may care, wink and a smile attitude. She clears our funks out of the water.
It’s been great fun, and we continue with passion, creativity and laughter. Personally along the way, day jobs have changed, family members born, died, serious accidents and big personal changes occurred, but also dreams fulfilled and cultivated, with trips and adventures full of discoveries. Here’s to the next ten years!