Sunday, June 2, 2013

How I Became An Author

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of self publishing, I thought I'd let you in on why I got started in the first place.

I grew up writing short stories and things as a child. I had crayon drawn booklets for years before I graduated to writing on lined paper. Eventually, I even managed to type some stuff out on an old typewriter- one page at a time. Of course, things were a lot easier when I got my first computer. However, I never really considered myself a true writer for a long time. It was just something I did as a hobby.

One day, ten years ago, I was at work when I read an article about snakehead fish. They are an aggressive species that eat other fish in lakes, and then "walk" on land to find another water source. The article stated that the creatures seemed like something straight out of a "bad horror movie." Well, my imagination was instantly set ablaze. I knew I had to make that bad horror film.

After four months or so of writing, rehearsing, and shooting, we had a movie. I spent the next nine months editing and finding music. Night of the Snakehead Fish was put on DVD through a defunct company called Customflix, and even had a festival screening. I had a lot of fun with it, and couldn't wait to get on to the next one.

For the next ten years, I wrote about a dozen screenplays that were never filmed. Some were too complex to do as an independent film. Others were just too bad. I don't regret any of them, at all. In fact, I cherish every moment that I spent working on those things. I wrote many  of them with my best friend, who has since moved across the country.

After spending a year developing a particular script, I became frustrated with the entire process. People would always agree to help out on projects, but never ended up coming through. There was never enough money to be had, and the whole thing just fell apart.

By this point, I had begun dating my current girlfriend guessed it... is a writer. I would help her edit her stories to turn into class or submit for publication, all while rediscovering my love for fiction. I had always had stories to tell; it was the media that had given me trouble.

So, I tried my hand with a few short stories of my own. My girlfriend edited them for me, and gave me encouraging feedback. I still had doubts that I could complete any thing as long as a novel, but I was having fun writing.

The switch finally switched one day, while I was at work. A bit of inspiration struck me, and I finally sat down to write my first novel.

Next week, we'll start discussing the process of writing. Stay tuned!


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