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Eons ago, my first two books were written on yellow legal pads with a favorite pen. One book took nine notebooks and one took ten, using both front and back pages. Obviously by the picture, I still have them. Wow, that was a long time ago. (I still have that pen somewhere. I told you I was a saver.) 🙂 #AuthorLife

Mary J McCoy-Dressel Books, Western Romance Mary J McCoy-Dressel Books, Western Romance

Back in those old days when I did book signings, I used to take these notebooks and printed out manuscripts to book signings. It was easy for guests to imagine the hard work that went into writing a book when they saw the various stages.

Mary J McCoy-Dressel Books, Western romance

Next, I typed manuscripts with a rented typewriter because I didn’t own a typewriter at the time. (My dad bought me a child’s typewriter when I was a kid, but that was a long gone. So was the child.)

I’ve had secrets come out of my typewriter in invisible ink. ~Terri Guillemets

Mary J McCoy-Dressel Books, Western romance

Mary J McCoy-Dressel Books, western romance, cowboys

Of course, I had to print the manuscripts to edit them. Check out the printer paper on the top photo, bottom manuscript! Yes, I used a dot matrix printer. Do you even remember those? Eventually I upgraded to a laser printer. I don’t remember exactly what the dot matrix looked like, but this image from Pixabay, gives you a good idea. I believe mine was a little more high tech than this one. *Cough!* I use an inkjet now.

My nine-year-old stepdaughter took this picture when I first got published. It had been a long road.


It’s true–we really did have to send hard copies to publishers back then, with the perforated section where the holes are, torn off. If we were lucky, they wanted the complete manuscript, per the top one in the picture. It wasn’t as big a book as it looks, but double spacing took up a lot of pages.

Mary J McCoy-Dressel Books, Western Romance

On To The New!


The day I bought a computer, I was excited and terrified of using that wonderful new gadget! So much so, that I had called my techy teen boys many times to help me find my way out of a mess I’d gotten into. My computer tech guy who built my computer for me back then, said, “You can’t do anything to it that can’t be fixed.” It seems I was out to prove him wrong. This was the old days, folks.

Somehow I found my way and eventually I was the one asked to help get people out of their computer messes. I had a good laugh one day at work when I was about to round a corner in a hallway, and I heard… “Ask Mary McCoy-Dressel. She knows everything about computers.” LOL. I earned my way, but come on, now, that was pushing it a bit.

Mary J McCoy-Dressel Books, western romanceWell, many computers, cowboys, and bull riders later, I prefer my laptop to write, which feels like an extension to my fingers. Oh, and I prefer using email for submissions, though I haven’t done anything like that in a long time.  #AmWriting #AmEditing


Cheers! 🙂 Happy writing and reading.  ❤

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