Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Road to Writing.

This novel, The Forest Portal tells the story of 3 teens who end up 100 years in the past. They start in present day, June, 2008. They end up, quite by accident in the year 1908, in the month of June. While they have the ability to come back to their own time at will, they cannot resist the temptation of going back in time as they probe deeper and deeper into the past. Through their continued probing and interference, the teens not only create chaos in their own lives, but in the lives of those they touch in the past.

As a child, I always had a very vivid, wild imagination. I think sometimes it came from a feeling of loneliness, although I had three sisters and two brothers, none of whom had intellectual interest, so there really wasn't any moral support for me from them. My parents were also very busy.
I remember when I would color in my coloring books as a child, I used to make up stories in my mind from the pictures that I would color.
It was always a thrill for me when my grade school teachers would want us to write a short story on any subject of our choosing. I remeber writing a comedic story in third grade about a dog and a very mean cat. My classmates and me had to read our stories out loud to the class and I remember mine won first prize! Wow, the Blue Ribbon! That meant so much to me! That was my very first inspiration for the desire to write. I wrote more stories throughout my childhood, but as time went by and school responsiblities became more demanding,I just stopped writing my stories for a few years.
I started to write more seriously when I was around fourteen years old. I remember my mom would ground me, sometimes for a month at a time, which was not warranted, especially for a month at a time, but she always took pleasure in making me miserable. Actually, with all the time I had on my hands, I would read books, watch Mystery movies, Thrillers and Science Fiction movies and TV shows. Many times I would take pen and paper in hand, (there were no home computers in those days) and I would reflect on what I had watched and read and write my own material.

I started The Forest Portal, basically because I wanted to put myself up for a challenge. I remember I was at work. I did private duty nursing at the time and my patient was taking a nap. I had finished my work, so I decided to sit down and read a magazine. I got bored with that, picked up my work notebook and started to create a story. It was a story that grew over a span of two years. When I sat down that first day, I really didn't think that I would finish my creation due to time, but my mind kept going back to what I had written on that notebook. I had written about five or six pages that day. Well, I kept adding to the story over time. The more I wrote it, the more interesting it became for me and I was motivated to keep writing in my spare time. I actually started the book in 2003. After many, many revisions, I started to entertain the idea for publication. I talked to my kids and husband about it and they said I ought to send my manuscript in to some publishers and see what happens.

My daughter had to have back surgery in December 2003. Needless to say, my attention was on my daughter and what she was going through. She did well and by March, 2004, she was able to go back to school. I decided at that time to pursue advancement in the Medical Field. I went to collage and three years later, I graduated. I was not able to spend a lot of time on my book back then, as school was very demanding, but I did manage to put some time into it. There were other distractions that had a tendency to keep me away from my writing. Sometimes it was a family crisis, finding time to write, sometimes just being a mom, other times, I was tired and couldn't get the motivation to sit down and right, sometimes illness played a part, what with colds, stomach flu, although, thank God I wans't sick very often.

My book was born out of pure imagination. The ideas came from my past reading experiences and out of movies I enjoyed, not only as a child, but as an adult.
The title of my book, The Forest Portal, was actually my second choice in for the name of my book. The origional title was Time Trees. When I signed the contract with my publisher, (Publish America), there were some suggestions that were optional, such as title changes, revisions, book cover ideas, well actually, we had to give ideas for the book cover. Well, I started to rethink the title. I recruited the aide of my family. Needeless to say, the ideas for my book's title became the forefront on everybodys mind. My husband actually was the one who came up with the title that I chose to use. I sent in my new title, along with the idea I wanted for the book cover. The book cover that was actually produced only had some of my idea in it, but as my contract stated, the Author's idea may or may not be used for the book cover. It would be up to the pulisher what may be used. Actually, my idea was used, but the only thing they left out was a picture of the kids walking through two trees, but they know best and I was very happy with the way they did my book cover. The book cover picture has a mystery about it, which is suitable for the story behind that book cover.
I was very excited to have Publish Amercia as my publisher. The contract they sent me was very "user freindly" so that made the process of getting things started on getting my book into print that much easier.
I have to say, I was unsure of even getting published. Frankly, I, like any other new Author, especially with their first book, was actually half expecting to get a rejection letter. I actually submitted my manuscript to four publishers. I had two get back to me before Publish America, but they wanted me to pay them to publish! Well, since I am not by any means, rich, I most certainly did not want that. Besides, they were self publshing companies. The other wanted me to pay them $11,000!!! Agghhh! No, don't think so! I'm a working girl!
I remember the day when I got the call from Publish America telling me that they wanted to publish my book! That was a life changing day for me!

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