My opinion? I find there is no such thing as normal, especially when it comes to people. If you consider yourself normal, you’re only kidding yourself, really. Perhaps by public social standards you speak and behave acceptable—but that doesn’t get you off the hook of being unique.
I see that as a variation worth celebrating!
I mean, how atrociously mundane it would be if everyone dressed the same, dreamed the same, liked the same music, the same colour, and the same hairstyle. Even if there were a group of four categories of distinct sameness – it would still be boring!
So here’s to a perfectly wonderful, abnormal life! And to the millions of written stories already out there in the world—none of which are normal, and all have a thankful audience of some description!
Out of all my known relatives, my immediate family was the most creative, with the most idealistic tendencies. Both my parents and my siblings enjoyed all manner of adventurous mental and visual escapades—especially adventures flavoured with fantastical elements. Star Wars, Indiana Jones and The Neverending Story were just some of the popular tales absorbed over and over again. In addition, there were many times my father would gather us all together at night and relay tales of far-away places and epic tales (he’s definitely what you’d call a traditional Story-teller!).
While other little girls were playing dress-ups, “borrowing” their mum’s lipstick or snuggling with dolls, I was playing with dinosaur figurines, dressing myself up in sheets and boxes and cardboard masks (pretending of course to be either a monster or a dog or a warrior fighting hordes of enemies), or scribbling into scrapbooks all manner of things from my imagination.
Growing up, our family moved … constantly. I’ve lived in the middle of an orchard, in the middle of a farm, and in the middle of town (numerous times); I’ve lived in a small country community, a large city suburb, and a view away from the ocean. From the view of a backyard I’ve had a state forest, a highway, a major shopping centre, and a horse paddock. Well, I think you get the picture.
I was a sensitive child and didn’t take well to being uprooted all the time. Thankfully, I was also a day-dreamer, so for the most part the stresses of life and family issues churned away far below me, while I stayed safely aloft and distracted in the wanderings of my imagination.
Actually, come to think of it, I’m still a day-dreamer and rather sensitive … I guess some things you don’t grow out of. According to the Mayers Briggs Type Indicator (individual core personalities), I am an INFJ; which actually explains a lot!
Surprisingly enough, despite all the moving, I only went to two schools, both of them private, and both holding many fond memories. I did well at school and in high-school discovered my love of Drama and Performing Arts. Believe it or not, it wasn’t until the 11th grade that I actually wanted to become a novelist and make a career out of writing books. All my life I’ve been creative, but my abilities stretched over more than one talent, and for a long time I wasn’t certain of which avenue to pursue (at various stages I wanted to be a painter, an animator, a game designer, an actor and an illustrator). And who is to say I can not be more than just an author, right? I fully intend to use my other talents in other creative areas in the future. After all, if you’ve been blessed by numerous gifts, it’s a waste to keep them all to yourself!
After school, I began to focus on my writing. To get a bit of a feel of the publishing industry, I had a children’s book published. Check it out here if you like! Or don’t; I’m actually embarrassed by it’s quality (in my defense, I was still a green green-horn, and really had no idea what I was doing). Shortly after, I had the first book of the Dragon Calling series assessed by an agency. Unfortunately, their appraisal proved discouraging and unhelpful. Nevertheless, I continued writing the books of Dragon Calling, while developing other stories and concepts, and spending time studying and learning about the writing and publishing industry. When I felt confident enough to try an assessment again, I went through a professional author. She was exceptionally helpful—having both encouraging praise and constructive criticism. With my inspiration renewed, I gave my first manuscript a miraculous modification, and at last I found myself satisfied with it.
For over three years I participated in various online Role-playing community sites, where I met and interacted with other talented writers, and stretched my writing abilities to new levels. This is something I recommend to budding writers. It’s an excellent opportunity to meet other creative people, form friendships, and polish and sharpen your writing craft before advancing toward publication.
Since 2010, I participate in online writers groups, and continue to learn from other professionals—via blogs, sites, and discussion boards—about writing as a craft and the subjective behemoth that is the publishing industry.
Outside of my writing career, I spent over five years as a volunteer at a local animal shelter, and currently remain as a volunteer in my church’s music and creative department.
The Dragon Calling series has undergone a lot of polishes, cuts and changes since it’s conception. But I can tell you now, all the hard work and heart ache has been worth it. What was once a crude hunk of rock with specks of potential lodged deep inside, is now a cut and polished, fully-published, shiny-scaled story soaring the winds of the world-wide readership.
My first book, KIN SEEKER, launched in August 2013 (eBook version), and the paperback followed shortly after (February 2014). The second book, THE BEACON THRONES, launched November 2014, in both Paperback and eBook formats. In May 2015, the Companion Guide for Kin Seeker was released, which includes the popular Prologue Comics (which you can check out here, if you’re curious).
The third book in the series, DUAL DESTINY, launched in March 2016 (both paperback and eBook), and the Beacon Thrones Companion Guide followed with a February 2017 release. Book 4, THE SWORD OF STARS, made its debut in April 2018 at a pop culture convention (fun times!). The fifth and final book in the series is currently a WIP. This will be followed by the 3rd and 4th and eventually 5th Companion Guides, all still in the early stages.
While life so far has been quite an adventure, the best is certainly yet to come!