For the sake of mystery, you must know, I have many dark secrets.
And I’m aware that sounds like nonsense, BUT, 1) there’s stuff about me you’d have never guessed, and 2) that stuff is lurking with me in the shadows of this dark room, which makes it some kind of dark and nefarious.
Nevermind that I actually had to turn the lights on… To keep me from falling asleep…
Anyway, if this sounds like I’m about to have fewer secrets by dramatically sharing stuff you’ve never even wondered about… You’re completely right. That’s what’s happening.
And I’m not talking about the skeletons in the closet, or how my last post was an April fool’s joke and most of you didn’t notice… No, no. That’s basic stuff. We’re getting serious.
Because when I started blogging, there was one thing I told myself I would never let anyone know about. Nobody.
Have I changed my mind?
But, I realized I can actually spill all the secrets without spilling any secrets at all. How twisted is that??
So on this day, April 23rd of 2019, I’m here to say…
Today is my 10 year book anniversary. *SHOCKED SCREAMS*
Ok, pfffft, dramatic intro over.
I wrote a book when I was a little dragon changeling, unleashed the curse of it on this very day, ten years ago, and there are a few rather unusual things to be said about that… But why not go a step further and tell you everything about my strange writing antics? I’m a were-writer, after all. And it’s not a full moon… I won’t bite. Don’t worry. I saw you take a step back.
So here’s everything you definitely don’t need to know, but are about to anyway. Thank me later. Or don’t. Or… Walk away from this, I don’t know.
You think I’m crazy now? I was a crazy kid too.
That’s… Not the title of my autobiography… By the way.
But a few centuries ago, when I was 8 and a hopeless book addict, I decided to howl at the moon and become a writer. Now, the books I got from the library might have had something to do with this, what with author bios saying someone I don’t remember started writing when they were 8. But, whatever the case, it made more sense than my previous… Archeologist aspirations.
So, in a conversation I totally don’t remember but have been told about, I said I wanted to write a book. Not… Someday. Nah uh. Right the heck now. And my dad, possibly unaware (but probably not) of the beast he was about to awaken said, “if you finish it, we’ll get it published”. HA. CHALLENGE ACCEPTED.
Now, I want you to picture an ancient grey box of a computer, with a huge pixelated Windows logo on the screen, blocky icons on the desktop, and the speed and grace of a drunken turtle. That’s where I wrote most of my book.
I’d sit at that desk for HOURS, the thing would freeze with every two keystrokes, and oh my goodness, was it slow. I don’t know where I kept my patience stash. It’d be too big to shove under my bed.
The night I got a shiny, fully functional laptop for Christmas, I was so beyond happy I ran straight to my room to start writing on it. Which is rather… Funny… With all the gift opening and Christmas stuff that were going on right then.
But did I ever finish writing the book?? You bet.
Plot twist, my parents were just as crazy as me.
So there I was, a tiny 10-year-old thing with a finished draft full of witches, talking animals, and a strangely bloodless war in the middle of a forest, after what was probably one year of writing and one year of “I’m almost giving up on this mess because it’s driving me crazy, aaaaaahhhhh“.
For those two years, I didn’t let a living person read one single word of what I’d written. Because I’m secretive like that. And because it’s awkward. But of course, at this point, someone had to… So my parents read it. And then spent days editing with me. And arguing with me about edits I didn’t like. Because I was also stubborn. Wait, what kind of self-deprecating post is this? Moving on now.
The publishing promise wasn’t a joke, and that’s what happened right after… Self-publishing, that is. So the first thing I’m going to say about that is that I drew the cover illustration and a bunch of pictures for the inside of the book, and they’re… Well. Hilarious. Highly sophisticated works of art, as you can probably imagine. We should have hired future me for some designs, I could rock that right now… And add some death and darkness to the book too… So many missed opportunities.
So we got an ISBN registered (book ID number), formatted everything on a print on demand website called lulu.com (very ironic, I know), and used the money from a 25 book pre-order from my school library to print the first batch of copies. AND THEN I HAD A REAL, DEATH-FREE BOOK ON MY HANDS. AHHHHH. I was 11 at this point, by the way. Thought we should keep everything chronological.
Now, this is where things stop being crazy and become rather insane.
A little bit before the book launch, my dad took me to Madrid for a surprise, and we went to visit an author who taught writing at some university. The man must have been bitter, because he told me that writing didn’t make a lot of money and I should find another career to do on the side. Fun talk. I’m pretty sure he also mentioned me dating one of his sons… Anyway, exciting day for me… Weird conversation… Now here’s what followed.
We set everything up to launch the book on the 23rd of April (today!!), otherwise known as World Book Day. And since it was World Book Day and I was an 11-year-old kid in a public school who’d written a book… A few unusual things happened.
First, I found myself in the principal’s office, giving a radio interview on the phone. Then I left the classroom as the teacher used my book for classwork analysis (what !!!), and went to give a little nervous speech to a ton of teachers and parents and students… Right before meeting the regional deputy of education, who’d read my book twice… And then a TV crew got there, and there was more speech giving, and book signing, and then I ended up beside the deputy of education giving the most awkward TV interview in history.
So that happened.
