There is something thrilling about grabbing a book that has long awaited your attention, snuggling into a comfortable position with maybe a mug of [insert preferred warm beverage here], and flipping to the first page before you delve into the magic of words. And although the thrill you get from reading isn’t the same as the heart-in-your-stomach feeling you get from corkscrew turns on a rollercoaster, it’s a pretty exciting thing to be able to place yourself in another world in a matter of seconds. I acknowledge (somewhat disbelievingly) that not every person loves books, but I’m pretty confident when I assert that everyone enjoys a good story. Whether it’s about kids fighting each other to the death in a environmentally-controlled arena or a girl suing her parents so she no longer has to keep her sister alive (spoiler alert: major plot twist in the latter book), one of the reasons why books are so alluring is that they allow us to momentarily escape the monotony of our own inadequately dramatic lives.
My absolute favorite things about reading are a) when I read a certain passage that strikes me in the chest and leaves me nearly breathless so that I have to go back and reread it to actually process what I just read b) being utterly mindblown by a plot twist or realization and having to mentally pull myself away for a second to silently congratulate the author on a clever job well done, and c) finishing a book and/or series and feeling like a very heartfelt and unforgettable journey with a friend has just ended.
While reading novels is undoubtedly self-satisfying in itself, what I really want to do is write my own. I want to create stories with plot-lines and characters so compelling that they’ll live beyond the pages of the book in which they’re contained. If people begin wishing that my fictional characters were actually real, then I know that I’ve done my job. Writing and publishing a book has been a life goal of mine since much simpler times when I was seven or so, when I would churn out short rambling stories about horses, fortune cookies, and potatoes (yes, really – potatoes). Though I now realize the extraordinary amount of time and energy an author invests into writing a book, the ambition to go through with the task hasn’t dwindled down a bit.