I was 12 when I first knew that I wanted to be a writer. My first stories were told to my many dolls and.stuffed animals. There was even a “puppet show” that my younger sisters and I put on for our parents. That is the first clear storytelling memory I have–performing that little play based on Cinderella for Mom and Dad after church one Sunday. Though I can’t take writing credit for that show–Cinderella had been told for years and nh sisters did help with rewriting it to suit our needs–that was the first time that I realized I could make other people smile and even laugh with my words. When my fifth trade teacher suggested I start to write down my stories, I listened. It was fun–even more fun than reading, which was my favorite passtime back then (and still is in many ways today!)
I wrote down the stories, but I didn’t keep many of them. I have one or two that I wrote on junior high and high school. Not many, though. Some of the ones I did keep (I remember a few long ones from high school that I wrote about my friends and I meeting and falling in love with some of our favorite celebrities that I was sure I’d never throw out) were stored in the attic above my parents’ garage. Unfortunately, that home was destroyed by fire a little over three years ago. So I lost those stories. There are parts and scenes from those stories that I still remember and I could probably replicate, if I ever had the need. Still, it would be nice to actually have copies of some the stories that I wrote in high school and before.
Why am I telling you all of this? Because something happened in my home at the end of last month that made me think about those old stories. What triggered that memory? It was something that my oldest son did. He did something that most 11-year-olds would not think to do.
He wrote and published his first book, The Storm.
From the time I decided to write books, I said, “Someday I will publish my own novel.” It took 20 years for someday to finally arrive for me. Andru, though, didn’t wait. He wrote his book and when he felt it was perfect, he self-published it.
Now, I don’t want to hear that self-publishing doesn’t count as really publishing, as some have told me about my own work. The book is in print, it is for sale, and it is lovely! I am so proud of my son. When my first novel was published nearly four years ago, Andru told me, “When I grow up, I want to write books like you, Mom, and not have a real job like Dad.” I still giggle a little about that. I think what I do is a real job and just as difficult and demanding as what my husband does. But I understand the thought behind it. Dru saw how happy my work makes me, where as my husband doesn’t have quite the same passion for his work. I am glad that he realized that it is possible to have a job that is both fun and rewarding.
Andru is having fun telling people about his book. He’s even become a bit of a local celebrity at his school. He had more orders for The Storm than I did for my latest novel last week. I’ve had to remind him more than once that writing a book is the easy part; selling one can be a bit more tricky. I’ve also told him that if he is writing books only to make money, then he is in it for the wrong reason. A writing career is only for those who truly love to tell a story. Andru assures me that he does.
I am just so proud of what he has done. I’ve always known there was something special about that young man. He amazes me every day with the things that he does. I can’t imagine anything bringing me more joy than seeing the delight on his face with this book. I’d rather see Dru become successful with his writing (if that is what he chooses to do with his life) than to have my own successes.
Not that I am going to stop trying!
Andru’s book, The Storm, is available on Amazon.com at the following link….