Sunday, May 17, 2015

My Journey from a Teen Writer to Award Winning Published Author

Author A.K. Taylor

I’ve always had an overactive imagination as a child. After learning how to write sentences and grammar in school, I channeled it into writing short stories and poems at first. When I turned 16, I decided to take a personal challenge to see if I could write a novel. I had never been taught how. It seemed radical and impossible, but I want to try it anyway.

Other reasons why I took this challenge were sad. I was the brilliant social recluse all throughout school. High school sucked altogether socially. I was bullied almost every day during my entire tenure in school. I was also forced to stop playing because of my age, so I had to find a way to get back into my childhood fantasy worlds to escape such cruel reality. I wrote my way back in. I wanted to hold on to my childhood despite growing up, and I wanted to put some of these things into the story. Neiko does similar things at an older age than me for the same reasons in the story, but her situations are more extreme.

Escape from Ancient Egypt by A.K. Taylor
I brainstormed while skating at a cousin’s birthday party. A plot and a scene in the skating ring where I was formed in my head. I couldn’t wait to sit down at the old computer in my parents’ room with Word installed on it. After I got home, I made a new document and took the “novel challenge”.

Time passed and I would get every opportunity I could to sit and write. I was addicted. After school, band practice, or after dinner was writing time. I would fight with my parents (no parents were harmed) over the computer. Solitaire, Taipei, or Free Cell be darned; I wanted to write! They paid for it later when I would stay up into the wee hours writing and not go to bed. I hated to put my writing on pause. I was addicted to it as much as video games. I got so mad at the teachers when heavy homework cut into my writing time. I would do homework during class, so I could free up time to write.

I wasn’t sharing this top secret with anyone at school. Nobody else was going to see it, so they could harass me about it until graduation. Only family knew. After about a year and over 100K words later, Neiko’s Five Land Adventure was born. It wasn’t called that 19 years ago, but I’m not sharing that embarrassing title. I started writing Escape from Ancient Egypt shortly after that.

During and after the writing of these books, more ideas for other stories, and an entire saga was born. Neiko was going to have many adventures. I wrote one story after another throughout and after high school. College slowed me down. After 13 years of encouragement, I finally publish. The first go was terrible after dealing with a predatory publisher, but I tried again. The rest is history.

Neiko's Five Land Adventure by A.K. Taylor
Did I ever think I would have written something award winning as a teen? Nope, not in a million years. In fact, I was afraid to share or publish for fear of humiliating myself and being tarred and feathered in the publishing world. I feared high school all over again; sharing anything was traumatic for me. I’ve had to undergo a lot of personal development to find confidence in my abilities, myself, and even other people again. That’s a whole different blog post.

A.K. Taylor can be reached by her Website, Facebook, Twitter

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