When I was growing up I was painfully shy. I could barely introduce myself to other kids or adults let alone engage in a conversation.For a long time it felt like the world was conspiring to keep me silent.
My stepfather came from an extremely strict family that believed kids should be seen and not heard. I was not allowed to talk at the table during dinner and this lasted all the way through high school until I left home.Speaking out in any way resulted in physical discipline, which put me on edge and made me afraid to say the wrong thing.
While I was growing up, my mom and I moved around Anchorage a lot and later around the West Coast while my stepdad did medical residencies. From kindergarten until 9th grade I went to a new school, sometimes two, every year.
This made it extremely difficult to build relationships or make friends.
I had ADD, ADHD, and dyslexia, was pulled back a grade, and had to enroll in special programs during my first three years of schooling.
Then something incredible happened. I discovered a passion for reading and writing. Through books I was able to meet new characters, join in their adventures, their romances and look up to them as role models.
Through writing I finally found an outlet to express myself, to have a voice.
What I was surprised to find is that I loved to communicate through the written word.
Starting in 1997 I tried to get published the traditional route. Then, in 2011, an amazing opportunity presented itself -- self-publishing in the digital age.
I have now published six novels and two novellas that have all made it onto Amazon bestseller lists. Although what I write is fiction, it is also a powerful form of communication.
Whether someone writes about international spies, adventures on the high seas, or, like me, about teenage witches and vampires – there is meaning behind the story.
There is a message of empowerment.
There is passion and hope for a better future … or maybe just the dream of finding true love.
What I learned growing up is that there isn’t always going to be someone around to save you.
What I learned is you have to stand up and be the hero of your own story. And to do that you need a voice. The more you use it, the more confident you become.
Everyone has a story to tell.Don't let anyone stop you from telling yours!