Shari Busa Ortiz

IMG_0905From the time I learned to read, books became my passion. I couldn’t read fast enough, easily consuming a book a day. When my mother stood firm on her “no books at the table” rule, I resorted to reading cereal boxes and bread bags at breakfast. I invented colorful stories in my mind to pass the time. One tale could continue from day to day, like chapters, until I tired of it and moved on to the next. I should have realized there and then that I wanted to write, but I didn’t until many years later. Honestly, and embarrassingly because I had a terrible voice, I wanted to be a rock star like the one I portrayed myself as in my tales.

After attending John Jay College of Criminal Justice, I worked as a probation officer in Hudson County, New Jersey. Now those were stories! During that time, I married, had a child, and decided that I wanted to be a stay-at-home mom, thus ending my ten-year career. It may sound somewhat dull to stay home, raise a child, and maintain a happy domicile, but those years actually provided much of the fodder for my narrative.

Before my only child left for college, I was already developing a book in my mind, preparing for my highly anticipated free time. I could finally sit down and put my words to paper. And a few months later, that’s exactly what I did.

Every night I packed up my Mac and headed to my favorite Starbucks. It not only became my writing zone, but also a popular venue in the plot for my characters to meet for their “girl time.”

So, eight months later I had a book draft, and about another year after that, I had a completed book thanks to my dear friend and personal editor, Sue.

In October 2013, I was honored to be accepted into Writer’s Relief, an organization that helps aspiring, struggling authors such as myself by “tidying” up their work, preparing the requisites for agent submissions, and providing names and agencies for those submissions.

As part of my “submission strategy,” the folks at Writer’s Relief suggested I submit an excerpt from my book as a short story. That excerpt, “Suitable Decisions,” was accepted and published in the Spring/Summer 2014 edition of The Tower Journal. I am now proud to announce that with the help of Self Publishing Relief, my debut novel has finally been published!

Please read on for the first chapter of The Forever 39ers, a book written from embellished personal experiences that I hope many of my readers can relate to. My ultimate goal is to entertain and encourage women to see the humorous side of getting older.

On that note, I hope that you buy the book or eBook available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble, and if you enjoy it, please spread the word!