I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember; poetry, journals, short stories, adult fiction, creative non-fiction and YA fiction. In the beginning I mostly wrote for fun until I realized I actually had a few chapters of a story. Now, let me clarify. I didn’t have the beginning, the middle or the end. I had a piece of the beginning-ish, a little of a middle and an idea of what MIGHT happen at the end. Confusing? You betcha. That’s when I decided to be a full time writer.
I was like a lump of clay that needed molding. So I signed up for a creative non-fiction class at our local community college. Truth be told, I wasn’t all that interested in creative non-fiction but it was the only class that fit into my schedule. It had been a while since I sat in a classroom and to say I was nervous would be a huge understatement. To say that I had to do a lot of deep breathing in the parking lot before the first night of class to keep from vomiting would be accurate. But I pushed myself through the doors because I loved to write and I wanted to do it better. My teacher, author Lori Soderlind, encouraged me to submit my work and take more classes. I took classes on writing with humor, constructing a mystery, creating a protagonist, adult fiction, writing for teens, romance in writing, YA fiction and countless others. I went to author talks at the library and I served on the board of directors for the Friends of the Cos Cob Library. I used to have a hard time telling people I’m a writer. I mean if you don’t have a book published yet, buy-able at Barnes and Noble, it feels a little weird to proclaim your authorness. But I did it anyway. It pushes you to get your work published because if you keep telling people you’re a writer and you don’t have anything published, they start to think you’re a nutbag and avoid you in the grocery store. Once I came out of the literary closet people wanted to read my stuff. Then I had a short story published and it was the best fifty bucks I’ve ever earned! The people in the industry that I’ve met have been extremely generous with their guidance and general cheerleader-ship. Which brings me to now.
While volunteering on the library board I met a media specialist. I asked her to read the YA supernatural novel I had just finished. It so happened that her old college roommate’s sister was a YA author too and just had her first novel published. My friend got the author’s contact info and I sent an email that went something like this:
I got your name from a friend of mine who was your brother’s college roommate and I was wondering if I could ask you some questions.
The author got right back to me saying she would be happy to talk in a few weeks when her schedule calmed down. I added a few extra weeks so I wouldn’t give off a stalker vibe.
I’m not sure if you remember me. I’m a friend of your brother’s college roommate and a YA author. I’m sorry to poach on your brother, who I admittedly still do not know at all, but I could really use some guidance if you have a few minutes.” And that is how I met the fabulous Kimberly Sabatini, TOUCHING THE SURFACE(simon Pulse – Simon and Shuster, October 30, 2013) http//www.kimberlysabatini.com *horns blow, crowds shout*.
Kim has been amazing with her time and advice. The best advice she gave to me most recently was, “You’re going to get published, just be patient.” I’ll be the first one to say patience is not always easy. But if you’re going to be a writer it’s one of the most important tools to have in your toolbox. Happy Writing….and Halloween!!!