How We Got Here
Andy & Shawn Catsimanes
journeys take circuitous routes and ours is no different. Though from my earliest days, I knew I wanted to write, my dream has always been to
be a self-supporting novelist.
1996, I quit my beloved job at Olive Glenn Golf and Country Club in Cody, WY to pursue my delusion. Heck, I’d published one fictional story – not much of a track record – but I had oodles of passion (it’s
like love, you can live on it, right?)
fizzled after eight months. Coerced back into the workforce, I took jobs at Pizza Hut and a convenience store, until I landed a terrific admin
position. (Winters are hard in Cody, so I frequently worked more than one job.)
during my sabbatical, I managed to finish my first novel, MURDER AT THE GLEN and start my second one,STRONG WOMEN.
winter of ’99 hit hard and I had to seek a second, third ... and then fourth job.
with my kids raised, I'd found contentment in my solitude. I wasn’t looking for a man. But,
as it turns out, one was looking for me.
My leg of
the voyage also began in ’96, though I don’t think I realized it at the time. I’d written some killer papers in high school and college, but
never considered writing as a career.
October 1996, I moved from Tennessee to Wyoming to run the business my family had just bought.
While there, I got to use a little of my creative acumen.
I shaped copy for advertisements, wrote and performed a couple of radio spots, and crafted the
menu for The Black Sheep Restaurant & Gib’s Sports Pub.
By ’99, I’d decided I needed to be close to my kids and made plans to move to Kansas City where
they now lived. Then Shawn came to work for us.
Shawn & Andy
We won’t say it was love at first sight – that would just be silly – but the attraction was
immediate and strong.
Our courtship lasted 13 months before Andy finally asked Shawn to marry him. Two
months later we wed and two months after that we moved to Blue Springs, MO.
Andy leapt into a new career in sales, making hundreds of cold calls a week. He joined
Toastmasters and stunned his colleagues with his speeches. At home, he even dabbled in
series of events (some fortunate, some not), in mid-2003, Shawn was emancipated from work and with the support of her husband began to write
full-time. One of her romance stories, entitled Good Neighbor Policy, appeared in the July 20, 2004 issue of WOMAN'S
WORLD under the nom de plume Shawn Kay Sidwell (her maiden name).
relieved himself of his duties on the sales floor and returned to the restaurant management work he loathed. Shawn took various lackey positions to help put food on the table. But neither of us particularly
enjoyed the direction we were headed.
whim, Andy picked up a copy of WRITER'S DIGEST GUIDE TO NON-FICTION in the summer of 2004. An article by Peter Bowerman (a household name
among copywriters) sparked interest in starting a commercial writing business. Laden with library books on the subject, including Peter’s
book, THE WELL-FED WRITER, we began to get excited about the possibilities. Before long we were hooked. We joined on-line forums, signed up
for newsletters, and enrolled in the AWAI Accelerated Program For Six-Figure Copywriting. We were also greatly encouraged by Shelle
Castles-Melton of The Corporate Writer.
Now the real story begins. We invite you to join us for the next
P.S. If you’re at the beginning of your own copywriting
career, we suggest you check out THE WELL-FED WRITER and its sequel, BACK FOR SECONDS by Peter Bowerman; SECRETS OF A FREELANCE WRITER by Bob Bly.
Feel free to contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions you might have. We love to see new copywriters get their
businesses off the ground. We’ll do what we can to help.