Ottilia Writes

Ottilia ScherschelMy life has always been filled with learning to read and write in some language. I was born in Hungary and educated in Europe, Latin America and the United States. When my family settled in Southern California, I was introduced to English literature and got hooked on novels. My father and I used to read his favorites out loud together. He liked mystery and adventure—Sherlock Holmes and James Fennimore Cooper. I grew to love suspense, action, and brave warrior heroes.

As an adult, I worked in corporate communications for an international trade association. I did a lot of traveling. I had down time on planes and in airports and started to dabble in fiction by creating dangerous adventures for the people I saw around me. I turned businessmen into swashbucklers and tired mothers into FBI agents.

Before long, I produced a manuscript. When I read it, my head spun with the speed of the pacing that was like Die Hard on steroids and without the lovable wife for breathers. I put my first effort at fiction in the depths of my closet and asked myself what I knew about adding love, romance, to the page. The answer was I needed help.

A friend, who was an avid romance reader, invited me to a local Romance Writers of America meeting. I hit the jackpot—a place to learn.

I dove into the learning pool. (I could write a book about that pool but won’t bore you.) I took classes, added Elizabeth Lowell, Nora Roberts, and Jayne Ann Krentz to my reading list and re-read Daphne du Maurier and Jane Austen. I came away with a desire to work in the romantic suspense genre but with a wrinkle. I would set my stories in foreign places and include some of those characters I cooked up at airports.

My life today is still filled with writing and language. The difference is I’m working on my own writing and honing words on the page to create language I’m proud to share with my readers.

What do you write?

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