How I Got Started

When I was in the first grade, my teacher, Mrs. Juraco, would hand out little pocket notebooks to students who were on good conduct. In these little notebooks I began to write and plot out my first versions of books. They were called the “Cat and Dog” series, like “Cat and Dog go Fishing” or “Cat and Dog go Camping” and they were based primarily off of my own experiences and off of the few words that I did know how to spell. As I grew older, I expanded my writings on Cat and Dog to my dad’s white computer paper and drew more pictures with the text. In third grade I had as many as ten booklets of the Cat and Dog series. In fourth grade, my teacher asked us to write a story about Thanksgiving, but she didn’t specify any certain length. I thought it was typical for a kid my age when given such a great opportunity to come back with a shining grin and a ten-page book about Tommy the Turkey. My grandpa tried to have it published, but it didn’t prevail since I was so young.

When I reached the fifth grade mark, I realized that I had something that most other kids didn’t. Rather, I had been given something that most other kids hadn’t been given. I learned in Sunday School that everyone has different talents, and I discovered at an early age that mine was writing.

I’ve been writing since I could hold a crayon. In middle school, I had such a pride in my abilities that every day I would come home from school and daydream about what I would write about that day. I wrote little snatches of stories I had made up in my mind that I wanted to see, and I wouldn’t let anyone see them because they weren’t finished. Accordingly I dubbed them my “secret files”.

With pride I can attribute several of my current novels and writings to those “secret files”. It wasn’t until I reached my freshman year of high school that I learned I could make a career out of this. I was tired of daydreaming and sketching out parts of forty-five stories at a time. In a brainstormish manner, I printed only the stories from my “secret files” that I wanted to expand on, then deleted the rest of them from the Creative Writer computer program, which would not save any works to a disc or a flash drive. At that critical moment in my life, I organized my writing career. When I was sixteen, I began and finished my first novel, The Lands of Forever, and to this day I can still say that it is one of my proudest accomplishments.


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