Abeka, Authors, Breakout Novel, Brian Jacques, Bruce Coville, E-reader, ebook, Fantasy, Fantasy Writers, goals, Harry Potter, J.R.R. Tolkien, Jane Yolen, Kindle, Lloyd Alexander, Pensacola Christian Academy, Percy Jackson, Redwall, Rick Riordan, Short Story, Stephanie Meyers, The Hobbit, the lord of the rings, traditional publishing, Twilight, Writers, Writing
When I was eight years old, I showed my mother the “book” I had written and illustrated with the enthusiasm of your standard child. At the time, my dream was to become a veterinarian and save the lives of all the puppies, but my mother knew I wouldn’t be able to emotionally handle that job. So, she pointed out how much I loved creating stories and told me I was really good at writing. I realized then that writing was my real dream, and since then I’ve been honing those skills and working to become a Tolkien-level writer.
I wrote several stories as I was growing, all fantasy based with characters based on my friends. The older I got, the more I understood the amount of work that was needed to reach the level of my hero, J.R.R. Tolkien. I read his works (The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit) many times before graduating high school, studying the characters he’d developed and the world he’d created. I read essays from other fantasy writers, Madeleine L’Engle, Lloyd Alexander, and Jane Yolen, and I wrote to Bruce Coville (Into the Land of the Unicorns, Goblins in the Castle) and Brian Jacques (Redwall, Lord Brocktree). Bruce Coville wrote back, even handwriting his third letter and including the prologue to his not-yet-published Dark Whispers, encouraging me in my developing craft.
When J.K. Rowling published Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, reading became cool again, and, despite my father’s disapproval of the story, I began to read the Harry Potter series with the same fervor as I read The Lord of the Rings. Tolkien and Legolas would always hold my heart, but Harry, Hermione, and Ron had taken the world by storm, and I needed to know how to create a storm of my own. The same happened with Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson and the Olympians and Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight Saga (though I couldn’t stomach more than the first book). I knew I needed to study what the populace wanted to read, even if I had no interest in writing about sparkling vampires.
I graduated high school a year early and took a correspondence writing course while working to pay for college. I also worked through college, stacking boxes of pamphlets and test booklets for the Abeka Printshop. I studied at Pensacola Christian College for four ears, earning my B.A. in commercial writing with a minor in general history. I wrote two short stories (“OPERATION: CINDERELLA,” “Quest for the Moat Monster”) based on college experiences and published them on Amazon.com for the kindle, though they have not sold well. I was paid to write twenty-seven literary pieces for Learning Through Sports (LTS) to help start their summer learning program, and one of my pieces was featured as an example text when they sought final approval from their board.
Since then, I’ve focused on perfecting the first book in a trilogy I’ve been working on since I was sixteen. Currently titled Forged, it’s the story of two sisters who fall into a fantastical world ruled by a murderous tyrant. They meet a princess and a pair of princes, survivors of the tyrant’s coup, and they push the royals into starting a war aimed at putting the true heir, the eldest prince, on the throne. They must unite with elves, faeries, and dwarves to fight the tyrant’s army of werewolves, vampires, and half-cat creatures called Zív. I had sent this story out to six different literary agents two years ago, but all six replied with almost the exact same response: “The beginning is too slow.” Of course, rewriting the beginning became rewriting the entire book, but now I think it’s just about ready to be sent out again.
My plan is to send it out to more agents and hopefully score a traditional publishing house such as Scholastic or Disney Hyperion. I know that traditional publishing houses don’t pay well and that they keep the majority of the copyrights, but I’m okay with that. The relative failure of my two short stories shows that I am not very good at marketing; I need help to sell my work. I know Forged will be excellent, and that people will want to read it, but I need help getting it into my reader’s hands. A traditional publishing house has the power and reach to cover global marketing. Once the readers know who to look for, marketing will be easy for all the other books I plan to write. This trilogy (The Oathbreaker Trilogy) is just the beginning. I have plans for a ten-book series about a dragon girl, a series about an academy with access to multiple worlds, a five-book series about a world that hinges on the number five, and a single book about a world overrun with werewolves and vampires. The Oathbreaker Trilogy is just my way of breaking the ice with my readers.
My purpose is to write. If I have to sacrifice the rights to a single trilogy to fulfill that purpose, I will. I know what I have to offer is good; I just need the rest of the world to know it, too.