I can’t remember what sparked my interest in writing stories. It began at a very early age, pretty much as soon as I learned how to write. My parents taught me to love books, so perhaps the love of writing stemmed from the love of reading great stories.
I wrote stories and poetry through elementary and into high school. As a young teen, I began drawing maps with my younger brother and then since he was writing a book about one, I decided to write a book too. Stories just poured out of me. In college, I took a notebook to class and spent my lectures filling them up with words that had nothing to do with what the teacher was saying. I’d glance up occasionally to make it look like I was paying attention, but my thoughts were in a different dimension.
I dabbled in other interests through the years: drawing and painting, photography, dance, acting, music, beading. But writing is the one that stuck through all the obligations and commitments of adulthood. I love being able to make people feel emotion with words.
As most artists do, I’ve had times of doubt about whether I should continue pursuing my craft. The majority of the world doesn’t even know I exist and of the people that do, only a fraction are interested in reading my stories. But I can’t stop.
This summer I was given the opportunity to apply for a job as an acquisitions editor for Immortal Works Press. Initially, I hesitated to submit an application for various reasons. I’m fully consumed with raising five kids. Writing anything is a struggle and I wasn’t sure I could commit the time to a job, even if I could work from home.
After some internal debate, I realized I would be a fool if I didn’t apply. Here was an opportunity to support an industry I love! I could gain invaluable experience and make connections with professionals that would never exist otherwise. So I applied and was given the job (shocking)!
Now I get to read submissions and pass the good ones on to my superiors as publication candidates. It’s the dream job that I never knew I was dreaming of! I love it!
Being on the front lines of the publishing industry has educated me in countless ways. Most importantly, I have discovered the unending fountain of talent that exists out there in the world. I thought I would send a lot more rejections than I do. Instead, I request more full manuscripts than I expected. Finding a gem of a raw manuscript is exhilarating and I get so excited with the prospect of putting a wonderful book on the shelves.
So if you write or know someone who does, send your manuscript my way. I would love to read it!
You may think that Defender of Dragons will be my very first published book. Believe it or not, I actually published at the ripe old age
of six. In January of 1986, I released a book called Katie the Caterpillar and in June of that same year, I published The First Wizard. Yep, I had a soft spot for fantasy, even back then.
Today there is only one remaining copy of each book, kept in a highly secret, guarded location. Experts say that the books are worth millions, possibly even billions of dollars because of their scarcity and sentimental value.
My publisher and editor put a lot of work into making these books by hand, which increases their value even more. This was back in the day of typewriters, so you can imagine what a job it was. Because I was so young, they did it all for free. I’ll never find a more dedicated publisher or editor in today’s cutthroat book industry.
If anyone is interested, leave a comment and I’ll post a tutorial on how to make these cute books with your kids!