Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The big launch and the big dream. Yeep. What are we doing here?

If you have just moseyed over to this website for the first time, howdy and thanks for stopping by!

I can honestly tell you when I was back in the third grade and trying to decide what I wanted to be when I grew up, owning an e-publishing company was not at the forefront of my mind.  First of all because there were no e-publishing companies in existence (not that I know of considering Al Gore hadn't invented the Internet yet) and secondly, all my decisions were based on my struggle of whether I wanted to break up with Brent to "go with" Cade.  I still struggle with where a third grader actually "went" when she was "going with someone" but that's another story.

But back in third grade, I did know one simple fact about myself.  I loved to read.  I would dive into big long chapter books (several of them) in one day and float away on an adventure.  I couldn't wait for reading time when I could get out my latest "Bobbsey Twin" book and read another exciting tale in the lives of Bert and Nan and Flossie and... What was the last kid's name?  Freddie. That's it.  From there I discovered "The Boxcar Children" and then the series about "The Great Brain."  Do you remember those?  If you don't, go to your local library and see if they have them.  They made my childhood come to life!

By the time I was in late middle school and high school, my tastes in reading had changed.  I still read every "Little House" book each summer, but I also began incorporating some classics.  Who knew "Crime and Punishment" could be such a page turner?  Or "1984"?  I credit my father with instilling this great love of books into my life.  He encouraged not only me, but my two older sisters to read with fervor and gusto for in reading you learn so much about the world around you, even if you can't physically travel to every location and era in time.  But through a book I could and as Dr. Seuss tells us "Oh the Places You Go!"

I began creating stories in my mind when I was in high school.  Some of them I would jot down in notebooks for my own personal enlightenment and edification... Not really, but that sounds good doesn't it?  I actually wrote them in notebooks because it made the words more real.  If it was on paper it wasn't a fanciful dream; it was an actual story like you might read in a book!  Once college started, my story writing diminished as my school-paper writing began.  When one had to write at least 2,000 word papers for any class which resembled literature, history or English (thank you Gordon Rule), the thought of writing a word for pleasure was simply exhausting.  My stories in notebooks became a thing of the past.

Fast forward to just a couple of years ago when tragedy struck my family.  My sweet book-loving father was diagnosed with terminal cancer and it became my job to keep family and friends updated on his condition sometimes daily through his battle with the evil disease.  As hard as some of these updates were to write, they stirred a long forgotten desire within me.  I found writing became cathartic for me.  I loved feeling the words flow from my fingers as I typed on the keys of my computer.  Through the encouragement of my family, I finally decided to just do it and I began to type my little heart out.  Seventeen days later, I had written my first novel.  It was a little over 50,000 words and a bit cheesy, but it didn't matter. I had done it.

I say all of this to tell you, we at Astraea Press want to give each of you the opportunity to fulfill a dream, a desire or even just a check in your bucket list.  For those of you who have never written a novel before, just sit at the computer and give it a go.  If you love to read, you can write... probably better than you realize.  And just like the decision Stephanie Taylor and I made to start this e-publishing business, put feet to your dreams (or typing hands as the case may be).  We want to encourage authors who have aspirations to be published to give it a go.  We may not all be the next J.K. Rowling, but who knows... we might?

Happy Writing!
~ Jane