There was a bigger event in town that afternoon that I was also a part of, and getting a plaque from the mayor became one more thing on my list of unusual. Right beside the performing storyteller in a top hat who begged me for a free book, and then recognized me walking down a book fair months later… He was one crazy insistent guy. But funny too, so that worked for him.
I thought all the insanity would be over after that, but… And this is something that feels a bit weird to say… I got invited to a regional talk show the next day. For another interview. I’ve also got a letter congratulating me from the… Prime minister? That sounds wrong, but it’s what I remember. I’ll have to find that someday and check.
Ahem. Yeah. Here’s me feeling awkward.
“BUT WHY ON EARTH WOULD YOU WANT TO KEEP ANY OF THAT A SECRET, YOU INSANE CREATURE??”
Shh, shh, you’re not the first to wonder that, but I have good reasons, okay? I’m giving them to you in a neat little list. Bullet points and all.
- CAN YOU NOT SEE I’M UNCOMFORTABLE BECAUSE THIS FEELS LIKE BRAGGING??
- Don’t get me wrong, I’ll brag about my dark dragon armies. Not this, though.
- Honestly, I’d rather it not be a big deal, and sometimes people decide to think it is. Human beings are confusing. As you can see.
- I’d prefer to be known for who I am now than for that one thing I did before I established my kingdom. You know? It makes sense.
- Ahem. I was 11. The book is *not* a writing masterpiece. I don’t know if I’d cry or laugh reading it today. Maybe both. Though I did make one of my teachers cry back then with my “villain redemption” plot twist… I’m not sure how. But that’s cool. (Yes, I might be evil).
- And, let’s just say… There’s some awkward footage from that day that could be found on the internet with the right search. Videos… Newspaper articles… There’s a magazine about writers in Argentina?? YOU CAN’T SEE ANY OF THAT, EVER.
- No, really. Don’t make me hire the assassins.
- I feel both proud and awkward about the whole thing, that’s the truth.
- And the book’s in Spanish anyway. Most of you couldn’t read it. It’s been out of print for years! That settles it, right?
So, for these very valid reasons, you shall never know the name of it. Muahaha. I’m keeping you in the dark. Just so I don’t have to kill you later. You’re welcome.
But what happened after all this madness??
Oh, my writer lycanthropy didn’t stop there. But it definitely… Took a new turn. Werewolves don’t mutate, but were-writers do, if you feed them right. I ate just the right amount of cereal.
So I wrote a minuscule collection of poems that we won’t talk about, and then finished my second book by the time I was thirteen. And oh, did I like writing nonsense jokes back then too.
The thing was about two sisters breaking rules during a war lockup and ending up trapped inside a crumbling pyramid in another world. Crazy stuff. I’m now realizing both books had a war of some kind and absolutely no death in them… Which is a really bad trend by my standards…
But here’s what happened to that little gem of a thing… It died. A slow, painful, excruciating death. Because I, like I said, was too busy mutating. And when you’re a mutant teenage writer, you better finish writing fast, or your book becomes old news before it’s halfway done.
I started editing my first draft. And then I realized, I didn’t like it. So this started a process of, what, a 107 messy rewrites? A bunch of character age and name changes, slightly different plots and tone, and a million problems and crazy humor attempts. I tore the story apart and made a Frankenstein monster. Then I shredded it again and started over.
By the time I was sixteen or so, I realized there was no use editing or rewriting anymore, because I wasn’t interested in the story. At all. It was nothing like anything I liked to read at the time, and maybe younger me would have loved it, but I was done. So yeah. I buried it. Before it could ever come to life and terrorize some village. The end.
Oh wait, that’s not the end…
Book attempt number #&-$&#! I decided to start something I could actually love, and I did, kind of. The end result was rather interesting, because it wasn’t a book at all. It was an encyclopedia.
Basically, I made a whole crazy world with fiery deer running on lava creeks, sulking people living in tents, shapeshifting water creatures and girls who run barefoot on ice. Then I tried to find a story for it. And I couldn’t.
So I have… Pages and pages… Full of names, cultures, strange places and stranger creatures, that I don’t plan to use. And I like some of it a lot. There’s just… No story. I could probably make something of it if I tried again, but I guess I just… Lost interest?
So this is where I quit! I mean… Where I turned back into a human in between full moons. I stopped writing for a good few years… Didn’t know if I ever would again… Hahaha… As if… I was what, 17? Yeah. We’re still chronological.
And here we are now. Hello.
Blogging was pretty much my excuse to start writing again, and look at me, making you all wonder what on earth you’re doing with your limited free time.
Now, the book writing thing is a bit tricky for me. I still get asked now and then if I plan to write another one, and my sister just suggested I do to celebrate this 10 years birthday, but the truth is… I don’t know. Don’t ask me what it is that I don’t know, I just don’t know.
I did play around with a terrible idea a while back, still think I might write something again someday, and I even have a dark, twisted story lurking around my head that I have no idea how to write… That one is thanks to Iris here. She made me promise she gets to read it if I ever write it, so that’s the kind of doom I’m facing (just kidding, you’re awesome, shhh).
In the meantime, you get all this nonsense I keep attacking you with, and an excuse to eat chocolate to celebrate with me. Because wow, 10 years is a lot.
Excuse me now, I’m done spilling secrets. You can find me in those shadows over there.
Wait, what… Are you doing? Stop googling my name with the word “book” after it. I’m watching you. *Hiss*