Dominique Gibson knew she wanted to be a writer ever since she sat down at her plastic table and started writing stories out of sheer boredom at eight-years-old. Several years later, she decided to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Fiction Writing from Columbia College Chicago. After pursuing a degree in Early Childhood Administration to support her second career in Early Childhood Education, Dominique decided to go back and pursue a degree she always wanted: An MFA in Creative Writing which she is now pursuing at Southern New Hampshire University. She is now pursuing her degree while writing her stories and hopes to teach creative writing in the future.
Where should I begin?
I will never forget the day where I was literally bored out of my mind after pretending I was a TV director doing after school specials with my stuff animals. I even know what my story was about even though I had forgotten the title of it long ago. It was about a guy who came into the store one day and bought a bag of money. As the man was on his way home, he gets robbed by another man and takes off with the money. The man that purchased the money calls the police and the police catches him and bring the man back the bag of money, end of story.
That was just the beginning.
I had always did genre writing since I became a writer. The two main book series I used to read were the Goosebumps series and The Baby-Sitting Club series. Since horror took my attention more than anything, I used to write a book series about teens getting killed by their classmates. Then, as I approached the eight grade, I decided to expand my reading by introducing myself to romance novels. The first romance novel I had read was a Silhouette Desire novel from Harlequin. I was inspired to write one at the time but had it in my head that I couldn’t write a novel as great as what I had read.
Fast forward to 2004 where I had officially made up my mind to pursue a degree in Fiction Writing by attending Columbia College Chicago. I have to admit that those four years were the best years of my life. Waking up and going to school knowing that you are pursuing a degree that you love is indescribable. Despite that fact that there were some professors who enjoyed the literary genre over anything else, the knowledge I had gained over those four years will continue to stay with me forever.
After I graduated with my Bachelor’s degree from Columbia College Chicago, I was ready to start my new journey in the publishing world. Unfortunately, I had graduated right into the 2008 recession and jobs were scarce. Due to financial restraints, I had went back to school to pursue a different career: Early Childhood Education. I went back to school and took me some courses to land me a job as a teacher’s assistant for a daycare center in Chicago. As I continued to switch daycare jobs and positions from teacher floater to lead teacher for a variety of age groups, I decided to go back to school to pursue a degree in Early Childhood Administration from National Louis University.
Pursuing that degree taught me not just about running a daycare business but how to run a business in general which I can use in the possible future. Shortly after pursuing the master’s degree, I took a shot at applying for the PhD in Early Childhood Education only to realize that going to work full-time and pursuing a PhD wasn’t a viable option. In the meantime, I continued to write and after being hooked on the Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey series, I decided to try my hand at writing romance novels once again.
Since I was really fascinated by the paranormal genre, I decided to write in the paranormal romance genre. The first book, An Orman’s Revenge, was originally written as a young adult paranormal romance. After some revisions, I’ve decided to send my work out to literary agents, dreaming that at least one of them would accept my hard-working baby and send it out into the world.
It never happened.
I had at least ten rejections by ten different literary agents. When the last rejection came, a little voice inside my head told me to change it into a paranormal romance without the YA genre. So, I naturally followed the voice in my head and rewritten the story for the adult market, hoping my chances will improve. I continued to read how-to novels on writing romance novels, especially the one how-to novel that I recommend to anyone that’s thinking of writing a romance novel. It’s called On Writing Romance by Leigh Michaels.
Since it had been a few years since I took writing classes, I decided to enroll in Gotham Writing classes online and took both romance writing classes to practice my skills as a writer while I was still going for my Master’s degree in Early Childhood Administration. Once I had rewritten the manuscript to my fullest potential, I sent my work out again to literary agents. After fifteen to several more rejections, the closest I got to representation was a letter from a literary agent saying that the paranormal romance genre was dead and that if I wrote something else in another genre, they would review my work.
That, I felt, was unacceptable.
The more I thought about it, the more attached I became to the characters and the story in the novel. I enjoyed writing these characters day after day whenever I could. I continued writing the book, hoping to find other ways in order for the readers to fall in love with what I’ve created. After exploring a few more options, I finally found something that seemed a little more reasonable: Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing.
I did my research and found that quite a few authors started doing KDP after being rejected by going the traditional route. As I read some of the stories, I could relate to how they felt. I have to admit how grateful I am for KDP and other publishers who are giving indie authors a chance to shine when the traditional route won’t give those authors the time or day. After my research, I decided to hire an editor to review my work (Her name is Judy Roth if anybody is interested in hiring an editor/proofreader to go over your work), made a few more revisions, and the rest is history.
Fast forward to today where I am currently still writing my paranormal romance series and just recently enrolled in school to pursue my MFA in Creative writing at Southern New Hampshire University. It is my hope that I will still continue to write great books and be able to teach creative writing in the future.
That’s all folks.