Growing up, I always had a story to tell.
I was the youngest of three, both my parents were in the Canadian Military, serving as medics. My older sister was intelligent, my brother was an athlete and I was a daydreamer. I would spend hours drawing pictures on blank computer paper, the kind that came in giant boxes with the trims along the side that you would have to peel off, they were covered in holes and served some unknown purpose to me.
I hoarded dozens of pictures, I would draw so many a day that I had entire drawers full of them, little did the adults know that every picture had a story. I'm pretty sure lots of kids did that, but as anyone who really knows me would tell you, once I do something, I put my all into it.
Each drawing was a character, their adventures and battles played in my mind like a movie, a sequence of events that I would plan over the course of hours, I never wrote any of it down. As any child, I was inspired by the world around me, I went through a Godzilla phase so I created a similar character, I liked Gundam, so I made a character who piloted a giant robot, Digimon and Pokémon had characters who evolved and changed forms, so did mine.
The characters I drew on computer paper stayed with me for most of my childhood, I have memories of doing it till I was twelve or so. I had used the same characters most of my life, as long as I could remember, I didn’t realize until recently how incredible that was.
In junior high, the new thing was all about flash videos, remember New Grounds? I became fascinated with how people over the internet shared stories through animated films they did on Flash. My creative mind began to drift to making one of these films, ideas began to surface and I carried many of these narratives with me for a long time. This time I was inspired by Video games and comics mostly, I read of course, but never as much as I should have. Unfortunately I did not have the talent or the computer to make a flash cartoon, and to be honest, my stories were a little too ambitious for the medium anyway.
High school, I discovered Dungeons and Dragons and Anime, I became interested in fantasy, began reading more and more. At age Seventeen I met Charlotte, we would start dating within a week and five years later we would be engaged. She changed my life, drew me to writing. I always had story ideas so I gave it a try. For my entire late teens I worked in a bakery, my first real job, while doing the mindless labour my mind would drift, my bosses hated how much I would daydream.
I remember that first time I put pen to paper, it wasn’t like in junior high, when you wrote stories for school, and it was something of my own. I was addicted, I spent an hour writing by hand in my bed, I wrote my first story. It was four months later when I finished it, right before I graduated high school. It was quite long, hundreds of pages, I had spent time typing it on the computer but that consumed so much of my time.
The story was violent, juvenile, clichéd and not much more than a teen power fantasy, of course I believed I could get it published. I spent a long time editing that story, working on it, trying to fix my numerous errors, I was not trained classically so I had to do everything by doing. I did get better, I had completed a story after all, that was quite impressive from what I gathered. So I continued to add to my story, new characters, new story arcs, the works, and yet I could never get it to truly work. That was because, at its core, it was still the first real story I had written down, it taught me a lot about myself, but it wasn’t meant for the world. Realizing that was pretty painful, I wondered how many other authors realize the same thing after a while.
Regardless, I kept writing, it was something I never stopped. I was done high school, I worked, I spent time with Charlotte and I played Dungeons and Dragons with friends. I wrote numerous stories, short and long, about various different things, I never quite clicked with anything. It wasn’t until I was twenty or so that I was given a book by a good friend, he had always encouraged my writing and I owe everything to him. It was the first Mistborn book by Brandon Sanderson, it is the story that made me want to read Fantasy.
I bought a new notebook, I had carried around smaller ones so that I could write down notes for my stories. Yet this new one, was massive, the biggest I could find. I had been tossing around an idea for a short story in my head, a story of a twin searching for his missing brother. I had the beginning and I knew how it would turn out, I just needed a genre, that become fantasy. For two years I planned, all the while working, I built my fantasy world, magic system and story from the ground up.
After that time, I began to write it, my first full novel, the story that I felt I could share with others. Over that year long period of writing, lots of things changed, I proposed to Charlotte, I went to school for Insurance, I began my career as a claims adjuster. Little by little, life took over and I wrote less and less.
It wasn’t until I was laid off from my job and I felt like my life couldn’t get any worse that I recovered my love of writing. I spent two months in depression, getting out of bed was difficult for me, I had numerous ideas for other universes and I began to plan other things to write.
Charlotte did eventually get me out of my depression, we were running out of money and I was unable to find work. My parents took us in, and I began to focus back on that project that I had left half finished, a setting fully planned out. For the first time in a while, I felt alive again, I hated insurance I hated being depressed, I hated the pressure that was presented to me on a daily basis. I kept writing, fully embracing what I was capable of, I had been called a daydreamer my whole life, but that meant that my mind had other priorities. Three days ago, I finished that story. It is called Ardent’s Contract, it is my first novel that I am willing to share with others, it is in three separate volumes and is about 700 pages long with 1.5 spacing, a total of 288,053 words long. It is the story I feel I was meant to tell, but it is the first of many, I have a couple other Fantasy settings that are still being planned out.
My friend Emily, who is going to university for professional writing has been editing it for me, due to my need to support my Fiancée and I, so I decided I could not wait to send out queries and get an agent, on top of that, I am unpublished and my education consists of insurance knowledge so the likely hood of getting noticed is low. As a result, I will be putting my story on the Kindle Marketplace, a volume at a time. The first three volumes are complete but they range drastically in length, as such they will need to be edited.
If you have made it this far, thank you, I hope this is just the beginning.