I know that you all expect the story of JK Rowling here, but you all know that story. Instead I will give you one of her most motivating quotes for me:
I was set free because my greatest fear had been realized, and I still had a daughter who I adored, and I had an old typewriter and a big idea. And so rock bottom became a solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.
J. K. Rowling
The following authors' stories have all impacted the way that I view myself and my writing. I hope you feel inspired by them... not necessarily to write, but to achieve your dreams.
When I first started writing I Wish... Christopher Paolini's book Brisingr had just come out. My son is a huge fan and so we ended up watching an interview he did about the book. He told about his parents' belief in him and that belief being the catalyst to self-publishing his first book Eragon. Here is a snippet from his website about it.
Christopher was homeschooled by his parents and often wrote short stories and poems, made frequent trips to the library, and read widely. He was fifteen when he wrote the first draft of Eragon and his family self-published the book in 2001.
In August 2003, Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers published Eragon and it was an instant success, reaching a worldwide audience. Christopher's second novel Eldest was published in 2005, followed by Brisingr in 2008. To date, there are 49 foreign-language licenses for Eragon alone, and together the first three books in the series have sold 25 million copies worldwide. Inheritance, the fourth and final book in the cycle will be published on November 8, 2011 with a first printing of 2.5 million copies.
What this little note doesn't say is that his mom would transcribe his books when he got the notion to write out parts of his books in quill and ink. That is love!
(For more information on Christopher Paolini please click HERE.)
I am a big fan of Debbie Macomber. I have enjoyed many of her books, but mostly I appreciate her story. I appreciate her challenges and determination and her willingness to never give up. Here is a shortened version for you.
Debbie loves to tell the story of her struggle to get published, and the five-year search to find a publisher who would buy one of her manuscripts. Dyslexic and the mother of four young children, she wrote those early books in her kitchen on a rented typewriter. But her hard work and determination paid off. Her first manuscript, HEARTSONG, acquired by Silhouette Books in 1982, became the first category romance ever to be reviewed by the Publishers Weekly. She was soon featured in Newsweek—and demand for her books quickly exceeded her wildest dreams.
(For More Background on Debbie Macomber please click HERE.)
I have to say that Colleen Houck's story did the most for me in terms of motivating me to self-publish. Her Tiger Series are riveting and leave you always wanting more. Here is a snippet from a Q & A she had after she was published.
I really did everything kind of backwards! After finishing the first two novels, I sent query letters to agents for a while, but didn’t get any hits. So I thought, ‘OK, writing will be just a hobby for me.’ But as people read my novels and began talking to others about them, it seemed that more and more people wanted to read them. So my husband and I decided to self-publish Tiger’s Curse and Tiger’s Quest as e-books, and we put them up on Kindle. A couple of months went by, and in January 2010, Tiger’s Curse soared to the top 20 list of Kindle bestsellers, and I went from selling 300 books a month to 300 books an hour.
(For more of this Q & A visit HERE.)
Nicholas Sparks has always been an inspiration to me. He was just your average sort of guy with a big dream. Here is part of his story as told by him.
In May 1994 Cheers, the television show, broadcast its final episode. I remember lying awake most of the night after it aired. Cheers had been on for eleven years -- an entire era of my life -- and yet I realized that for the first time, I wasn't chasing my dreams anymore. My life was good, but I didn't want to look back from my deathbed and know I'd given that up trying to make my mark in the world. I decided I had to do something? My wife wasn't about to let me quit my job, but I'd give writing another shot. A real shot though, not a half-effort like before. I decided I could live with failure, but I didn't want to live the rest of my life knowing that I hadn't really tried. So, I decided to give myself three chances -- three more novels -- and if none of those was published, I'd be able to accept that I wasn't meant to be a writer.
Then, of course, I had to decide on the story, and sure enough, I did.
I wrote The Notebook over a six-month period, from June of 1994 until January of 1995, writing in the evenings from nine until midnight, and working one day on the weekends. In January 1995, I got transferred to South Carolina and continued editing the book. In July, I started soliciting agents, I found one, and the book was presented to publishers in October 1995. At the time, I was earning about $40,000 a year.
Warner Books bought the rights for $1,000,000.
If you think I was excited about that, you're severely underestimating my response. I jumped up and down so long I got a cramp in my calf. I was hoarse for two days from screaming. I could barely sleep. It didn't seem real, but it was. And it was absolutely wonderful.
(For more background on Nicholas Sparks please click HERE.)
I love to hear this story of Charles Dickens. His family struggled financially when he was young, but he had a dream and worked hard until that dream came true.
When Charles Dickens was a little boy he used to take walks with his father. They would stop and from a distance admire one particularly impressive house. Dickens recalled in The Uncommercial Traveller meeting a vision of his former self on the Canterbury road, and, “the very queer, small boy “saying, " I can recollect, my father, seeing me so fond of it, often said to me, if you were to be very persevering, and were to work hard, you may someday come to live in it. Though that's impossible!"
As a successful novelist, Dickens in 1856 had the opportunity to purchase Gad's Hill Place. Dickens finally purchased the house of his childhood dreams in 1857 for the sum of £1,770. In fact it was the only house that Charles Dickens actually owned.
(For more information on the life of Charles Dickens please click HERE.)