Monday, January 10, 2011
From Storyteller to Author
My name is Michael Young and I'm excited to kick of "Man Cave Authors". We are a group of five published authors, dedicated to showing what being an author is like from a man's perspective. In addition to myself, we have Dan Harrington, David West, J. Lloyd Morgan, and Frank Cole. We hope that we can help inspire other men (and women too) out there to pursue the amazing journey that is publishing.
Each of the five of us will take turns posting, and this month we're going to start out by telling our stories about how we became authors.
By today's standards, I grew up in a huge family. Being the oldest of eight children, I was often called on to be the combination babysitter/entertainer, and spent many an afternoon and evening keeping my siblings entertained with stories. Sometimes we would even go out back on our trampoline and act them out. I've always been blessed with a vivid imagination. When people ask me where I get my ideas, I just shrug. I wish I knew.
I started actually putting my ideas down on paper, or more accurately, word processor, in high school. I took a few great writing classes and, one day, I decided I was just going to start to try to write a novel. It took me about a year of working on it every day in the evenings, but I finished it: Face Value, a novel of 170,000 words. Looking back on it now, it definitely needs some work. I don't know if it will ever be published, but it was my first step in building my skills and confidence as a writer. I realized I had the discipline to make it happen.
I had the idea for "The Canticle Kingdom" pop into my head one day while I was working at Target. It was my second year of college and I was very busy between work and school. However, I churned out just a little bit every day and over about a year's time, the first draft came together. I attended a publisher's fair at my university and there met representatives from Cedar Fort to whom I pitched my manuscript. They took it and sent it back a little later with a request for a few rewrites.
I took a few months to revise and then sent it back. I must have checked my email 20 times daily for a response, but finally in July of 2009, I got the green light. "The Canticle Kingdom" came out in February 2010 and it's been a crazy journey since. But that's another story.
Since then, I have been typing away at a number of other manuscripts and I hope to have some others out on the shelves soon. Looking back, I think the biggest thing I've learned from the experiences I've had is that writing is a lot like the tortoise and the hare. It is the slow, consistent commitment to every day writing that will help you get your projects done. Intense, but infrequent bouts of writing will not bring the same results.
If you'd like to read more about my writing, please visit my personal blog at http://www.writermike.com.
Thanks for reading and check back later to hear from another one of the Man Cave Authors.