Author ~ Romantic Suspense as K.L. Docter
Author ~ Contemporary Romance as Karen Docter
Instructor & Workshop Speaker ~ The “W” Plot…or The Other White Meat for Plotters©
Romance Writers of America® (1991)
Colorado Romance Writers, Inc. (1994)
The Golden Network® , RWA® chapter for Golden Heart® Finalists and Recipients (Charter Member 1997)
Kiss of Death, the Mystery/Romantic Suspense Chapter of RWA® (2002)
RWA® PRO (Charter Member 2000)
aka All the Classes Are Full
I’ve played with words most of my life. I excelled in English. With the exception of the occasional homework assignment, though, I wrote for my own pleasure. It never occurred to me to turn my first love into a career.
Then something happened that changed my whole life. I went off to college. This was a big deal because I was the first girl in our entire family to go to college. From the time I was eleven years old, I knew what I wanted to be “when I grew up.” A kindergarten teacher. That dream drove me right through high school.
That dream didn’t survive my first semester of college. It was toast even before I paid my tuition fees on Registration Day although, at the time, I had no clue my life was about to change. If you’ve been to a four-year university you know that most of your freshman and sophomore years, no matter what your major might be, are focused on basic courses. English. Science. Math, etc. English was the longest line at Registration so, being the efficient girl I am – did I mention I’m both right and left brained? – I swept through the rest of the course lines first. By the time I made my way back to the English line and walked straight up to the desk, I was feeling pretty darned pleased with myself.
I soon learned the error of my ways. The class I wanted was full. In fact, all of the available classes that semester were closed. Except one. Journalism 101. I have to admit, I was not a happy camper. I really didn’t want to take journalism. I wasn’t prepared to put my writing out there where just anyone could read it. However, since my course schedule was tightly packed all four years, I had no choice but to snap up the course.
It turned out to be the best thing that could have happened to me. The class was completely hands on and we produced a news magazine for the college. The instructor was one of those inspiring teachers you remember as one that affected your life in some special way. By the end of that first semester, I’d learned a lot more than journalism technique. I discovered I could turn my first love – writing – into a satisfying career.
Did I think twice about changing my major? Nope, even though it meant adding a full semester to my college experience. I did tweak that major my second year to Technical Journalism. At the time, reporters made even less than kindergarten teachers
Interestingly enough, when I graduated I didn’t get a job as a technical writer. I put myself through college using my business skills and, by then, I was solidly ensconced in a job with the greatest capacity for career growth. A girl’s got to pay the bills!
That didn’t mean I stopped writing. I couldn’t. It had become such an integral part of me, I felt bereft when I went too long without writing something. I completed two novels before I discovered Romance Writers of America®. The rest, they say, is history.
From the ashes of my elementary education career I built my writing career, and I’ve never looked back. I’m right where I need to be…all because the classes were full.