At some point in my life, I decided that I wanted to write. It was probably in grade school. Like most people who have a passion for something, I fell in love with the written word at a young age, and with fantasy in particular. I devoured stories by authors like Melanie Rawn, Anne McCaffery, Wendy and Richard Pini, R A Salvatore, Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman, C S Lewis, Michael Moorcock, and the inestimable J R R Tolkein. They were the demigods of my youth, the Perseus and Hercules and Prometheus of my childhood. They opened the worlds where I spent countless hours, happy to return to again and again, like Lucy stepping through the wardrobe doors.
I'm serious. All I did was read.
My grandparents had a house in Fenwick Island, Delaware, right on the Little Assawoman bay and just a few short blocks from the Atlantic Ocean. We spent our summers catching fiddler crabs and paddling around the lagoons in canoes, rubbing meat tenderizer on jellyfish stings and hunting for flint-napped arrowheads. And wherever I went, a book was always close at hand. Going to the beach? My cousins would all grab bodyboards--I'd grab a book.
When I was sixteen I wrote a short story for my school's literary magazine. It wasn't very long (nor was it very good), but it was the first time I had written for an audience. When I showed it to my grandmother, she loved it. She told me that I had a talent for writing, and that I had better do something with it or she'd kick my butt. And I think she meant it. For years after, my grandmother would ask if I'd written anything lately. The answer was always, "Not yet."
But now I have. For the past few months I've been working on something I always wanted to write--an honest-to-goodness novel. And it's finally done. I'm not finished with the editing process yet--that's going to take some time--but I suspect I'll be ready to publish it on Kindle by September. It's been a long, hard, messy road, and I'm still navigating it, but it's been worth it. I've finally done something that I've told myself a thousand times I'd get around to doing.
And now I can live without the fear that my grandmother will kick my butt....