Several days ago, I clicked ‘save’ then closed the document on the first draft of my sixth novel. ‘The Rising; Book One of the Painted Maidens Trilogy’ is now with my awesome editing team, and an equally awesome bunch of beta readers. I welcome the break as I wait for the feedback, but my fingers can’t stay idle for long – it is a curse and a blessing. They itch to get back to the keyboard.
I’ve already started on the second book of the trilogy, but want to take some time to reflect on my writing journey, and how it came to be. My first novel, ‘Water, Book One of the Akasha Series’, took nearly ten years to write. It started in high school, when I would be stuck in class daydreaming. I daydreamed of a cute boy coming into the classroom to sweep me off my feet. I’d dream of an equally cute villain coming into the classroom to take us all hostage. I dreamed of fighting the snobby girl next to me. How would I react? What would I do?
I went through the same daydreams over and over in my head, changing minor details until the scene was perfect – then I’d go over it again. I couldn’t stop. Finally, in order to keep some level of sanity, I began writing them down. They were just scenes; not even complete short stories. It worked well in class, I looked like a very studious note-taker.
I graduated high school and tried my hand at college. It was…boring. So, I joined the Marine Corps. Boot camp wasn’t so boring. And neither was the first two years in the corps. But things settled down, and the daydreams started as once again, I sat behind a desk, this time at work but in cammies and boots. I can’t sit still for long.
I got married, had a child, and went back to school to earn my bachelor’s degree. I also resumed writing.
After five years, I left the corps for a career in the translation business. The job was good, but I still continued to write. Eventually, I took all these little ‘scenes’, saved in a folder from my high school years, and melded them into a story. I typed them up, working on my lunch break at work, in the early morning, or in the evenings.
In September of 2011, more than ten years after I started, my first novel was finished. My second novel, ‘Air’, only took two months. Since then, it has been a whirlwind of writing, editing, and marketing. I have six books and seven short stories to my name, and I still have so much to learn and do. The ideas are still flowing – I’m not sure I will ever be done writing.
One thing I’ve learned from writing on scrap paper, literally on the back of my biology notes, and eventually turning them into an actual published novel – even if it takes ten years, never give up!