In preparation for tomorrow’s free Kindle eBook promotion of my WWII Memoir, Strictly G.I., I would like to provide some background regarding why this book is so special to me. The letters I’ve transcribed in the book were written by my Grandmother Wanda who served as a WAC during WWII. It’s also the first book I ever completed to the point of publishing, making it a very important milestone in my journey as an author. Soon, it will also become an audio book! It’s existence has been a gift to me ever since I pressed the publish button through Amazon KDP and CreateSpace.
My Grandma Wanda’s letters helped me fully appreciate that I am an author after all.
Truthfully, I’ve always wanted to become an author since the time I was a child. My family encouraged me. Teachers and friends reinforced my dream of writing books. As it turned out, by the time I was in high school, I decided I was an artist instead. My mother’s aunt expressed a little disappointment when I told her. She was certain I was an author because I used to take over her electric Smith-Corona typewriter whenever I visited. I churned out pages and pages on her machine. I can only imagine how many typewriter ribbons my aunt went through because of me. I didn’t miss an opportunity to use that humming device, because it was a rare resource to a child from a low income family in the early eighties.
In my late 30’s, I found that there was something missing creatively in my life. Somehow, I wasn’t putting all the pieces together.
One evening, I went to Cedar Point Halloweekends with family members and visited the Psychic Tent – All in good fun, of course. My blonde wigged psychic told me that there was something I had been wanting to do ever since I was a child. She said I should “just do it” and not worry about anything else. Easier said than done. I left the tent wondering what in the world she meant. With an art career that fell below expectations, I was in IT and destined to work limitless hours. I felt lucky enough for that.
As it seems, who we really are isn’t so cut and dried and your inner author mourns when you can’t do what makes you happy. It also remembers every moment you had a breakthrough.
I remembered my grandmother’s letters, an abandoned genealogy project I had started years ago and my excitement to write books as I sat at my aunt’s Smith-Corona. I remembered Super Pickle and his silly adventures. He was my first superhero I created at the age of 9 or 10. It’s a bird, it’s a plane… no, wait, it’s Super Pickle! A caped crusader in the form of a dill. How I wish I hadn’t abandoned those pages. They made me laugh.
I reminisced, wondered, continued to ponder and then decided to act.
When I began transcribing the letters my grandmother wrote once more, I realized that what my aunt believed and what others had expressed must be true. No, I didn’t have the resources to send out query letter after query letter. I didn’t have an agent and I didn’t have a plan. I was (and am) quite sure that I don’t have perfect grammar. However, I did have one thing going for me however, and that was a decision to finish what I started. Of course, I also had the Internet, encouragement from those I cared about and the skills I’ve learned over the years.
Three years into being an official author, I have to admit that though it’s been challenging, I couldn’t be happier. Not every moment has been positive, but much of it has. I can say from first hand experience, become an author and you’ll learn who your true friends are. Accept that not everyone can make the transition with you. Know that there will be more than enough encouragement to keep going when you seek the positive.
In short, listen to your inner author.
I’ll end this post with a quote from Ratatouille for other aspiring authors (who may suspect they’re authors but may not be sure):
Not everyone can become a great artist, but a great artist can come from anywhere.
Shameless Plug: Strictly G.I. (my first novel): http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004V02GCA
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