WHEELING - Rose Mary Csabai never set out to be a writer. She hadn't even given it a though.
That is, not before taking a writing seminar at the Steifel Fine Arts Center in Wheeling.
That seminar then turned into Csabai taking a course at Wheeling Jesuit University.
ROSE?MARY?Csabai, of Wheeling, has recently published her first novel through Amazon. It is available on Kindle.
It was there she penned her first short story, one which she was quite proud of. Proud enough to submit it for publication.
"I sent it off and thought that everything will be just wonderful," Csabai recalls of her first foray into writing. "They sent it back and basically said it stunk."
That initial jolt set back Csabai back a whole hour before she delved back into her newly discovered craft.
It's something she's been doing every since.
Currently, Csabai's first novel-length story is available on Amazon.com as a digital download for its Kindle line of e-readers.
The book, entitled "Visions of a Dream" is a story about Natasha Marie von Hussen, her dreams of one day taking the stage as an opera singer and the journey her life takes along the way, from marriage to motherhood and beyond.
The second book in the series "Only a Dream - Part I" is finished. Part II is near completion.
Csabai explained that the operatic roles talked about throughout her novels are a key component, but aren't the central theme of the story. It's about the character Natasha, her life, her family and how she comes of age.
"I'm hoping that by the fourht or fifth book, the opera aspects don't come to the forefront until then and by that time, the reader will want to find out what's going to happen to Natasha after reading about all the training and hell she's gone through."
It starts as a period piece, beginning in 1945 and ending in the year 2000 with an epilogue set in 2039.
Make no mistake, Csabai has done her homework in terms of research.
When she first began writing the series, she was still working full time. Her research was left for the weekends, taking her more than a year to learn the ins and outs of the world of opera.
She's also had to learn everything about not only the places her stories are set in, but also the time periods.
One minor portion of the story tells of a younger child during the 1940s getting sprayed by a skunk. Csabai researched for hours upon hours finding what method of removign the smell would have worked during that time period.
There was no stroll down the cleaning products aisle at the supermarket in those days.
Csabai, like many writers, has a personal relationship with her characters, calling them her children. It's obvious she's poured her heart into this work and is looking for readers to give it a chance.
It's been available on Amazon for purchase since July.
Online has been the route for her to go.
Five years ago, Csabai sent a copy of a different version of Natasha's story out to as many agents as she could, but not one was willing to take the chance and publish her work. Many seemed interested but weren't sure if the operatic-themed story would sell.
With Amazon, the only cost is the 30-40 percent in sales per copy that the company takes. There are no publishing fees. The reader must only supply the content and a jacket cover.
Now retired and with plenty of time to hone her craft, Csabai is hoping her newfound career continues to take off so she can share her love of the written word with people the world over.
Hughes may be reached online at firstname.lastname@example.org