As someone who grew up in a house full of books and DESPISING all forms of the English language (IE: writing, reading, and the limiting of the amount of which we speak it), I would never, as a small child, have thought “Hmm, I really want to be an author some day.” If someone had suggested that to me, I probably would have told them to get a harsh reality check and maybe look at my standardized testing scores.
For those of you who know me now, but did not know me then, you’re probably going “WHAT? HOLLY HATED READING AND WRITING?” I know. Shocker. But alas, it is true. Until about the fifth grade, I absolutely refused to pick up a book and read out of my own free will, despite my desperate English major of a Father’s pleas. Then, the summer after 5th grade, I was asked to do just that by my school. Choose a book from a list of suggestions, and do a project over said book to present in my first Advanced Placement class of my secondary school career. So what did the pink loving, blinged out cell phone carrying 11 year old Holly pick out of the small selection of options?
A princess book, of course.
Princess Academy still is to this day one of my favorite books. It tells the story of a young girl from a mountaintop territory of a small country, who is chosen as a potential wife for her Prince and using her “quarry speech” learned as a child, manages to save the girls of her princess school from a group of bandits. It was the first opportunity I was given to imagine a world I was interested in, with my own interpretations and images.
From then on I was hooked. I soaked up every book I could, and in the 7th grade I read the most words out of anyone in the school (yes, we had those kinds of contests). I found my niche in fantasy novels, falling in love with the Harry Potter world after watching the movie and getting the okay from my slightly shocked parents to buy the book. And then, then came the fan fiction.
My introduction to writing was a silly one at best. It started out as an idea. A “what if” scenario, as so many fan fiction authors will tell you their best stories begin with. “What if the Mirror of Erised was never moved?” My serious Harry Potter lovers will get the reference. And so I started. And I kept writing. And I kept writing. And a few days later, I gloriously printed out my newly penned work and handed it to my dad to read. I kid you not, I think I saw him tear up.
Years later, and a few of my fan fictions have more words than most full length novels. I started blogging, still picking up any book I could find. And then the ideas came for my own works of art. So since Freshman year, I’ve been working on two or three different ideas for books.
Camp NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) is almost at a close. I have not done as much writing as I wanted to, but I’m giving myself a little slack – there’s a lot going on in this soon to be UNT student’s life right now. But I’m hoping that sharing this story, my story of how I came to love words, love the feel of pen on paper, fingers on keyboard and the sight of my stories coming to life, would help someone else who’s world seems a little small, become a little bigger.
And on a perfectly good sidenote, can I just say, THERE IS A MOVIE COMING OUT ABOUT A JANE AUSTEN STAY AWAY CAMP?!
Le boyfriend claims he wants to see this…but I get the feeling he will have no idea why everyone is flipping over Collin Firth in a clingy shirt.
Stories of your own to share? Favorite books, stories, even movies from your expanded worldview? Share below!