It’s common to find people who will tell you they always wanted to be an author, and I am no different. When I was in fourth grade, I became published for the first time. Our elementary school created a book of the best stories submitted that year, and mine was about two girls who battled a witch with sharpened popsicle sticks no less. I had made it!
Over the years, my writing fell to the back burner when I decided I would go to school to become a pharmacist. It was only after I completed years of schooling and was holding an acceptance letter to pharmacy school in my hand that I had a complete breakdown. Something I thought I wanted became an ominous, dark tunnel, and so I stopped. I decided I would switch majors and come up with something else to do with my life. That very week an English professor asked me what my plans were for my life and would I consider writing because he thought I had talent in that area. I ran with it because it felt right and brought me back to that fourth-grade me.
I completed my degree in English, and somewhere along the line, I decided I wanted to teach at the college. Before I made my way to the English department, a friend called and asked if I might be willing to fill in very last minute teaching Pharmaceutical Math. The instructor had health problems, and it would only be for a couple of weeks. Turns out I loved it, and a couple of weeks stretched to six years.
I knew I wanted to have time to pursue my dreams, so my husband and I decided to start a business that would give us time during the day to work on our other projects. We turned to photography which sounds like a crazy pivot, and it was, but we absolutely loved it! I started writing here and there, but photography turned out to be busier than we planned, and it largely fell by the wayside.
It wasn’t until my name appeared on a published book that I knew I had to make the author thing happen. No, I hadn’t written the book; rather, I became an illustrator for the children’s book series Dilbert the Duck. The author wanted her duck to appear in real photos of the national parks, so I became the photographer and my husband added the adorable creature he created to its pages. I’ll never forget the day I saw my name in block print! It was amazing! I quickly became the sales rep for Dilbert, and I was able to get it into sixty stores within the first year. We sold over 1,000 copies, and I realized if I could make this happen for this book, I could certainly champion my own. I started writing several hours a day, and a year later I am working on my third book. I cannot wait to see my name in print again, but this time with the author credit attached!