I’ll never forget the first story I wrote. It was a Sailor Moon fanfiction called “Forever in Our Hearts.” The formatting was atrocious and the writing, stiff and uninspired. And yet, none of that mattered to me. I proudly put the story on display, printing out the pages and gently placing them in plastic sleeves. When I saw my name below the title, I instantly knew that I wanted to be a writer. I was about seven then and had no idea how to get published, but that didn’t stop me. I cooked up more stories; wild tales of fantasy and intrigue that, on closer inspection, turned out to be nothing more than thinly veiled versions of my life. Every time a teacher assigned an essay or book report, I felt my heart swell. Writing and story telling are in my blood and I owe it all to “Forever in Our Hearts.” Although I have written better stories since, that tiny tale will always be dear to me. It was the first time in my life I wrote words on a page.
And I’ve never stopped.
It took a while for me to establish a voice. After the Harry Potter series came out, all of my attempts were poor imitations of J.K Rowling’s opus. I even wrote a novel that blended elements of Lord of the Rings and Chronicles of Narnia. I still have copies of those old stories not because I hope to revisit them one day, but because they provide a constant reminder of where I started and where I am now.
My desire for publication strengthened after I read Harry Potter. I suddenly realized that having a career as a writer was a definite possibility. I was inspired by J.K Rowling and her rags to riches story.
When I entered high school, I took my writing talents to the school paper where I worked my way up to the position of Entertainment Editor. I continued to write fiction on the side, but I was still struggling to come up with anything original. At that point in my life, fiction was more of an escape than a career goal. I used it to hide the fact that I was a friendless and shy loner. My companions were the characters I created and the ones I read about in books.
Ever since college, I have relentlessly pursued a career in traditional publishing. I submitted short stories and poems to more publications that you can count and have received enough rejections to fill a room. There were times when I wanted to throw in the towel, but something inside kept me going. Some call it pride, other stubbornness, but I like to call it determination. Every time I vowed to retire my pen, I thought of that single mother in Edinbourgh who wrote a little story about a boy wizard. She was on welfare and suffered from depression, but she did not let that stop her from writing. If she could be a success, so could I.
That’s why I chose to self-publish. I wanted to be in control of what I put out in the world. The internet provides a venue for many writers who are over looked by publishers. Now here I am, on the brink of publication and happier than ever. I’ve learned a lot since I penned my first story and although I still have a long road ahead of me, I continue to hold onto my dream of being a career novelist.
You can check out my first book In the Blink of an Eye: September 11th Stories. It is available on Amazon as an ebook. All of the profits from this book will be donated to the National September 11th Memorial and Museum in New York.
You can find me at the following websites: