Friday, October 18, 2013

Giveaway & Guest Post by B B Shepherd: My Writing Journey

Ever wonder how authors become authors? Today we have a guest post by author B.B. Shepherd telling us just how it happened for her. Don't forget to check out her novel, Bronze, and to enter the giveaway at the very bottom. Happy Friday!

My Writing Journey (The Long and Winding Road)
By Author B.B. Shepherd

My writing journey has been a long one! You could say I’ve been on the road here my whole life. Of course I’ve been a reader since I was very young. I was the child always sitting quietly by themselves with a book (or drawing). The first non-children’s book I can remember reading was Hamlet, but it was a facsimile edition with the original 1604 spellings and typeset. I still have it! I was about six years old and doubt I got

any of the deeper meanings of Shakespeare’s verse or understood much of the story itself, but I understood the words well enough. It was like deciphering a word puzzle and I loved words. I hadn’t thought about it much before now, but I guess it’s important to me as it’s one of the few things I still have from my childhood. (picture) My mother was an avid reader and had stacks of Reader’s Digest condensed books, so I was always reading those too.

The first thing I can remember about actually writing was being asked to read a story I had written (and
illustrated) at a parent night in sixth grade. I was petrified to read it in front of people, but that’s when I
first knew I loved to write and was apparently pretty good at it. When I was a little older I wrote things
and asked friends to read them, but I don’t have any of it now.

Throughout school and then much later in college and university (I didn’t go directly to college from high school) my writing was favorably commented on so I knew I had the skills, but I lacked motivation and ideas. I could write something I had to write, and write it very well, but there was nothing I desperately wanted to write. I even thought of majoring in journalism at one time, but I had no passion for reporting or writing copy, which is all I thought it would be. In fact, the idea of having to interview people turned me off of the idea completely. I’m not shy, but I would have been very uncomfortable in that situation. Of course I could have done anything with writing, but I really didn’t know what other options there were when I was younger and I certainly had no thought of writing novels.

Then I was married and raising children and trying to nurture a love for words in them (along with music and animals and art and honesty and All Good Things). And then I wasn’t married, but still trying to do all those things and work to pay rent and buy food and go to school so I could one day provide better for my family. There was no time for anything creative except university assignments for many years. I rarely even found time to read for pleasure. Life was very hard and I had no spare time to think of anything, but about ten years ago my mother died, leaving me quite alone in the world except for my children. I turned to writing as a stress release and a way to reduce the depression I was dealing with. And then it just took over and I was writing all the time because I just enjoyed it so much and I needed to. I suddenly had a lifetime of ideas because of all the things I’d seen and felt and lived through myself.

I wrote some fantasy which I shared with a few friends and they appreciated what I’d done, but it was nothing I’d ever want to share publicly. It was fun at the time, got me through a horrendous period in my life, and apparently flipped a switch somewhere inside me. Eventually I wanted to write something really worthwhile. The writing I had done throughout university as an adult and the encouragement

I had received because of it gave me the courage to do what I’m doing now. That’s when I began working on The Glister Journals—based on a story I had originally started when I was fifteen, though it now bears little resemblance to it—and it has pretty much taken over my life. I’m hoping it will be a series that others can get totally wrapped up and lost in too. I have the entire series planned and plotted except for minor details—I just have to find and make the time to write it. And even though it will mean the end of the series, I can’t wait to get to Book 4! I have plenty of ideas in various stages of development to move on to after The Glister Journals, but it’s difficult to imagine it not remaining my favorite work.

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