Today I would like to introduce the lovely Jaimie, you can connect with Jaimie at http://www.jaimieadmans.com or tweet her @be_the_spark
I have two moments of inspiration in my life that led me to being an author.
The first came when I was around twelve years old and I read the book Tiger Eyes by Judy Blume for the first time. I was going through quite a tough time, and a relative bought the book for me because he knew I had some other Judy Blume books on my shelf. It’s the story of Davey, who sees her dad killed in a robbery, and when her mum doesn’t cope very well, the family go to stay with her aunt and uncle until her mum can get back on her feet. There she meets a mysterious boy with secrets of his own.
I was always an avid reader but this was the first time that I really connected with a book. It was like Judy Blume had written the book about me. It deals with grief, and I had recently lost someone close to me, and it was a true revelation to see my thoughts and my feelings described in a book. The book meant so much to me and helped me so much. I must’ve read it a hundred times. I still have the same battered, old, tear-stained copy on my shelf today, and I’ll never be too old to re-read it!
But that book made me realise something – I wanted to be a writer. I was absolutely rubbish at school, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life, and suddenly I knew. I wanted to write stories that mattered as much to people as Tiger Eyes mattered to me.
The second was when I finally decided to self-publish my first book last year. It was something that I had been thinking about for a while but never really thought I’d have the confidence to do. I wanted to do it, but every time I thought about it, I talked myself out of it – no, no one would buy it. It’s not good enough. It’s been sat on my hard drive for five years, another five won’t make any difference. I’ll do it when I’m older, thinner, wiser. And I was painting the back hallway last summer with the Rent soundtrack playing. If you don’t know it, Rent is a musical, and the message of it is simply no day but today. It’s very much about doing what you want to do with your life before it’s too late. It’s made more poignant by the fact that the writer of the musical, who had put years and years of work into it, died on opening night. He was thirty-five years old. Rent went on to become extremely successful, it was one of the longest running musicals on Broadway, it’s been toured worldwide, they’ve even made a movie of it, and the man who created it never got to see any of that. I’d listened to the soundtrack a hundred times, but it really struck home on that particular day. I’m nearly thirty, I hear the clock ticking every day, why was I still putting off what I wanted to do? What if there really is no day but today?
And I made the decision there and then. I was going to self-publish my books. It was the start of a lot of hard work – books can’t sit on hard drives for five years and not need to be re-written and edited to within an inch of their life – but it was worth it, because I think that was the best decision I’ve ever made!
A huge thank you to Jaimie, I for one am glad that you were inspired to self publish and allow the world to read your amazing books!