I live in a tiny hick town in Western NY. That’s the part of NY State that isn’t New York City. I’m allowed to call it a hick town because I live there. It’s the sort of place where a wall of deer urine lure greets you as you enter the local store, where there’s also a stuffed deer with a plaque that states proudly, “Found Dead” hanging on the wall above the cash registers, where the livestock escapes and roams through the lone intersection in the middle of town. No joke, here’s the proof: This was a bull. A very angry bull.
My Writing History
I’ve always liked writing, but it wasn’t until recently that I discovered when my desire to write a book truly began. My mother gave me a booklet I made in the 3rd grade. It was all about me.
If you don’t know what kind of booklet I’m talking about, ask your mother. I’m sure she’ll be able to pull out the one you made in the 3rd grade. You’ll discover all sorts of interesting things about yourself that you’ve more than likely forgotten.
Anyway, I read through this forgotten work of art and discovered that my writing career started long ago. You see, when I was eight, I apparently wanted to become famous for one thing: writing a book. And, I had already written a masterpiece called Harry the Frog. Unfortunately, that first work will never be published. Sorry about that. I’m sure you are all disappointed, but to ease your pain, check out my current works in progress on my blog or under the books page.
Fast forward four years to summer camp when I was twelve. We did one of those life goal activities and guess what I said? Yep! I wanted to publish a book by the time I was twenty five. (You get a gold star if you guessed right. Only a silver star if you didn’t have the age in there!) Well, age twenty five came and went with no book in sight. It wasn’t until I began teaching middle school that my desire to write grew even more. I read everything that was popular (and some things that weren’t) for YA. That was it. I was a goner. I LOVED YA and knew I had to join the ranks of those who wrote for teens.
So, I had the desire, but one needs more than that to write a book. (Though, if you ever figure out how to do it on desire alone, let me know!) I decided to pray about it. It went something like this:
Me: Hey, God, if you really want me to write a book, you need to give me a topic.
God: How about abortion?
Me: Ummmmm… That’s a little heavy, don’t you think? I mean, I am writing for teens, after all.
God: Nah, it’s perfect. That’s what I want you to write about.
Me: (Mutters to self) Crap! (Says sheepishly aloud) Okay.
Let me tell you, arguing with God is futile. If he tells you to do something, just do it. Don’t argue. It’ll save a lot of time that way.
Shortly after this conversation, the whole story for At What Cost popped into my head, and I began writing. Then the inevitable happened: I. Got. Stuck. So I put it aside and wrote another book. (Which also will never be published…sorry again.) Then, once I got that out of my system, I returned to the one God told me to write and finished it.
Enter Mr. Agent Man. (That’s what I call him to my friends.) Whenever I say it, I have that song running through my head. You know the one that goes, “Secret…Agent man. Secret…Agent man.” Only he’s not a secret, and his name isn’t Mr. Agent Man; it’s Steve Hutson. It took me a while to find him. Like, a long while! But sometimes God’s timing doesn’t coincide with ours. Don’t worry. His is always better. It’s fun having an agent. I get to sit back and write, and he does all the work to get my books published!
And that, as Paul Harvey would say, is “The Rest of the Story.”
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