In 2008 I read all four Twilight Saga books over the course of about a month, about a book a week. That’s pretty fast for me since I like to get lost in the words of the book I’m reading. I like to linger on the phrasing and meanings of the words the author chose. I say names aloud to hear what they sound like in the real world. And I think about great characters even after the end of the last chapter, sometimes they linger in my mind, and walk through my day with me.
The emotion that Stephanie Meyer wove into her tale between Bella and Edward captivated me. I had never read a book or seen a movie about a vampire before; it was not a genre I had an interest in until Meyer’s characters came to live inside my mind. Love them or hate them, Edward and Bella changed me as a reader, expanded my world to include lots more Young Adult fiction, especially fantasy, and regenerated my desire to read again.
But more importantly, reading Stephanie Meyer’s books revitalized the writer in me. I mean this in the very best way; her commonness reminded me that greatness was possible by anyone, including me. Her ability to pull readers into her world, to breed loyalty and ignite passion for these imagined characters inspired me to create my own characters.
After years of keeping myself busy with keeping busy I finally picked up a laptop and started writing. I always knew I wanted to be a writer, to create my own space in this vast world and live through a character or two. As a kid, I relished trips to the library with my mom, choosing a stack of different stories to take home and escape into. We were never wealthy, but my imagination was rich with colors and characters and adventures. Being a kid in Middletown Ohio, I thought I could only dream of going to the exotic places and doing the amazing things I’d only read about.Thirty years later, I realize that I’m no Blume, Tolkien, Rowlings, Meyer or Austen but after reading their books, I’ve finished two of my own. And I’m working to wrap the third book of the trilogy. A Marked Past changed me from a dreamer to a believer, A History Renewed taught me to keep living my dream, and this third book will complete my fantasy. It will transform me from one of those people that I’ve read about to being one of those people I always admired – an author.