My Road to Publication...
By Melissa J. Crispin
Maybe it’s my imagination, but I feel like it’s common to read that an author had a desire to write from a young age. I’m talking super young, where the compulsion to put words to paper may have emerged as early as elementary school. I find it incredibly interesting (and awesome) that somehow they just knew it was meant to be.
For me, that was never the case. I wasn’t a bookworm as a child, never mind thinking I might write an actual book someday. Sure, I liked books. But I didn’t love books. Not like I do now.
I’ve always been the practical type, and my career path reflects that fact. I went to business school and majored in information systems. I learned how to code in different programming languages and when I graduated, I helped to build applications to make other people’s work more efficient. I did this for several years and have since moved into a different area of business, but I still dabble in the technical world, staying true to my roots.
At some point, I started reading novels after work as a way to escape. One day, I decided to order Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris from Amazon. I had started watching True Blood and quickly became obsessed with the show. I devoured it quickly, and then I ordered the next book in the series. Then the one after that. I’m sure you get the picture … After I worked my way through the whole series, I began reading paranormal romance books like nobody’s business. I discovered J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood, Lara Adrian’s Midnight Breed, Jeaniene Frost’s Night Huntress series, and the list went on and on. Basically, if there was a series with a supernatural creature in it, I was all over it.
These stories wouldn’t instill useful knowledge I could draw upon like the countless books and articles I read for work, and the beautiful thing was, I didn’t care. I had discovered this strange new love seemingly by accident, and there was no turning back.
Eventually, I got the crazy idea in my head that maybe I could write a book, too. So I went for it. Each morning, I would get up before work and I would write. Any free time I had at night or on the weekends, I would also write.
I’ve been at it for about seven years now, juggling my time as best as I can. Sometimes, I do a better job with the balance than others, but I do what I can to make it work. I have a decent amount of material, some of which may never see the light of day. That’s okay, though, because my efforts have taught me a lot about what works for me and how my own process works. This knowledge is valuable to me in and of itself.
In August of 2015, my very first story was published by Roane in the Summer’s Sweet Embrace Anthology. I was over the moon to finally share my writing with the rest of the world. I have since published a YA fantasy novel with a different publisher as well, and I’m working on new stories in hopes that I can keep it going.
So, for any of you out there that think hey, maybe I can write a book, I say to you, give it a try. You just might love it.