My writing career started many years  after I had given up my career in banking. When I think about it, I spent eight years of my life hating my job every day.  It took all of my self discipline to get up in the morning, put on my big girl panties and go to work.  What a waste of time!

I left banking to become the  bookkeeper for my husband’s company, and was responsible for accounting and HR for two garages and sixteen employees. I found that the world of  accounting and running a business, while challenging, sucked every bit of creativity out of me and for several years, my creative self has lain dormant. I guess it’s true what people say about right vs.left brain dominance.  When I was immersed day after day doing tasks involving logic, I just didn’t feel like pursuing creative activities, like painting..  I had always enjoyed reading, and Danielle Steele, Nora Roberts and Sandra Brown provided my escape from the drudgery of the everyday grind.

As the years passed, I found the responsibilities of being homemaker, child raiser, elder care giver, wife, and business partner, to be very demanding. Everyone wanted a piece of me.   I looked forward to the end of the day, when everyone was gone to bed, for my life to begin. I stayed up late, burning the midnight oil, escaping into a book, and living vicariously through the characters that came to life there. Without an outlet for self- expression, however, something was missing. I found myself thinking more and more about characters in faraway places doing exciting things, and  I began writing in my head.  It was so nice to have something that I, alone,  was in control of.

One day I decided to write some of my thoughts down, and suddenly the story developed a life of its own. It was really writing itself. Every time I got stuck, and didn’t know where it was going next, I turned on the TV or went on the Internet and something jumped out at me as the solution to my roadblock. I found the process to be much like painting with laying in the background, deciding on a focal point, and using contrast and texture to bring the subject to life.

And thus Norma Cook, the author was born.

It still amazes me that  people are interested in the portraits of people I paint with my pen.


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