Sunday, September 15, 2013

Why I Write

So after my first attempt at a novel (and it failed to get published), I still continued to write novels through high school. None of them really saw the light of day, and it should stay that way. I still wrote a lot of romance. I also took my first stab at speculative fiction. I wrote a post-apocalyptic novel where a comet hit the earth and destroyed civilization as we know it. The story was about the survivors. My creative writing teacher may have read parts of this book.

I also liked writing notes to friends, like most teenagers. Sometimes I would write stories in my notes serially. One story would take five or six notes to get through the whole thing. I would end each note on a cliff-hanger in the story and my friends would beg for the next installment.

I loved that I was entertaining my friends and that they got so wrapped up in the story and were interested in the characters.

I still believe that writing is a communication, an interaction, and hopefully, a connection between writer and reader. Making that connection, providing some new insight into humanity that is ultimately my goal through story telling.

I write to entertain. I write to expose. I write to raise questions. I write to invite people to think. I write to stir emotion. I write to relate.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Revision, Revision, and More Revision

I talked with my agent again today about my book and he had some more suggestions to polish the ending. So, I'll work on it this weekend and send it back his way.

I'm also going to replace a scene I cut out because I've had second thoughts on my initial hacking.

Despite this very long process, I am sill excited to say that I've got an agent. Some people are never even able to say that. During the times I get frustrated and discouraged, I need to remember how far I have come.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

First Publication Experience

In high school, I became aware of the school's literary magazine, Expressions. The funny thing is, my first piece published in that magazine was a photograph I took my sophomore year. This was back in the day when we still used film so I developed the film and printed the picture in the darkroom and everything.

My junior year, I took a creative writing class and produced a bunch of writing. I got a couple of poems published in Expressions that year.

My senior year, I was co-editor of the magazine and I had a few poems and a short story appear in it. I also gained a valuable learning experience. If I steal my characters from real life, I should probably make them unrecognizable. I didn't do that in this story. I was so accurate with these characters, that my friends all recognized them. And I endured a fair amount of ribbing because of it.

The upside: I was published and read . . . by many. Everyone's reaction? I suppose that was ultimately outside my control.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Matthew Kirby's Double Book Launch

Walt, James, Carolyn, Matt, DaNae, Jane, and me.

I attended Matt's book launch tonight at The King's English in Sugar House, Ut. He actually launched two books, one from the Infinity Ring series and the other was The Lost Kingdom. He also has another book coming out in January. This guy is on fire!

Matthew Kirby's Blog

In my writer's group meetings, I read some parts of a very early draft of The Lost Kingdom. I am looking forward to read it and see how it has evolved.

Congrats, Matt!

The King's English is a great place for a launch. It is truly part of a dying breed: independent booksellers. But if you are a book lover at all, you can't help but fall on love with the place.

First Novel

I wrote my first book in 7th grade with a pen and a notebook. Then I typed it up on a typewriter. I don't think my parents even owned a computer then. It was 125 pages long. I slipped the manuscript into an envelope and mailed it off to Scholastic. They were good enough to return it with a letter explaining that they didn't accept unsolicited manuscripts. My parents had to explain what that meant. The idea that I needed a literary agent in order to approach major publishers seemed like an insurmountable obstacle. I could look and see publisher's names on the books I read. Their address was printed inside. But how would I even begin to search out a literary agent? This disappointment seemed like a dead end to my writing and publishing dreams.

The subject of this book is a little embarrassing. Please keep in mind that I was only 13 years old. I will admit that it was a romance and it may or may not have included a couple of long blond-haired rock stars that produced one album and experienced a brief moment of popularity in the early 90s.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

The Daydreamer

I was always sort of a day dreamy kid. I feel like much of my childhood was spent in two worlds--reality and the fantasy world in my head. I created disaster plots for paper dolls to survive, romances for Ken and Barbie, adventures in the old west for me and my sister to dress up and act out. We were mermaids, teachers, Olympians and circus performers. My backyard trees spoke to me, my dolls were actually alive and I believed Peter Pan would one day take me to Never Never Land. In fact, one night as I was trying to fall asleep, I swore I saw Tinkerbell's glimmer in my closet. Imagine my disappointment when I realized it was only the street lamp reflecting off my closet rod. Occasionally reality collided with the fantasy world and I had to acknowledge it.

Drifting off to other worlds continued into my elementary years. In third grade, I decided that I was adopted and that my long lost twin sister was my best friend. I also decided that my pretty teacher was my real mom.  I put pen to paper (several papers actually) and wrote a small book about my discovery. The book had chapters, a couple pictures (although drawing has never been my strong point), and I put it in a binder.

I still think I have it in a drawer somewhere.