The Path We Take

Author: Jax Cassidy // Category:
:: Not so long ago I lived a humble existence as a struggling artist doing cityscapes for art shows trying to make my mark on the world...knowing that most artists succeed only after some profound tragedy -- but I definitely didn't want to be considered among those who had to either cut off their ear or become a raging alcoholic to get recognition. I opted to go a different route which was to dump thousands of dollars into computer equipment to design websites and work as a freelance graphic artist. Of course, the luster of overachieving took its toll with long hours, no sleep, no social life. I did the only thing a sane person would do, I sought solace in writing romance. Not! Although, I still love every moment of the tortures of writing.

Backstory :: A friend of mine had re-introduced me to reading these wonderful stories of love, adventure, magnificent alpha male Scottish and Irishmen.. and I was hooked...again. Now Kelly and my business partner Kristen are both Golden Heart Finalists!

The Path to Revelation :: Several years ago I had toiled with the idea of writing a story about an immortal demi-goddess and that's when my ethnicity came into play. I love asian mythology and as a child my mother use to tell me many legends and fairytales that have stayed with me over the years and I wanted to incorporate them. Okay, I knew it was risky because who really wants to read about Chinese mythology or a main heroine who is Asian. Not until "Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon" came out that I realized I could be wrong. So, when the opportunity to pursue romance writing hit me, I just transitioned the fiction elements to romance fiction and took off with it.

The Writing Path :: It took me two weeks to write the first half of Ghosthunter -- and the second half took four months! Why? I decided I needed to take a small break to research. So during this time I joined the RWA and its local chapter, Los Angeles Romance Authors. Soon I took over as Treasurer when the gal moved and then was officially elected for a full term. Finally, during my online searches I found my way to a romance writer's forum to try to meet other authors to learn and pick up writing tips. Improve my writing. That's where I met my dear friend Kristen who became my critique partner.

The Path to Romance Divas :: Kristen and I are the co-founders of Romance Divas, an online romance writer's resource website and forum. We bonded quickly from meeting via another forum and soon after we realized that particular forum wasn't for us. We brainstormed for a few months and then just did it. We created Romance Divas which encompassed elements of who we are and what we wanted to achieve. It would be fun, supportive, a great learning tool and we would be giving back to the writing community. So voila, we have made this part of our dream happen! Since November 2004 we have won two web awards and had excellent write ups as well as being recognized as one of "101 Best Web Sites" by Writer's Digest. It's a remarkable feeling of floating in the clouds and we're extremely proud of it and we have grown to love all our Diva members.

Back to Ghosthunters, I was in the polishing stages when Kristen had the bright idea of having me send out partials. She went to the trouble of emailing me contact informatin for editors, publishers, and agents... so I gave in and sent out five partials not expecting a reponse, mind you. A week later my husband decided to get the mail on a Sunday evening... what should I get??? A response from Anna Genoese of Tor! She had sent a reply letter with a request for a full manuscript in the SASE I provided. How cool was that? Someone was interested after reading my query, synopsis and first 3 chapters. I was so excited I tried to finish my polish right away and then my illness re-surfaced. I've had Fibryomyalgia since 2000 and was improving until this point, the most crucial time in my life... so the polish took much longer than I wanted. Finally, I sucked it in and sent it out to Anna who is currently looking at Ghosthunter. Am I petrified? Certainly, but I keep pushing on. I need to push on or I'd flatline.

The Adventurous Path :: Back to the drawing board I go and now I'm doing a zillion things at once. Okay, I'm sure most wonder how the heck I got wrapped into the whole Mr. Romance thing. It's simple. I met Kathryn Falk the founder of Romantic Times back in November when I emailed her regarding attending a charity function which had something to do with the romance industry. It didn't hit me that it was a reality show until I came to the event.. boy did I feel awkward. So after the event I continued to corresponded with Kathryn and then she arrived in LA to be a judge on the show for the Mr. Romance Pageant. I got to spend some time with her and found out what a wonderful person she was and looked to her as a mentor. Shortly before the show aired on Oxygen, Kathryn emailed me and one thing led to another and I winded up working for Romantic Times... now I work directly with the men of Mr. Romance. It was a total blur and I couldn't give you all the details of what led to this path.

The Current Predicament :: I spend a lot of time maintaining and running the Romance Divas site, I write when I can and I hang out with some of the cast members of Mr. Romance. How did this happen? How did my humble existence as a tortured and starving artist turn into a world of utter excitement and fun? I ask myself that every day and I'm thankful to be at point B in my life. There will be many more points in my life to come....

7 Responses to "The Path We Take"

Eva Gale Says :
1:28 PM

Kewl Blog Jax!

I think sometimes you and Kristen must have to pinch yourselves.


Sela Carsen Says :
1:18 PM

I get tired listening to you, Jax! Great blog!! Just one more little rabbit trail for you. ;-)

Ash Says :
6:09 PM

cool, Jax. I ditto what Briana said.

Silma Says :
8:43 PM

"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference."
- Robert Frost

That's what happened to your life, Jax. Enjoy the ride... *g*

Lucinda Says :
1:30 PM

A BIG THANK YOU for all you do, Jax. You are truly gifted, and you and Kristen struck gold when you came up with the idea for Romance Divas.

Ash Says :
10:52 PM

panicking.... when is romancedivas gonna be back???????????? We're alllll goign nuts LOL.

Schroeder Says :
11:58 PM

You are embracing the great mystery of life, and it is taking care of you. Follow your bliss.

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