Thursday, March 24, 2011

How it All Came to Be

My second grade teacher told me I was going to grow up and be a writer. I had given her some kind of little note and she proudly read it to the class, and then told me my first book had to be dedicated to her. I probably raised an eyebrow at her and then went back to passing notes or drawing on my desk...but she called it. Reading was something I had always done, and the more I did it, the more I wanted to do it. As a child, I had a literary appetite the size of Texas and couldn't stop reading.

Nancy Drew books, anything by Christopher Pike or V.C. Andrews, Stephen King - books were my LIFE. At around the age of twelve or so, I developed a taste for classic literature and was wooed by Shakespeare, Poe, Emily and Charlotte Bronte...I read Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment voluntarily. Yes, I was a weird child.

I had a difficult family life, and reading was a constant for me; an escape. Still, I never imagined I'd have a career in writing. I never imagined being a writer. Even though I wrote poems and stories and logged my life into journals every never really occurred to me. It wasn't until I was about nineteen years old that I realized this is not only what I want to do, but it was what I was made for.

Losing myself in a book, growing to love the characters as if they were truly parts of my life, remembering bits of a book or story years after I'd read it - these were things that were very important to me. I want to recreate those same feelings for others. So, I began really writing and approaching agents. Completely ignorant of the process or what to expect, I had a few bad experiences with agents who were super shady, but I managed to avoid being really taken.

Because of the experiences, though, I gave up for a while, discouraged. Then an opportunity came up for me to earn a living as a non-fiction writer. Well, it wasn't what I really wanted, but it was awfully close. I experienced some very great successes with non-fiction and still write non-fiction for a living. However, it rekindled the flame in me that wants so badly to create those worlds and those wonderful characters and that great escape. So, I started writing again. What I've found in my lifetime is that there is no escaping it; writing.

There are tiny signs and events that always seem to push me back into writing. There is rarely a moment when something happens that I don't think, 'How can I fit that into a story?' As happy as I am when I am reading an amazing story, I'm even happier when I'm lost in one of my own. When someone reads something of mine and likes it...oh, there is no other feeling on Earth like it. Nothing can come close.

This is the precise reason I've decided to self-publish my books. I realized that what makes me happiest of all is getting the feedback from people who have read and love my books; hearing them talk excitedly about something that happened or tell me that they're in love with one of my characters. Whether I make a million dollars or a couple of hundred, if people are reading my books and they're happy with them - I am happy. So, I've decided to bring my stories straight to my audience, and I hope that you'll accept them with open arms and always tell me how they made you feel, or what you'd like to read about next.

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