Saturday, October 13, 2012
My writing “career” first began in the 80’s. At the time, I was either eight or nine years old.
Around that time, I remember taking a walk with my father in a local reservoir—talking about various life events. The subject somehow turned to a series of fantasy novels that he had loved since childhood. He began to tell me about the characters—a short, determined hero with hairy feet named Bilbo Baggins, a bearded wizard named Gandalf, and a creature named Gollum. I was immediately hooked. Where could I find these stories, I asked him? My Dad ended up taking me to Waldenbooks (I know, I’m dating myself here). I started off reading The Hobbit, and quickly devoured the Lord of the Rings trilogy in its entirety. At the time, I was in 2nd grade. I can’t promise that I understood everything I had read—there were a lot of big words for an eight-year old. But reading that series changed my life. I still remember the covers of those novels. In fact, I’m pretty sure they’re still up in my dad’s attic.
My love affair with reading continued. Books, magazines—anything I could get my hands on. I remember inheriting my uncle’s collection of Hardy Boy mystery books sometime around then. The covers were ripped, and the pages were yellow and smelled funny. I read the whole series.
It was around this time that I tried my hand at writing. I would fill entire notebooks with stories—I even cleaned out one of my bureau drawers just to hold them in. When I got a little older, I began to submit them to publishing houses. Somewhere, I have a pile of rejection letters addressed to my eleven-year old self. I can recall one of them, and it makes me chuckle to this day. It may have been from Bantam Books.
Thank you for your submission. You are very ambitious for an eleven-year old! “George and the Robot” is a very intriguing story, and George is quite a likeable character, but unfortunately we aren’t accepting any unsolicited submissions at this time. Good luck, and keep on writing!
Someday soon, I am going to dig them out for a laugh. I’m pretty sure I saved them!
Now, twenty years later, I will finally share one of my stories with the world. I can’t tell you how exciting it is to have this opportunity. The Internet has changed many things—in this case for the better. Clearly, the e-book revolution has turned the industry on its head. The “new world of publishing” puts the power in the hands of the reader (where it belongs), rather than a small group of individuals at a publishing house. I will always have a love for physical books, but I am eternally grateful to have been given the chance to share my writing with others.
With that said, thank you for taking an interest in my humble journey. No matter what follows, I am excited to see my lifelong dream come true.
Feel free to drop me a line with your questions, comments, or rude gestures (as one of my middle-school teachers would say).