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When I was younger, I had always dreamed of writing a book. I had this awesome fantasy world I created and even drew a detailed map with mountains, streams, and oceans. I came up with a plot and characters; the whole shebang!

But, what I didn’t do was actually write the book. I was never confident about writing. There was always something in the back of my mind telling me I wasn’t good enough, so I kept my folder (with a horse on the front) with all my story ideas and pictures close to me so I could add to it whenever. If I suddenly had an idea, it went in the folder. No one knew what was inside. They all thought it was school work. But they were wrong.

I kept that dream close to my heart until one day, I wrote some of that down.

It all started when I decided my sister would help me write. My great idea was for me to come up with the plot points and Elena would write my story. That lasted all of one day. Elena basically told me to write it myself. So, I did. I was so excited. Writing was exhilarating and new. It worked parts of my brain that I loved. Creativity is my middle name, I get it from my dad – who used to write westerns back in the day. Sadly, he doesn’t have any of his work.

My first story ever wasn’t really what I wanted to write; it was a collaboration with my sister because I was clueless how to start. The story consisted of a private school, princesses, and bombings. None of it worked. LOL. 15,000 words later and I scrapped that idea to start my fantasy story I created when I was young. I was actually writing that book!

You could imagine my excitement! It took me eight months to finish 60,000 words of junk. But the most important part was that I wrote the book; my childhood dream! I titled it Under The Willow Tree and still hope to one day revisit that lovely work of art and finish it the way I want too, but for now, it stays close to my heart as the first book I ever wrote.

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Left to right: Kristina, Melissa, Elena, Dana

 

I want to thank my sister, Elena for denying me and my crazy idea of her writing my book. I want to thank her for always believing in me and talking with me about ideas (rather excitedly) and chapters and editing. I want to thank her for just being my sister. If it wasn’t for her, I would’ve never landed a publishing contract with Clean Reads or Rambunctious Ramblings Publishing, Inc.

All of my sisters, Kristina for reading Bleeding Hearts and loving it, for reading the first, horrible draft of Under The Willow Tree and never once complaining.

And for Melissa, who has always supported my writing, and although I haven’t let her read anything yet, I know she will love it.

Lastly, my husband, Kyle for buying me that laptop and letting me buy an unimaginable amount of books and never once telling me I couldn’t do it. And for loving me. (That’s a given. LOL)

I will keep my writing, my books, my sisters, my husband, and the rest of my family close to my heart as I continue on this journey of a writer.

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Me and Kyle

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