I have enjoyed writing all my life, but didn’t consider turning it into my profession until college. I grew up with heart disease, and had planned on going into the medical field to work with other children growing up with heart disease; but I wasn’t doing well in some of the courses required for my program. So, I had to reconsider my career goals. My sister said, “You love writing; why not do that?” And that’s when it hit me: she was absolutely right. I switched my goal to becoming a journalist.
After earning my BA in Mass Communications-Journalism, I began working as a freelance writer from home. Over the last few years I’ve written web copy for several different web sites, including Associated Content, Gather.com, and Daily Glow. I also decided I wanted to try my hand at writing a book. My first attempt was an adult romance novel, but I could never seem to complete it, no matter how often I tried. Then I decided I wanted to write for children, and tried, unsuccessfully, to write a series of short stories. When that didn’t work either, I knew it was time to return to the drawing board.
Then, one day, I was watching the movie “The Seeker: The Darkness Rises” on TV, and thought to myself, “That’s what I want to write: a fantasy for children.” At the time, I was playing a role playing game with some of my friends and family. I had the idea to use our characters and write my own story with them, creating a world I could call my own that they would live on and be sent on a quest to save. “The Chosen” was born from that idea, and four years later, it is my first published children’s book, available in both e-format and paperback. And people are buying it! They’re reading it, and enjoying it! It’s getting some great reviews, such as “a refreshingly different read” (Creativity Corner), “a cute read” (Lost for Words), and “a quick and rather fun read” (Hopelessly Devoted Bibliophile). That’s the best reward I could receive.
After “The Chosen” was published, I decided to continue writing stories with those characters, and turn it into a series. I’ve recently submitted book two to Solstice. I’m also currently working on book three. I love working on the books, coming up with different adventures for The Chosen to go on, continuing to save their world from the chaos that seems to happen on it, and meeting new people. What I’m hoping to accomplish is to have kids looking forward to the next book of “The Chosen” series to be released, like they did when J.K. Rowling was writing “Harry Potter,” or Rick Riordan was writing “Percy Jackson.” I want my books to be available in bookstores for children of all ages everywhere to be introduced to and enjoy reading.
I would also like to see some other books I have in mind become realities. One is another fantasy novel I started working on a few years ago about a girl who discovers that the legend of King Arthur, Camelot, and Avalon are real, and she is a part of it all. I’ve also been working on an autobiography about growing up with heart disease called “My Open Heart.” I’m hoping it will be a book that adolescents who are growing up with heart disease, or other chronic illnesses, as well as their parents, can read and see that someone in their situation survived the ordeals they’re currently facing. I’d love to be an advocate for them.
Now that my hard work has paid off, and I’m at last a published author, I’m learning a harsh reality that writers have been learning for years: the work does not end when the book is published. In fact, I’m beginning to think that’s when the real work begins. The writing is hard, tedious, and often frustrating; but it’s also fun and rewarding. But once your book is published and available to readers, you also have to market it. That’s tough. Suddenly, you have to learn how to market your book, to let readers know it’s available. And you have to keep marketing it so that readers will find out about you and your book, find it, and read it. Word of mouth is not enough. You have to get out there and get your name in the limelight, whether it is in public or, thanks to technology, over the Internet. Since my book has been published, I have created my website with a blog, signed up for a Twitter account, which I never thought I’d do, and added an author page to Facebook. It’s been a lot of hard work, but I’m enjoying it.
Writing is something that allows us to delve into other worlds, and create things the way we want them to be. If you’re interested in writing, or are starting to write yourself, just go with the flow. Write what you want to write, and not what others think you should be writing. Reach for the stars, and make your dreams come true.
I’d love to hear from you. If you have any questions, thoughts, or comments, you can reach me through:
Halli is a shy, young dwarf who has no idea of her true calling. When the evil Prince Gastle sets out to detroy the world of Phantasma, Queen Laurali of the Elves comes to tell Halli she’s a Holy Paladin with the power to heal, and will join The Chosen, a group of brave warriors being sent to defeat the evil beast and save Phantasma. Will Halli be accepted by her group, and be able to keep them alive through their adventures? Will the evil Prince Gastle be defeated, freeing Phantasma from his destruction? Only time will tell.