Do you have a book that is like an old friend? One that no matter what, you can pick up and it will fill you with all those wonderful feelings and make the world right again? Well, I'm not having such a dramatic day, but I was going through my bookshelf, and my hand automatically gravitated toward one book in particular.
This is my well-worn copy of Twilight, by Stephenie Meyer. Back when I was a dance teacher (sometime in early 2009), I had a parent of a student let me borrow her copy. In fact, her name is still written inside. (Long story, but I had to buy her a new copy since I inadvertently dropped this copy in a bathtub. Full of water.)
Needless to say, once I finished this book, I ran out and bought the rest of the series. I think Breaking Dawn had released that week. I devoured it. And loved every freaking minute of it.
When I was a teenager, I thought about becoming a romance author. I was reading adult romances by authors like Jude Deveraux, Judith McNaught, and Johanna Lindsay. I loved how the stories took me to another time and place. I loved how the characters struggled to find true love in times that were so different from mine. I loved the hard-headed men just as much as the headstrong women. As a result, I ended up with a pretty healthy obsession for all things Regency, and if you ever saw the movie Austenland, then you should have an idea of what I was like as a young girl.
During this time, I tried to write a few stories, and soon after realized how incredibly DIFFICULT crafting a novel was. I'd get to the third chapter or so and get stuck. Or I'd think of a new story all together and scratch the first. I was a hot mess without any idea of how to move forward.
Fast forward to 2009, when this book landed in my hands. I had never read a young adult book, so I had no idea what to expect. In fact, I expected not to like it at all, but imagine my surprise when I fell in love with it. With first person narrative. With a story about a young girl who was wasn't so different from me as a teen. It was like finding something I never knew I wanted--or needed!
It was after reading this series that I decided to try writing again. It inspired in me a desire to write something that one day might make someone else think, 'I should write a book today.'
So I started researching how to write. I read every article I could find about crafting a story. I decided that no matter what, I was going to finish one for once. And after six months I had something. I edited it (not very well, I might add), I sent it off, and I waited and waited and waited and...nothing. Total crickets.
The truth was, the manuscript was awful. I didn't realize it at the time, but it really was. When I go back and think on it now, I actually cringe. But it was going back and re-reading that really horrific first try nearly seven years later, that made me decide to go at it again. This time with my flaws in mind. That second story was DRIFT.
A year later, I had an agent, and six months after that, a publisher. And I have this book to thank for all of it. Would I have eventually gotten around to writing a book had I not read Twilight? Maybe. Probably. But I can't deny that reading this book inspired me to try. It may have been almost a decade before I saw my book in print, but it happened. And if you desire to write a book one day, it could happen to you, too.
I love this scene, by the way. The one where Bella finds herself alone in Port Angeles and Edward zooms in to save the day in his Volvo. Be still my heart. Because yes, despite all my bad-assery and I-can-do-anything-attitude, I'd still like to have my day saved. Maybe not by a vampire in a Volvo, but saved nonetheless.
My next book is currently underway. I am about seven chapters from the end. And guess what? It's a young adult romance--though there aren't any vampires...yet.
Was there a book that made you decide to try something new? Whether it be writing, traveling, or riding a unicorn over the moon. Let me know!