Signing PhotoI have been reading for as long as I can remember. For me, words take me away to other places where stories play out in the theater of my mind. At a young age, I decided I wanted to put my feelings, my stories, MY words onto paper. Starting with short little stories about a fictional character named, Wee Willy Ant…a character my dad used to tell me stories about as a child. In junior high and high school, my words turned towards poetry as a way to order and express all of the many emotions common to this pivotal period in our lives.

One day, quite by accident, I discovered the beautiful world of fanfiction. As a reader, I soaked up story after story until ideas of my own started forming and running like a ticker tape parade through my brain. With more than a little trepidation, I began to translate the stories I saw so vividly in my head into written words.

As I started posting the chapters online, something amazing happened…reviews started coming in. Readers were letting me know they enjoyed not only what I had to say, but how I said it…the words! I discovered this brought me immense pleasure…knowing what I shared affected others and elicited emotion. I continued writing fanfiction in both the Star Trek Voyager genre as well as Princess Diaries, getting to know my readers and enjoying the interaction we shared with each other about the stories.

One day, I decided, while I enjoyed playing with the characters other people had created, maybe it was time I tried my hand at creating my own. So with the smallest of ideas I started work on my first original novel.

Though there were many stops and starts in the process, I’m a firm believer it is important to finish what you start! To help me finish my novel and learn more about the world of publishing, I joined the Windy City Romance Writers of America in 2011. Surrounded by fellow authors, both aspiring and published, provided the necessary motivation to finish the first draft in December 2012.

Many steps remain in my writing journey and I’m excited about the possibilities. I look forward to not only taking those steps, but sharing them and the words making them possible with you!

Thank you!

Nicole Leiren

Romancing Real World Heroines … One Mystery at a Time