August rang in with another prompt party on Instagram: #AuthorAugust21. The first day was an introduction of ourselves, and day two is about how we got started writing.
I’ve been a storyteller all my life—that and my love of nature have been constant. Pictured first below is my circa-1993 (I was 13), 32-page handwritten gem of romantic suspense (?) about a teenager who gets kidnapped by a greasy Dean Koontz-esque villain, then falls in love with the teenage guy who lives with him, who had (spoiler!) also been kidnapped. It was with a bunch of my childhood writing my mom gave me in a folder, including an old Smith-Corona typewriter floppy disc with all my adolescent projects on it. My husband bought a drive on Blahmazon just today in an attempt to recover some of it. We’ll see what kind of treasures await. The final photo is a very detailed chart of character names and ages of a 5-part family saga set at a farm called Amethyst, which I have no recollection of. Maybe it’s on that floppy.
Until I wrote BEND TOWARD THE SUN, the longest document I’d ever written was my riveting 57-page Master’s thesis on invasive zebra mussel populations in a northern Michigan lake, and their effect on algal communities (in which I use the word “pseudofeces” five times.) In grad school, I also wrote real bangers with titles like, “Seamounts and the Ecology of Deep-Sea Fisheries”, and “Examining the Effects of Sewage Effluent on the Portage River Using Diatom and Macroinvertebrate Communities”. Never published anything academic, though.
I wrote a lot of poetry throughout the late 1990’s and early 2000’s, but never attempted a novel until my debut. I tinkered with it off and on starting in late 2014, and finally got serious about it at the beginning of 2020. Still can’t believe it’s going to be published. Does that ever feel real?