An idea brewed in my brain for two years. Like a bug, there was no cure other than a pen and a piece of paper. So, I began to write.
Where did my idea come from? Somewhere deep in my stream of consciousness I suppose. When I read or listen, my head makes associations. Some are interesting, others strange yet possible, and some are outright dumb.
Years ago, as a high school teacher, I assigned projects that included lots of graphics and lots of writing. One assignment was called “Fact, Fiction or Fix It.” Each student had to create a newsletter layout with stories, ads, gag cartoons, strip cartoons, interviews, research, etc. Finally the editorial page assignment was an auto-bio.
What could a high school student write about? I realized many of them had stories never expressed that would probably spill onto the editorial page. So the theme “Fact, Fiction or Fix It Bio” would be a safety net for them to open up.
Upon reading each story, I was stunned at the pain some of my students suffered in their short life span. In particular was the loss of a parent, sibling and a friend. I could relate because at five years old, my mother died in a fire — my sister and I witnessed the event. Needless to say, we never forgot it.
My brain cranked out scenarios. At first it was a morass of imagery. How would I best present my idea. Picture book? Children’s book? Family story book? I wasn’t a writer. I wrote poetry and still do and tuck them away in a briefcase. But writing a book?
Since I am an artist, I began with pictures and cute stories. Then the story grew. But it didn’t need to be cute — loss is not cute.
Friends made recommendations. I was not an English teacher, so I took their advice. I wove a beautiful, wordy story. It sounded great. The story got longer. I was lost in my own words and characters. I needed another character. But who? It was necessary. A girl with trouble, like the two boys I had wandering about in those pages, would make it a better story. That required a re-write.
After four years and many re-writes, and retirement from a teaching career, I had the courage to join a writer’s group.
There I learned about fiction writing and I trashed a lot of my flowery words. A few critiques helped me grow and encouraged me to continue writing my story.
Meanwhile, as an artist, I promote my art to galleries and display my work in group and solo show. However, my story is still alive in my head. I read about writing, attend writer workshops and talk to authors. I read YA novels and joined a national writers/authors group. I continue to re-write whenever I have the chance.
Publishing has gone through a lot of changes since I committed myself to this story. After a much research and comparisons, I have decided to self-publish.
The idea came to me fourteen years ago and now it is a complete story. My target is the YA audience.
Therefore, I am now seeking beta readers. If you are interested in beta reading my YA story, please write to me. Fill out the form found at my website and we will talk. You will receive a free copy of the book once it is published and I will mention you in the credits page.
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