And the adventure begins…

Ever since I was a little girl I knew I wanted to be an author. My first work, prompted by a homework assignment much like my first novel, was a little flipbook called Bugtown that was written and illustrated by yours truly. That simple little book made from nothing but folded over printer paper and colored pencils, sparked a lifelong desire to write my own novel and see it published. I would fall asleep at night dreaming about walking into a bookstore and seeing my book sitting on the shelf displayed in all its glory, my name emblazoned on the front.

But like a lot of writers, I hit roadblocks. I would start story after story, but never had the confidence or willpower to finish. Maybe it was people telling me that being a writer wasn’t a career. Maybe it was my own low self-esteem and struggles with anxiety and depression. Maybe it was just that I had never found the right story.

I firmly believe now that at least part of the reason it took me into my 40’s to produce my first book was that until recently, I wasn’t really sure of who I was. When I was a kid, I would get so lost in my fantasies, to the point where I would forget what was reality. But I believe, at least for me, my best writing comes from not only being able to immerse myself into my characters and scenes, but also to have the confidence to step back and see it from my reader’s eyes. I had to have hope that I could dream, the ability to see into the spaces between the black and white, the strength to write my story my way, and the rational thought to say ‘enough is enough, let’s publish’.

The roots of Planetary Feedlot started much like that first book so long ago. I had gone back to school at 36 to finish my bachelor’s degree in Technical Communication. Along the way, one of my classes taught us how to make book covers, something the artistic side of me had longed to do as it combined two of my favorite things: art and writing. As I was sitting there looking for inspiration, a song came on that contained an audio clip that after much searching I found out was known as the “Area 51 caller”. Amongst other things in the haunting clip, the speaker talks about interdimensional beings. That sparked a question: what if we’ve got aliens all wrong? What if they don’t get here in spaceships, but dimensional travel? And with that, Planetary Feedlot was born.

The book just seemed to flow out of me, driven by the artistry of the cover, my knowledge and love of sci-fi books and movies, and even a little bit of the old B-movies and Mystery Science Theatre 3000 that I would sneak downstairs late at night as a child to watch. It’s true what they say: if you want to write, write. The more I wrote, the more the story came alive. I felt myself investing in the characters, their struggle, their growth. Before I knew it, I had a book!

I’d love to say editing the book was fun, but it wasn’t. After several (and several more) editions, I finally sent it off to my editor – my boyfriend David. David isn’t an avid reader, but he has a strange superpower – if there is something wrong on a page, he will find it. At this point I wasn’t even expecting anything; after all, I had just written this as a lark. Something I had always wanted to do. A way to check something off my bucket list.

But lo and behold, he loved it! I would catch him reading chapters on breaks at work, in the evenings, before work. When he finished, his first words were something to the effect of “when’s the sequel?”

I started allowing myself to dream that this could be something more.

It’s been almost three years since I started this newest chapter of my writing adventure. There’s been a fair share of stumbling blocks and I have a feeling I have a whole lot more to learn, especially as I am going the self-publishing route, which also means self-marketing. But whether I sell one book or one million, I have already achieved so much more than I ever dreamed!

The moral of the story? If you want to write, write.

We all have a story, whether its true or fiction. We all have questions. We all have imagination. We all have something that might just connect with someone else.

I used to think writing a book was this big mystery that only a few could solve. But it’s not. What it is is hard work, dedication, and patience.

I’ve already achieved a dream by writing and publishing this book. Now, I’ve caught the bug and I hope to keep writing and publishing a lot more. My dream now is that I can create worlds and characters and scenarios that touch the next generation of writer and inspire them to dream and grow, much like my fantasy books did when I was a child.

So come along on this adventure with me. It’s sure to be a wild ride.

One response to “And the adventure begins…”

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