I recently asked my Facebook friends to give me a topic for a blog post. Two people, my good and close friends, suggested that I write about how I came to be an author – an in depth look into how I started off in the world of literature. (Thanks Syl and Dom!)
I’ve been asked this many times in my interviews on other blogs. And of course, my answer is always something along the lines of “Well, I’ve always been an avid reader and wanted people to read my books and lose themselves in my worlds I create like I love to do.” Although that’s the truth, it goes a little deeper than that.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve always carried around a notebook and pencil. I wrote – mostly just doodles and my name written all over a page – but I loved it. I loved the feel of putting pen to paper. When I was in the 4th grade, I was around the age of 9, we had to write a Halloween story. I remember I wrote about a kid getting stuck in school on Halloween and skeletons and ghosts walking around the school. I don’t remember how I got that idea, but that’s what I wrote. A few years later, I was asked to write another story. I don’t remember what it was about, but I remember loving writing.
When I was in 10th grade in high school, I had this teacher, Mrs. Hathcock, who was my English teacher. She made us keep a journal, and each day, we had to come in, get our journals out and start writing. I wrote random stuff, mostly about a crush I had on a guy three years older than me named Kyle. But, I think it was then that I became interested in writing. And, as a teen, I was interested in “falling in love.”
I was also going through a Moulin Rouge phase. Loved the movie, still do, but mix that with my teenage feelings of wanting Kyle to fall head over heels for me, and you have a story waiting to be brewed!
I started writing a silly romance about a secret relationship. I wrote a couple of chapters but nothing serious came of it. I don’t even remember what happened to that notebook that my story was in. I had to stop because I was focused on school work.
I read a lot in my English class, and it was quickly becoming my favorite class of all time. I loved the stories we read, the way Mrs. Hathcock taught with such zeal! I wanted to love English and writing that much! I wanted to share my love for this with others, so I had every intention of being an English teacher.
I kept writing though. It was silly stories though, ones I’d never want to see the light of day, ever. Except maybe two. I do want to redo them and make them better. But that’s a different story for a different post.
After I graduated high school, teaching had become my main focus. I started a community college and began getting my degree for English. I transferred to Mississippi University for Women where I changed my degree to include teaching. But after going to the first class of my first teaching class, I decided that teaching wasn’t for me. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to share my love for English with kids; it was that I wanted to share it in a different way.
So, I dropped the teaching extension of my degree, and I focused on English. I took writing classes because I loved writing – I always had. Then, an opportunity I couldn’t pass up came along. It was a scholarship opportunity for writing. I thought well – hey, I love writing, why not try? I got the scholarship and was now adding an emphasis to writing onto my English degree.
I took more writing courses and fell head over heels in love with writing. So, I graduated MUW with an BA in English and an emphasis on Creative Writing. What was I going to do with my degree now? They aren’t a lot of job opportunities around Mississippi for someone with just an English degree. Technically, I could teach a remedial English class in college, but that’s not what I wanted. I wanted to be a writer. I started writing my first book. I hated it. So, I started with a novella. It was a novella based on a short story I wrote in my very first writing class.
Since I’m an impatient person, I self-published it. And well, it all started from there. I met some amazing people, grew as an author, and became the writer I am today. I’m still growing, and I hope one day to write suspense/thrillers as well as Dean Koontz (the author who really inspired my writing) or Frank Peretti. But, it turns out that I’m more of a romantic suspense author… who knew right?!
So that’s my story. It’s not impressive, but it’s how I became me – how I followed my dreams and became an author. I may not be a NYT best seller but I love my fans and readers. I love my new friends I’ve made along the way. I’m happy and content and will work towards my goal of becoming a NYT Best-Seller or Amazon Best-Seller whatever as long as it has best seller in it! It may never happen, but without dreams, where are we? So, I’m believing and praying it will happen!
What’s your story? How did you get where you are today?