So my big news of the week is that I’m on Twitter now (@KatieLCarroll). I’m working on organizing who I follow and figuring out the best way to use it, but I’d love some more followers. But enough about me, let’s give a warm welcome to fellow Muser Margay Leah Justice, author of Sloane Wolf, as she discusses beginnings.
by Margay Leah Justice
The story begins in a small New England town where a little girl with a big imagination learns how to put words on paper. From the first moment the girl picks up a pencil, she beholds its magical powers and her eyes light up with wonder. With just a few strokes of her hand, she is able to transfer the words swirling around in her head onto a piece of paper. A story! She can write a story. So she does. Many years later, she is still beholding the wonder of the words swirling around in her head making their way onto paper, only now it is through the magic of computers, not pencils. And the “paper” is sometimes virtual or neatly gathered into a nice cardboard binder with a pretty picture on the front and not the blue-lined medium of her youth. She is a writer.
So began my humble journey. From my imagination to my reality, it all began with a love of words – and the desperate desire to get them out of my head and onto paper. Long before I realized that there was a word for what I was doing – writing – I put pencil to paper and let my imagination have free reign. Whether it was in pictures or words, I felt compelled to put it on paper. Everywhere I went, I carried a notebook and pen. Every place I visited, I hoarded brochures that inspired my imagination. My favorite place to hang out was the local travel agency whose employees indulged my habit of collecting pamphlets advertising trips to faraway places. I was always planning, researching, writing and rewriting. For me.
In the beginning, I wrote for my own pleasure. Even my friends and family had to fight to get a peek at what I was doing. It was a private thing and I didn’t want anyone sharing in it. Perhaps I was afraid that they would get an intimate glimpse into who I really was as a person and wouldn’t like what they saw. Perhaps I was afraid that they would laugh at me because I really didn’t have the talent to write. Or maybe I was just stingy and wanted to keep it all to myself. Whatever the case, I didn’t start out thinking that I was going to publish some day. I just wrote because I was driven by some unknown need to do so. It wasn’t until junior high school, at the encouragement of my English teacher, that I began to realize I had some talent for this. If an English teacher thought I had promise, then surely I must – right?
Still, I kept my writing mostly to myself. My friends and family still had to fight for a peek at what I was working on, even when I was half-heartedly sending out submissions to publishers. I think, in the beginning, I sent them out expecting to be turned down to justify my suspicions that I wasn’t good enough to be published. With that knowledge in hand, I could go back to writing for my own pleasure and stop the nagging of others who thought I should publish what I wrote. For me, then, writing was still a very intimate thing that I wasn’t ready to share with the world for fear of exposing myself to it – and coming up short. After all that time, I was still worried that I wasn’t good enough.
In the beginning, I didn’t have the confidence in myself – as a person or a writer – to pursue the dream in earnest. It did smolder in the back of my mind, a little ember lit by my first feeble attempts at getting published, but it didn’t begin to burn up my misgivings until I’d learned to believe in myself. I realize now that I had lived in something of a cocoon back then and didn’t have enough life experiences behind me to instill the confidence I would need to pursue this career. And one thing I have learned on this journey is that you need a lot of confidence – in yourself as well as what you write – in order to achieve any level of success. If you don’t believe in yourself, who will?
So it begins with a dream. It is sustained with belief. And it is achieved with perseverance. Whether it is an epic tome or just a flash, it all begins with the same things: A blank page, a big imagination, and you.
Sloane Wolf blurb:
For more than a hundred and fifty years, the gray wolf has failed to roam the hills of Massachusetts, leading to the belief that they are extinct. But with a spattering of sightings across the Berkshires, the legend of the gray wolf comes to fruition. The product of that legend, Micah Sloane will go to great lengths to protect his kind from the threat of outsiders, who seek to exploit the legend for their own interests. One thing he didn’t count on, however, was finding his soul mate in the company of such men.
From the first time she predicted a stranger’s imminent death when she was little more than a child, Shiloh Beck knew she was different. Wishing to cultivate her gift, her parents made the fateful decision to enroll her in a private school for paranormally gifted children. Unbeknownst to them, the school was just a front for a research facility simply called the Institute, whose secret board members weaned gifted children from their families to exploit their gifts. Shiloh has spent the better part of her life trying to escape the Institute and reunite with the family she was told had abandoned her.
From their first meeting, Micah and Shiloh share a connection that goes beyond the normal to bond them in a way that love alone cannot. But before they can build a life together, they must deal with the fall-out when the legend of the wolves collides with the men behind the Institute.
Descended from the same bloodline that spawned the likes of James Russell, Amy and Robert Lowell, Margay Leah Justice was fated to be a writer herself from a young age. But even before she knew that there was a name for what she was doing, she knew one thing: She had a deep and unconditional love for the written word. A love that would challenge her in times of need, abandon her in times of distress, and rediscover her in times of hope. Through her writing, Margay has learned to cope with every curve ball life has thrown her, including the challenges of single parenting, the harsh realities of living in a shelter, coping with the diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis, and the roller coaster ride of dealing with a child who suffers from bipolar disorder. But along the way she has rediscovered the amazing power of words.
Margay currently lives in Massachusetts with her two daughters, two cats, and a myriad of characters who vie for her attention and demand that their own stories be told. In her spare time, she is an avid knitter, knitting her way through a stash of yarn that almost rivals her tbr pile! For about Margay see her author blog, the Moonlight, Lace, and Mayhem blog, Twitter page, or Facebook page.
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