Saturday, June 14, 2014

Taking the Plunge

Hello all,

     This is the first post on my first author blog. Wow. Talk about taking a step, because after this, everything will seem real. After this, it will dawn on me, like being dipped in a pool of cold water: I will soon be a published author.

     It is only fitting that my very first post address a beginning, so following the footsteps of cliches everywhere, I'm going to take you back to what brought me here in the first place. My journey began as a little four year old, sitting at my Grandma's dining table with a box of markers and a few sheets of blank paper. I had just learned to write, and it was still sloppy, textbook-like as I tried to copy down letters. But despite this being a new experience, I had a story in my heart. And I longed to write it.
     I ran to my family to show them my first story, a little composition called The Rainbow Heart. Honestly, it was a rip off of another picture book, but my family still smiled and pretended to gawk over my five page masterpiece. None of us knew the chain that this would start.
     Since then, I could not keep my hands off of markers, or my grip off of books. I tore through books and ripped out picture stories like my life depended on it. Soon markers turned to pencils, and the books lost their pictures. I reveled in AR Reading, gushed over each writing assignment. Stories were like dreams, magical compositions that could take me anywhere. As long as I was there, the troubles of the world couldn't touch me.
     But things changed in high school. Up until that point, I'd wanted nothing more than to be an author. Now, I wasn't sure. I loved so many other things. What about singing? I loved planning parties. How about an event planner? Or maybe an archaeologist? As college quickly approached, the uncertainty grew.
     And it did not get better once stepping onto the campus steps.
     People said that taking your basics should tell you what you're supposed to major in. Not in my case. I learned more about what I shouldn't major in. As I skipped from major to major, I became overwhelmed with the vastness of my options.
     That is when I sat at my laptop, and began writing a story.
     Lokte began and ended my second semester of college. Up until that point, I had tried and tried to complete novels, only to fail miserably. In the back of my mind, I wondered if this one was any different. But I was determined. I woke up two hours early every morning, typing vigorously on the flimsy keyboard. I always kept the door shut to avoid any distractions (much to the dismay of my roommates).
     The semester ended, and there it was. I had finally completed a novel.
     I was pretty proud of myself, even though I later discovered that the book was terrible. But I learned from my mistakes. The next year and half I was consumed with the young adult novel The Victoria Benson Saga (coming out in 2015), and the next five months, I rewrote Lokte and fixed every problem with the first version.
     As an author, I cannot tell you the passion I have for my stories. My settings are like second homes. My characters, like friends. And now, as I embark on this publishing journey, I long to give back. That is why part of the proceeds to all my books sold will be going to charity. See "Take the Plunge" for specifics.

     A thanks to roommates, for allowing me to write without distraction. A big thanks to my loving spouse, who I met in college, and who has always supported my writing. And a thanks to my family, for pretending to love my early stories. Because all of this started with a child, proudly holding up a stapled set of pictures with slanted words scrawled across the bottom, desperately hoping for approval.

     So here it goes. I'm taking the plunge into the big, new world of publishing.

     Wish me luck.

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