My time on Facebook has given me the opportunity to meet a lot of authors, each one unique in their own way, each with their own story as to why they write. Today, my good friend, Debbie Brown, shares her reasons for writing.
I have always had a great passion for writing and creating stories although as life happens, it had taken a backseat to my busy life raising a family and living through a series of events that redefined my life. I had taken writing classes and later on signed up for a writing program offered by the Institute of Children’s Literature (ICL). During these classes, I had written a short story about a boy who loses his mother and ends up being raised by his estranged, alien father which ten years later this story transformed itself into my first published novel, “Amethyst Eyes” .
A series of tragedies forced me to abandon my ICL course, and a decade later,yet another tragedy, the loss of my newborn girl, brought me back to it. I had been injured by the nurses, leaving me unfortunately to walk with the aid of a cane, that on the days I could get around, without great pain and discomfort. At that point it felt as though everything in my life had been taken away from me. Losing my daughter left me heartbroken and devastated. However, God had blessed me with Zoey, 21 months
at the time, which gave me a very good reason to face every day and regain some hope for the future.
I have been a martial artist, teaching for close to twenty years. But with my limited mobility, I had to hang up my black belts which meant sadly, no more karate, self-defence or even Tai-Chi classes or practice, for work or just for my pleasure. And I could no longer fly a plane, or work on a military base; since I could not get around quickly or easily enough from building to building… stairs proved to be another challenge I never even imagined possible. Everything I had trained, studied and practiced for in life had become useless for my new sad reality… well, except for the knowledge.
After having lost Emma, I returned to the Institute of Children’s Literature and to complete my course. My knowledge and recent experiences were helpful in creating unique settings and situations which prove to be beneficial, alongside the course, to develop “Amethyst Eyes”.
I wanted and needed to create a place where people actually cared about one another.
Once the novel edited, I began sending out submissions. I turned down the first offer I received following some research falling on the ‘Writer’s Beware’ site and scanning comments and complaints about potential publishers. My second submission’s answer came from a more reputable business…but when they told me I wouldn’t see the book for 12-18 months (and then he added, “Though lately it’s more like 24…”), I once again refused thinking that I was getting the go-around, and decided after reflection to go ahead with assisted publishing. I needed to hold this book in my hands as part of my healing.
After graduating from ICL, I received a letter stating that, “Upon recommendation from your instructor, and the study of my academic file by faculty members, you have been recommended for an advanced writing course that only offered to select graduates.” I was surprised, and quite flattered. After giving it some thought, I accepted, and began working on a novel while undertaking the course. I had already started working on “Emma, to Begin Again”, the story of Tommy’s parents (MC from Amethyst Eyes) before signing up for the class, which was placed on hold while I wrote ”Rebirth”.
Half-way through the course, after having completed a first draft of “Rebirth”, my instructor suggested I write another story. Rather than spend the next half of the course editing and revising “Rebirth”, stating that it was already very close to publication. Not what I had been expecting. My readers were waiting for the sequel to “Amethyst Eyes’; I had “Emma” in the works and “Rebirth” ready to be edited. I hadn’t felt right about writing the sequel to “Amethyst Eyes” in the course, but this time I decided to go ahead with it.
By the end of the course I had a publishing contract for “Rebirth”, ¾ of the sequel to “Amethyst Eyes” written and Emma just about completed. While all this was going on, I still had my daughter Zoey to care for, (that’s aside from my other adult children), I had returned to work for the Canadian Forces, though primarily with training cadets, and I am now midterm of what is sure to be my last pregnancy.
My life is busy, filled with both the unknown, and the crazy, but it most definitely won’t stop me from writing. I wish I could find some time for myself, to shut myself away from the world and write, but in the end I can’t complain, because crazy has worked for me. In my home, I have a great library upstairs, and the view of the woods outside my window is just perfect. It provides the solace and inspiration to help me write. However, my leg injury has kept me from using my library, but after the baby is born I’ll look into settling into it again.
I have been blessed with a life that can provide me with endless situations and the most colorful characters around. I use all my past experiences in my stories, all the people I have met to create uplifting stories that will leave the reader feeling good.
I hope I never run out of things to write, because it’s what I’d like to do with the rest of my life.
About the Author:
I am a graduate of the Institute of Children’s Literature, and have completed an advanced writing course for select g
raduates as well.
I have been traipsing around the depths of my imagination for as long as I can remember and began writing stories back when I was twelve. I love to read just about anything, from technical manuals to self-help, sci-fi to romance. I do avoid anything overly violent or graphic and have never been a fan of horror. I have a good memory and vivid imagination so I avoid reading or watching things I don’t want stored in my mind.
Amethyst Eyes was my first published novel. It is about a 15-year-old boy who has to leave his life behind to go live with his father after losing his mother in a tragic accident. Although the setting becomes sci-fi (since his father is not from Earth and Tommy has to live on his father’s spaceship), the story is more about growth and human interaction. There is a lot of adventure and a few twists to keep the readers busy throughout the book.
Over the years I have worked as a nurse, a school teacher, a martial arts instructor, baseball, figure-skating and gymnastics coach as well as an artist, selling my paintings in an art gallery. I have been part of an orchestra, flown planes and gone on wilderness hikes. I am an officer in the Canadian Forces, and though I have taught on different military bases, I now work primarily with cadets. Writing full time is my next goal.
Never having been much of a city girl, I live with the youngest of my four children, my husband Jean-Pierre, and Wookie, our Cardigan Corgi, in the Laurentian Mountains of
Quebec. I could not imagine life without the beauty found in the mountains and lakes that surround me. I enjoy the change in seasons and my perfect cure for a long winter’s night is curling up in front of a fire with a good book while snowflakes drift slowly past my window.
- ~GUEST POST~ AUTHOR, DEBBIE BROWN,”EMMA…to begin again”… (mybookaddictionandmore.com)