Like many others, I was drawn into the written world when I was just a child. I believe the love of stories came to me in a present from my Auntie. It was one of those children’s books where you can put the child’s name in the blank spaces, and they and the story’s protagonist go on all kinds of adventures together. My adventure was with Barbie, and I loved it so much I needed more. So when I couldn’t buy any more stories I had no choice but to write my own.
I wrote stories about scary bats. I wrote stories about magic. I wrote stories about fantastic beasts and scheming teachers. I loved it so much, I was a constant knock on my parent’s door, wanting to read them more of what I’ve written.
But unfortunately, I had a lot of difficulty with spelling. It had gotten so bad I had to see a specialist, and I was bullied into thinking I was stupid.
I remember one day I brought in a piece of my writing into class for my friend to read, and other students had noticed it on my desk when I had stepped away. When I returned, a crowd had formed around my table, laughing at my struggles to spell even the simplest of words. Being kids, they weren’t aware how much their laughing and mocking had really affected me. I was so mortified and embarrassed I didn’t want to share anything ever again. And for a long time, I didn’t. I mean, come on, what type of writer can’t spell? It was a joke. I was a joke.
My parents were very supportive, and ensured I didn’t give up just because I found it difficult. Even today, I can’t spell certain words without needing to look it up. I could write it a thousand times and I’ll still get stuck. But it’s okay, it’s just part of who I am now.
It wasn’t until I was in high school that I was pulled aside by my teacher and put into a writer’s program. My piece was published in a local magazine and it gave me a boost of confidence. In my final year, my literature teacher commented to my parents about my writing capabilities, and even suggested that I pursue it. It felt as though a door I had slammed shut was opening again.
I searched out publishers when I left high school and I was rejected. A LOT. Most times I was lucky to get a rejection letter, a lot of my enquiries were answered with six months’ worth of silence. But alas, that’s just the game. Just have to get up and dust yourself off. I went to night classes. I sought out help with local authors. I talked to my teachers. I applied for universities and practiced, and practiced and practiced. I was even writing on my schoolies, when everyone else was out by the beach or partying, I was writing.
I made a lot of errors some new writers make. One, for instance, was I didn’t get my work professionally edited before submitting it to publishers. My first ‘yes’ came to me from Staccato Publishing. Initially, I was finding it really hard getting through the front door to publishers so I tried the back entrance. I researched a publisher who not only offers editing services but publishes in my genre and is currently accepting submissions. I contracted them to edit my work, hoping they would read the entire manuscript and offer me a contract. Or, at the very least, give me feedback on how to improve.
During this time, I had been constant contact with the head Editor of Staccato who had quickly became my mentor. The offer of a publishing contract was sent to me through an email. I was at work with family, and my father was just two seconds away from walking out the door when I read the news. I ran after him, almost breathless, and just gestured back to the computer. As he read over the email I fell to the ground in tears. I had wanted it so badly.
That ‘yes’ opened up so many doors for me. It lead me overseas to America, I met authors, readers, bloggers, agents, publishers, editors, PR’s. I was ignored. I was welcomed. I made mistakes. I made friends. I was learning so much, listening to everyone, watching how they worked and noticed what people were doing wrong. I noticed the eye rolls. The sincere support. I watched friendships build and hopes shatter. This world was slowly opening to me, and I was trying to find my place within it.
Now, I am a part of a community of warm, helping and generous writers, bloggers and readers. Now, I’m the author at conventions waving new writers over to my table with words of support. This is just one step in a very long journey. I know I am going to fall a lot more, my days of making mistakes are far from over, but at least I’m still walking in the direction I want to go.
I love to remind myself, the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. So, let’s keep walking.
About Soul Finder
Soul Finder (The Immortal Gene #2)
by Jacinta Maree
Genre: NA Supernatural/Dystopian
Release Date: September 16th 2016
Since being discovered as Soulless, Nadia has become a target for both terrorist groups and government corporations. Now, her only hope for survival rests in the hands of the man sent out to kill her: Diesel, the Mad Dog terrorist.
Diesel is determined to free himself of the never ending curse of reincarnation and the haunting memories that plague his mind. But when his search leads him to Nadia, a greater desire stills him from taking her life.
Unable to see into Diesel’s cracking mind, Nadia instead puts her faith into his strength, fueled by eleven generations of unmatched rage and insanity. Their tight-rope relationship balances the two between life and death, love and rage, trust and betrayal.
Tension pulls at the hems of their dangerous companionship, and as time runs out all madmen must eventually make their choice.
Book two of the thrilling Immortal Gene series dives deeper into the danger of trusting your heart over your head.
Readers discretion: Adult language, violence and some adult scenes. For mature audiences only.
Buy Links: Amazon
About the Author
Born in Melbourne Australia, Jacinta Maree considers herself a chocoholic with an obsession with dragons, video gaming and Japan. She writes a variety of genres including YA paranormal, steampunk, horror, new adult, dystopian and fantasy. Winner of 2014 Horror of the year and bestselling author, Jacinta writes to bring enjoyment to others while fulfilling her own need to explore the weird and the impossible.