OSWEGO, NY – She is a teacher and also owns her own marketing company. Those two things keep her very busy.
But, Regina Edwards Drumm’s lifelong passion for reading and writing also provided the impetus for her to write and publish several novels.
“It’s a long journey from writing groups, writing methods and writing resources, to writing conferences, publishers and finally seeing your book in print. But, it’s worth it” the Oswego County native said.
She calls a 15-acre farm in Central New York home.
She recently presented a workshop on the writing process for emerging writers.
“I have to be honest. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t write. I remember being in middle school and filling up notebooks with stories. When I was in high school, I wrote for the Independent Mirror (Mexico’s weekly newspaper) and I had my own column,” she told Oswego County Today.
Her life is pretty full right now, she noted.
“So, when I have free time, I need to be working on my next book,” she said. “It has gotten so now that when I read for pleasure, I’m on vacation.”
Her grandmother had a favorite author.
“I remember taking those books off my grandmother’s shelves when I was young and I remember reading other historical romance books. My girlfriends and I, we’d get a book and we’d pass it around because one of us would take it from our mother’s collection and then we’d be reading under the sheets because mom probably wouldn’t be real happy (with our choice or reading material at that age). I feel in love with the historical romances,” she said.
The allure of those stories is it is a different time; the men came in on their mighty steed and even though they may have ‘rescued’ the damsel in distress, she was still strong and independent for the time, Drumm said.
“My mother was a reader and my grandmother was a reader and my grandmother also wrote poetry, my mother is very articulate,” she added. “I think I just came by it naturally.”
In high school, she re-established the school paper, wrote for the yearbook and more.
When an idea for a story comes, she writes it down.
“I don’t always get to it right a way but I have it, I have that foundation to build on later,” she explained. “Once I get an idea in my head I need to get it out.”
She puts notes on different colored index cards to keep track of what she’s doing in different stories.
“The brain is a funny thing. Sometimes I will work on more than one story at a time. But I do try to focus just on one, but sometimes as a writer the characters in the book that you’re writing are not talking to you and characters from another book are going, ‘Yoo-hoo hello,’” she said.
She belongs to a Central New York writers’ group that’s part of a national organization.
“We joke that it is so nice to be with other people who understand the voices in your head! When you say the voices in your head are talking to you, they get it. When I say the voices are talking to me, they don’t think you should be committed,” she said. “There have been times when a character woke me up in the middle of the night and I had to get up and go write something down.”
Writers, at least the writers that she knows, strive to help each other, help each other and see our friends succeed; because writing a book and getting it published is a huge accomplishment, she noted.
There are so many readers out there that she doesn’t look at it as competition.
Almost two dozen people attended her workshop at Oswego Public Library.
She told them to talk with other writers, or join a writers’ group.
Writing is different, she said.
“I learned that my day job, and public relations and marketing, that type of writing is very, very different than being an author,” she told the group. “In public relations, we use the AP Style Guide. In print publication, space is money. The AP Style Guide has a tendency to leave out a lot of punctuation – you don’t need that coma, you don’t need that colon and so on.”
“But, in literary writing, you have to remember all the things you learned in English class and all of the rules. I had been writing one way (PR) for a number of years. Now, I had to re-train myself,” she continued. “This drove my agent crazy. He’d say, ‘Would you learn how to use a coma!’ And I would say, ‘I am sorry but in my day job, that coma is optional.’ And he would say, ‘I do not care about your day job. This is literary writing, use the coma!’”
Drumm’s recently published books include: You Still Love Me – book 1 of the Wayward Wives Club Series and Fancy Pants.
Both are available on amazon.com or barnesandnoble.com
Both of her books are available in print and on E-readers.
“I think that it’s important that we have E-books because Amazon created the Kindle, Barnes and Noble created the Nook (and others are following suit). You can download aps on your Ipads and whatever other tablets you have,” she said. “I think that the author who doesn’t go with an E-book format is actually going to miss out on a huuuge number of sales.”
She said she has had more sales on E-books than print.
To learn more about the author and her books, visit www.reginaedwardsdrumm.com