A Long and Winding Road
Friday, April 26, 2019

A lot of people start their author biography with how long they’ve been writing stories... but I have no idea what to mark as the beginning. I daydreamed through my childhood. I made up stories and drew pictures of my imagination. When I was about thirteen I plotted out an epic adventure and wrote the first hundred pages of it. That barely got me through the introductions. I read endlessly. In high school and college I studied the classics. I learned the theories behind literary criticism. And I kept reading. I read so much that I earned a literature degree without meaning to. One day, I just had all the credits. I kept reading, and my head kept filling with stories. Some I shared. Others I hid. Until one day, I looked at the book I was holding (it was Iron Kissed, by Patricia Briggs) and I thought, “I could do this.”

I started my first full-length novel since setting aside my teenage adventure story (which I still have by the way). I mapped out the whole story in my head -- a story that was way too long for a single book, so I broke it into five pieces -- and started writing. It took me three months to write the first book, and it came to 120,000 words. Five years and a million revisions later, that book is 85,000 words long, and is the first in my Magicsmith series. So, did my writing career start when I was a daydreaming child babbling stories? Or as a teenager penning my first pages? Or when I got my first publishing contract? Or when I held a physical copy of my book for the first time? Who knows? And who cares? I write now, and that’s enough. If people enjoy my stories, even better. Maybe someday, someone will hold one of my books and think, “I could do this.”

Photo credit: Rob Bates