Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Journey: Life Long Reader to Teller of Tales.

Suddenly, time sped up and I am finding myself with only 2 weeks (TWO WEEKS *hyperventilates*) Until Finding June comes out for alllllll the world to read.

Since Christmas, things have been cray cray. (I love how people hate this word. It makes me want to use it more). With my last semester of grad school, work, and Finding June type things, I have found my time compacted and filled with busyness. And when it's not? I'm just reading.

But this post is mostly about Finding June. Two Weeks. So today I thought I would give you a little insight into how writing has fit into my life and how Finding June all came about.

See, I've always been a reader. Always. Some kids talk about the sports they played as a kid at different ages or the movies they remember as a kid (I can't. I fail at that) I can talk books. I can talk about elementary school and how I read all the boxcar children books, Nancy Drew, The Giver, Goosebumps (choose your own adventure!! #ftw) and how in middle school I read ALL of V.C. Andrews books, the kid on the milk carton books. How I grew up with Harry Potter and in 8th grade I read the 4th book in one day.  How that trend lasted until the last book by my 19th birthday. I can tell you about how in 2005 I picked up Looking for Alaska by (then unknown) John Green and the book changed my life. How I spent my gas money at the age of 16 and 17 to drive the 45 miles to the public library every two weeks and read every book by Nora Roberts, James Patterson, Nicholas Sparks, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Sarah Dessen, and Janet Evanovich. (Or how I have a senior pic with me reading a book. And I totally owned that pic, damn I wish I had it!!)  I can tell you about how my freshmen year of college I read This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald and it was the only classic book I liked.

See I have always been a reader. In many ways, I have been a writer as well. I wrote poetry in the 8th grade. Short stories in high school no one ever saw. Writing was one of many dreams I hoped one day to fulfill. But life got in the way and it seemed so far away, a goal as difficult to accomplish as the one where I wanted to be a broadway star. (Love me some musicals)

 When you're graduating high school you have a lot of dreams. They tell you that you can do whatever you want. As long as you can support yourself and make money. At that time (in 2006) I didn't know if writing would let me do that. Plus, I felt like I was a crap writer. In high school, I had no outlets for creative writing. At all. My very small high school didn't have creative writing classes or anything remotely close to that. It was all academic writing. And then that trend has continued. Because I have been spending the last seven years writing a crap ton, all of it academic writing. I had to focus on getting a degree, because then all the doors would be open and by now (at the age 25) I would have it all! Everyone made it seem so simple.

I was so damn naive.

I don't regret the journey I've had to get here, even if it wasn't as easy as I thought. Though, I don't want to say I expected it to be easy, I expected things to move a little faster. Sigh.

In 2011 I was able to pick up my love of reading again. I read everything (with the help of my handy kindle) and then I started to see the push for self publishing and ideas starting popping my head.

One year ago I wrote the first scene for Finding June. I had no idea it would be a book or that I would publish it. But I feel the same things as June. The Plan. Must follow the plan. Right? This became an outlet for me.

I learned, in many ways, that the plan sucks and can limit your thinking. Because you think that if the plan isn't working, it's broken and you try to fix it, when instead you need to realize the plan isn't broken. It's just different. And that's okay.

My book in many ways is a story you've heard, but I think it's different too. It's real issues laced with love and humor and embarrassing situations and those moments. Those moments that mean everything.

When I was writing Finding June, this book was all for me. It was all the things in my mind that were tumbling around and I was able to voice them with June and Reece and the rest of the gang.

So in two weeks I hope you pick up Finding June. I hope you join June on her own journey, because I am so proud of her! Yes, I am proud of a fictional character. Even though I am nervous for what people will think of Finding June, it's a true fact that I am proud of her journey and growth in this book. A totally satisfying feeling.

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