So my love of writing, I believe, started in high school when our class was asked to write a creative story. Any story that is, not a predetermined theme that the teacher had chosen. There was no real length that it needed to be, and no guidelines other than ‘write a story’. I was so excited that as soon as I got home I started writing and planning my story. I enjoyed it so much that I didn’t realise how long I had made the story until I compared it to my friends and realised that theirs were about two pages long and mine was close to ten. Mind you the writing was appalling and I can’t really recall the story, but it was likely terrible. Regardless, that was the first time that I truly enjoyed writing.
Then my love of Fantasy really took off after I read the Magician (Raymond E. Feist). To this day I do not think I will ever read a book as influential to me in so many ways as that single book. I couldn’t stop reading and only wanted more and more.
I grew up in a household with a mother who loved science fiction and fantasy as well as a brother who role played and war gamed. So as you can imagine I grew up playing Dungeons and Dragons (Which I still play every Wednesday) and watching Star Trek (Which I still watch). So it was no surprise that I grew to love Fantasy literature so much.
However my next writing endeavor did not begin until I started playing a table top games. I would write short stories about the games that I played with my friends to share with them the next time that we played. I loved seeing them enjoy the tales (poorly written though they were). That went on for some time.
Yet the first time that I really considered writing a novel was during a school trip to central Australia. I spent a great deal of time on a bus with nothing but my imagination to keep me occupied, whilst my friends slept. There I thought up a story and when I got back home started to write it in an old maths exercise book. I wrote about fifteen pages and then got caught up in real life once more, forgetting about the story.
Taking all of this, placing it in a mixing bowl and stirring, to allow it to simmer for a couple of years, I only made the conscious decision that I wanted to become a writer when I was 17 years old. What spurred this decision you ask? My mother came up to me with a creased, mouldy old exercise book. And I read the story that a younger me had written. And for some strange reason, there and then, I decided to actually write the whole book.
So I picked up some scraps of paper (Old ‘far side’ desk calender pages if I remember correctly) and sat down to write out a basic plot and do some world building. I spent the rest of the day writing more notes and more notes. Jotting down characters and names of places. At one point my brother’s friends arrived and asked me what I was doing. I said to them “I’m writing a book.” And they laughed. (Funnily enough the young man who laughed at me back then was recently one of my proof readers)
By the end of it I had a story for a trilogy planned. And although it was nothing like the original story in the exercise book. It held many of the same names.
I began to write the story when I was 18. And finished it when I was about 21. There it remained to be touched and prodded once and a while. It was read by many friends and family who loved the story but told me the writing needed some work.
As years went by I began new projects and even started writing the second book. Yet I was disheartened by the fact that my book needed a lot of work. Until mid 2012 when I firmly decided I was not going to go through life without at the very least trying to get a book published. And inside myself I knew that I wanted to try it with that original story. So I set myself the task of rewriting/editing the book until it was ready.
Now I can look back and see the toil of many many nights in the form of a finished book.
My thanks will always go out to the authors who inspired me. Raymond E Feist, David Eddings, R.A. Salvatore, the many Dragonlance writers, more recently George R.R Martin and of course J.R.R Tolkien.
P.S: I’ve still got the exercise book and look to it from time to time for motivation. 😉
If you would like to contact me feel free. I will do my best to write back to you.