From Writer To Author – A Self Published Author’s Journey
As a newly self published author, I am amazed by how many people have told me that they have a novel or idea for a book that they always wanted to have published. I usually tell these aspiring writers that it can happen and, if they are willing to listen, I tell them my story about how I self published my book. I have always enjoyed writing, mostly for my own enjoyment, but knew I had a talent for creative writing. My first audience was my co-workers at a bank I worked for in Seattle, where everyday, I filled in for the receptionist while she when to lunch. During that hour, I wrote installments to a suspense thriller, set on the Oregon coast, which I shared with the other assistants on the floor who eagerly awaited my new chapters. Years later, I moved to Hawaii and sent regular email updates of my adventures to my friends, which I called “Memos from Maui.” Living in Hawaii is kind of like living in a foreign country and I had fun sharing my observations of life on a tropical island. “Memos from Maui” were well received and I knew then that I was hooked; I had to do something with my writing. Like the aspiring writers I mentioned earlier, I too was engaged in making a living as well as dealing with life’s other distractions. I have had a number of different careers, but none gave me the satisfaction I felt when I had people tell me that they liked my writing.
Returning to the mainland, I settled into a familiar routine of working for a living. One day, I picked up a Learning Annex catalog and came across a screenwriting class and decided to enroll. The instructor’s name was Lew Hunter, who for years taught his “Screenwriting 434” at the UCLA Film School. His method for writing a screenplay is a formula based on the three-act Greek play. His class taught specific methods of story and character development. It gave me an entirely different set of tools as a writer and I began to write my first screenplay. After 3 months of writing, I completed Dance of the Heart. The method of writing I learned from Lew made the process of writing much more structured and as a result, made writing easier. I sent my screenplay off to a couple of screenwriting competitions and readers, but like most screenplays that are written, it didn’t get noticed. My story sat in my files for about 5 years until I decided that I believed in my story and that I would rewrite it into a novel. I took me about a year, but I finally finished Dance of the Heart as a novel.
When I was ready to explore how to get published, I again picked up a Learning Annex catalog and found a daylong “Book Camp,” which was a workshop on how to publish a book. It was an informative day and I quickly realized that getting my book published by a traditional publisher was as likely as my screenplay being made into a movie. The good news was that the instructor, Penny Sansevieri, a self-published author of “From Book to Bookseller,” had representatives from companies at the workshop that offered self-publishing services to writers. They provided me the technical support and expertise that I lacked and made it possible for me to publish my novel. So with motivation and dedication, and a little help from the Learning Annex, I am now a published author and am quick to share with others that they too can realize their dream of seeing their words in print. It’s just a matter of being committed to your dream; believing in your work and not letting anyone say it can’t be done. I am proof that it can!