Honestly, I can’t remember a time where reading and writing weren’t part of my life.
I’ve written many short stories in my time, but my two proudest writing achievements are the novels I’ve completed. The first one I began writing at about sixteen. In the end, I wasn’t pleased with the final product and decided to table it, but I still acknowledge the amount of dedication it took to complete a novel at such a young age. Completely hand-written to boot!
Back in May 2009, I was struck with another idea that refused to stay silent. Over the following few years, I poured everything I could into creating a story I would be proud of. And in August 2013, two days before my birthday, I finished the first draft of Eighteen Lives. After the vital help of editors and friends, the manuscript was molded into something I felt was worthy of publication.
Query letters to agents were sent right away. Unfortunately, they didn’t share my enthusiasm and passion for the project. Brushing myself off, I once again tucked myself away into the editing cave, toiling away at the manuscript.
This was when I met E.J. Runyon. We’d meet once or twice a week for writing consultations, during which she taught me many invaluable lessons about writing that ended up completely transforming Eighteen Lives.
Following up a comment from EJ, I perused the Inspired Quill website, and found a publisher with integrity – who treated their writers with respect and didn’t put profits before people. I’m so glad that I decided to submit my manuscript. I’ll never forget the moment that the acceptance email popped into my inbox for as long as I live.
So now, here I am, introducing myself to all of you. It’s so surreal to be doing this. There were days where I thought I’d never see my lifelong dream of becoming a published author come true. But I pressed on undeterred anyway. Because I had/have this unshakable feeling that Eighteen Lives is a story that the world will love to hear, even if I didn’t always believe I would be the best one to tell it.
But now, with the help of Inspired Quill, and all of you reading this, I think Eighteen Lives will become something very special. And I can’t thank everyone that believed in me enough for that.