Adventures of a Self-Published Author

Part 1

Where should I start? The beginning is always a good place. I was born the daughter of a share cropper……..screchhhhh. We don’t want to go that far back. LOL! Just a little humor to get your attention.

As those who write knows, it always starts with putting pen to paper, or pulling up the computer and putting fingers to keys. It really was just that simple for me. I needed a stress break from work. The job had dealt some harsh blows, and I needed an escape, so I did what I always did, grabbed a romance novel. (Might as well escape with a good looking man that loved me beyond belief.) At the time it was a Brenda Jackson novel. My son was watching television in another room and I could hear President Bush (the son) in the background. The thought occurred to me that we need a President that cared about the people, the country, the world, anything but himself. “Can’t you find something better to watch on TV?” I asked my son, who has been heavy into politics since he was eighteen. “There’s nothing else on,” he replied. Understanding, I nodded in agreement. “The only thing on TV now is reality shows. Whatever happened to dramas?” Then he said something that changed our lives. “You have a wired imagination. Why don’t you write something and send it to the networks.” I stood there in the middle of the floor just staring at him with the romance novel in my hand and thought, why not. From the mouth of babes.

     I went back to my office, but my feet up and tried to continue reading my book. But my thoughts drifted back to my son’s suggestion. I put the book down, moved over to my computer and begin writing a story about a politician the cared about people, family driven and fine as Denzel Washington. At first I wrote about 50 pages and stopped. When I read it, I thought it was pretty good. So I called a friend over and asked her to read it. She came over, sat in my office and begin reading. I went in the kitchen to start my Sunday dinner. An hour or two later she emerged from the office, (I almost forgot she was in there) took a seat on the sofa in my living room and began asking a series of questions about the characters. To my surprise and hers, I was able to give her all sorts of details about each character in the very short story. It was funny because from there we talked for hours about what I had written. Her parting words were, you need to finish that book. “Book? What book? I was supposed to be writing a script for TV.”  

From September to December 2005, those 50 pages turned out to be the outline for 800 pages of what you now know as The Heart Series.  I put the information my friend pulled from me down on paper which gave me the family and friend structure. Then I put together a flow chart showing how and where each story connected to the next. Once it was complete there were twenty stories in the original layout.

As you can see, when I began my adventure in writing, it was never about just one book or just one series (TV series, that is ). From the very beginning the plan was set for The Heart Series, plus a few more. 

I hope this article gave you a little insight into the beginning of my journey as a romance author. Where will this journey take me, I have no idea. Only time will tell.

Come back in another week or two, share some laughs, tears and pride as the journey of self-publishing continue.

Until the next time,


5 replies
  1. Sharon Williams
    Sharon Williams says:

    Iris i often ask you where does it come from and you always say Sharon I dont know so we know that God purpose for you is to write amazing books for people that want a story line not just a lot of raunchy sex and gore dont get me wrong sex is good but you seem to put it in a way that classy sexy and romantic i just want to go out and get some! I am very proud of you Iris you have become a true hero for me to know that nothing is impossible and for alot of reason i am the woman i am because of you i love so much Thanks.

    • Iris
      Iris says:

      Sharon, I know you live for those sex scenes. Believe it or not, I don’t set out to write them. I just write the story and since it’s romance–well you know, there has to be a little bit of love there–which of course needs to be expressed in some fashion. And as you know the couples in my stories, love hard, deep and often. LOL!

      Seriously, you have been reading my stories since the beginning. I’ll never forget the tears from the rough draft of Once You’ve Touched The Heart. And you know I live for your feedback. You encouraged me each day, with your laugher. Thank you for being my friend.

  2. Rhea Alexis M. Banks
    Rhea Alexis M. Banks says:

    the scenes that stand out most in my mind are:
    Turk bring gifts for his sister;
    Tracey in the hospital;
    the way JD listened with his legs brace apart, head down and arms behind his back;
    Tracy asking Brian to teach her how to do….

  3. Evya Richards
    Evya Richards says:

    Hello Iris! I love, love your writing and I’ve read the Heart Series and I love it. I’m one of those people who has taken countless creative writing classes, workshops, read the books. And I’ve enjoyed reading and writing since I was a kid because I was the only girl and youngest I’ve always been a dreamer with a wild imagination. As Wendy Williams always says (you are my best friend and mentor) in my head LOL! Thank you for putting out such great work and as I have finally seemed to find the story this year that I intend to pursue I am writing, not rushing but I’m writing and I am really enjoying it!


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