This is the part of my website where I am supposed to reveal my soul. The standard phrases and excerpts I have seen in other websites can be paraphrased something to the tune of “I wanted to be a writer all my life,” or “as a kid I spent hours dreaming up stories.”
Blah. Awful. All that declaration is a little too on-the-nose for me. So let me try something different . . .
I have had a hell of a nonlinear journey through this whole writing thing. I mean it. Yes, I can attest to writing since I could talk, or in my case, not talk (I grew up with a speech impediment). But my earnest efforts to write began in college. Back then, due to my dual interests in both literature and film, I aspired to be a screenwriter. I had dreams of winning an Oscar, of spending my days writing in the most exciting places, like on the Serengeti or in the Andes or on a boat coasting through the Amazon.
Well, that didn’t happen. Instead, I found myself spending long hours in my room trying to fit my creativity into the very specific parameters that is screenplay structure. I poured my heart out into every single page, producing spec script after spec script, while trying to pitch my ideas at every networking event in LA and through hundreds of query e-mails.
The result of my efforts? Ten feature-length screenplays, two teleplay pilots and zero pay. No producer, manager or agent bit. A few read my work, then chastised me in one or two line e-mail responses for wasting their time.
After one particular bad piece of criticism – bad not just because an agent said my work was awful but because his comments led me to believe he didn’t even read it – I decided I had to write for myself. No more pandering to Hollywood executives in the hopes of one throwing me a bone. I took a hiatus from screenwriting and threw myself into Sons of Chenia, my debut novel. Two years of effort and frustration finally culminated in a fantasy novel, released in December 2014, and a renewed sense of passion. Today, I continue to write on my terms, with my second novel, Midnight, on its way to completion.
As for screenwriting? Well, I haven’t completely given up on that yet. I still dabble. I can still dream, right?