Rachel Elisse Sitting in Grass ComputerI feel that finding my passion was a gift; something God meant to bring into my life to make me become something more than what I was.

If you would have asked me in high school, or even college, if I would ever write a book, I would have answered with 100% certainty that I NEVER would. The thought had never crossed my mind. If it had, I still would have thrown it out the window.

In 2007, around the birth of my second child, my husband’s friend asked for feedback on a book he’d written. The discussion surrounding the whole process sparked the possibility within my husband that perhaps he could write something relatively well and make some money from it.

Me, being the supportive wife that I was, went on to tell him that he would never follow through with something so tedious. I said things such as, “You are never going to do that. Do you know how many pages you would have to write? How many words? It would take you forever! Writing a book sounds awful. There’s no way you’re going to do that.” Because writing a novel sounded like the most detestable thing.

My husband ignored my realistic negativity on this latest pursuit of his (there have been many ventures started and left unfinished) and wrote a chapter or two. He made it farther than I thought he would … So props to him.

With the little bit he wrote, I gave suggestions. He wrote beautifully. His description was amazing. (Better than mine if I’m honest). But he had no story.

I thought of many directions the story could go. But all of my ideas were shot down and I became frustrated. Because I couldn’t fully communicate how brilliant my ideas were.There’s a natural disconnect between the wild imaginings of the mind, and the ability to put them into words someone can understand. Not without the full format of a novel. This disconnect and growing frustration led me to think about what I would write if I had control over my own story.

And that’s when I first experienced the buzz. I have to point out here, that the way this hobby came about, was a miracle. I never would have found my passion if life’s events hadn’t transpired just this way. If anyone would have suggested I write a book, I would have said no. And that would have been the end of it.

But through the dead-end optimism of my husband and the control-freak side of my nature, the two equated into a wonderful gift for me.

The first story that came to me was a Historical Romantic-Suspense, and I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I would lay in bed, not able to sleep, because all I could do was wonder where the story would take me.

That’s when I realized I’d stumbled onto something that would change my life forever. I’d found what was missing in my life–A passion for something I wanted to become good at. I could feel in my bones that this newfound passion would lead me somewhere both terrifying and exciting.

I had never been that confident in who I was. I knew eventually that I’d have to let the world read what I had written and become vulnerable in a way I wasn’t sure I could. Having someone read the work you put your heart and soul into, is like standing in front of a crowd naked and allowing them to point out every imperfection; every wrinkle and dimple of cellulite. Yes, it’s that’s uncomfortable and scary.

But after the scary part, comes the empowerment. Confidence blossoms as I work hard at something and learn from my mistakes. And I have since realized that I can bounce back from criticism and view it objectively, where I hadn’t been able to do this before. Ever since I was a little girl, I always wanted to be a more confident individual, and through writing, I believe I am finally getting there.

But I digress.

I have written five books. The first was the Historical Romance I mentioned above. I love the story and plan to continue on with two more books to complete that series. But as I went back to edit it, I realized there was an overwhelming amount of facts I needed to research to make the book true to its time period, set in the 1820’s.

That’s when I began to think of writing a contemporary fantasy that would take little research. I had two variables pop into my mind that I thought would be interesting to implement into a story. That was it. Just two factors. But I knew that this next book would be the first to introduce to the world.

I haven’t published it yet. This is the phase I’m figuring out right now. Whether to traditionally publish or self publish. Either way, Minnow in the Dark will find its way into the hands of the public.

The variables that got me excited to write Minnow in the Dark, were simply that. Variables. I had no idea what the story would be, where it would lead, or how it would end. I didn’t know how the story would end until I wrote the last few pages of the whole series in the summer of 2015. And I was just as surprised by the ending as I hope all my readers will be!

I cannot explain how exhilarating it was to read my story for the first time as I was writing it. I rarely brainstorm and outlining sounds like chewing on cardboard to me. That’s simply not how I roll. Every once in a while, I might get stuck and do a little pondering. But for the most part, MITD flowed from my hands in chronological order. I wrote the story how I, as the reader, would want it to go. I put the protagonist in tough situations, having no clue as to how she’d get out of them. But I wrote it anyway, because that’s what I’d want to happen if I were reading the book.

After creating tough situations for my characters, I’d speak heavenward and say, “Okay, well I put her in an impossible spot and I have no clue how to get her out of it. You wanna give me a nudge as to how to solve this?” Then an idea would pop into my head. It was amazing to see how things I had written earlier, would be the means of solving problems later. I often got goosebumps when bits and pieces would connect; something I hadn’t planned on as I typed away.

Writing hasn’t always been easy. While it has brought me the most joy, it has also brought me the most pain and anxiety. I’ve had computer crashes, losing chunks of work, but each time lucky to get it back. (But man, I lost a couple years of my life!) I’ve fought for time to write through three energetic children. I’ve worked through the insecurities brought about by the criticism of others, as well as the negative voices inside my head. I spent two months straight, editing every waking moment to get my book ready to print the copies I wanted to surprise my family with; because my brother was flying in from out of state and I wanted to do the surprise in person. I’ve had lots of back problems because of all the time I’ve sat writing. (Found out I have a Compression Fracture in my spine that’s not healing because I have weaker bones- so that’s cool.) Going to physical therapy three times a week to get adjusted, often brought tears.

But it’s all worth it. Because I love writing so much.

Going through beta phase was one of the scariest things I’ve ever done. You never know what people will think and how it will be received. It wasn’t all good, and I had some tough criticism break me. But then I had so many supporters that helped me rise again and realize I could do it. I’m really thankful for those cheerleaders.

The next phase I’m entering will be interesting. I’m excited to see what will happen with my book! But it might take some time. I also have several other novels I’m working on and could not be more excited about.

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