I wrote my first short story in fourth grade with the sort of passion that I didn’t understand at that age. The words had come so easily to me that it could’ve been interpreted as a sign—not that I paid it any heed. (Hindsight!)
Unlike most kids with big dreams of pursuing a career in something they love, I floated along rather randomly until high school, when an English teacher rekindled that buried desire to write. After reading dozens and dozens of classics, I finally admitted that I wanted to write the next great American novel.
My parents had other plans for me. So I became a pharmacist.
Years after I started working—becoming an undeniable member of Adulthood—I wrote a literary short story here and there, read a book…here and there…and approached the dream to write as half-heartedly as someone trying a recipe for sugar-free, carb-free, imitation-chocolate chocolate cake.
Why bother, right?
Now, some of you out there might be intrigued by such a cake. I, however, will never be. I might make it for a friend or for some alternative-to-chocolate baking competition, but it wouldn’t be a cake I could get excited about.
Let’s just say I kept this recipe around for years—years—thinking I should be eating the healthiest chocolate cake, but because I didn’t like it, I skipped out on it all together. Then one day I find a website dedicated to baking real chocolate cake and realize this is the cake that makes me happy.
This perfectly describes why my writing journey struggled to go anywhere. I discovered I never had the right recipe because I had the wrong end goal in mind.
So, I started writing something just for fun—a teen paranormal romance—and within six months, I had two books written, notebooks of ideas, and a passion for writing I hadn’t released since my fourth grade pirate/lost key/treasure/island adventure story. (Too bad my mom never kept it because I’m sure there was a GREAT title.)
I spent the next year and half adapting what I’d learned in literary fiction to commercial fiction, taking online workshops to improve my craft, joining writing groups specifically for romance writers, and learning the business of writing. And that’s when I met my publisher.
Whether or not I ever write the next great American novel, at least I get to make my cake and eat it too.
A HUGE thank you to Shaila Patel for being our first participant for our new author feature! We’re so excited for SOULMATED and you’ll be able to read my review on February 1st so don’t forget to stop back!!
SOULMATED is out NOW! Yes, that’s right! You can go and get yourself a copy right this second! We even made it easy for you and added a few buy links below along with the synopsis so you can check it out!
Joining of Souls #1
by Shaila Patel
Published on January 24, 2017 by Month9Books
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult
Buy the Book!
Book Depository / Amazon / Barnes & Noble
Two souls. One Fate.
Eighteen-year-old Liam Whelan, an Irish royal empath, has been searching for his elusive soulmate. The rare union will cement his family's standing in empath politics and afford the couple legendary powers, while also making them targets of those seeking to oust them.
Laxshmi Kapadia, an Indian-American high school student from a traditional family, faces her mother's ultimatum: Graduate early and go to medical school, or commit to an arranged marriage.
When Liam moves next door to Laxshmi, he’s immediately and inexplicably drawn to her. In Liam, Laxshmi envisions a future with the freedom to follow her heart.
Liam's father isn't convinced Laxshmi is "The One" and Laxshmi's mother won't even let her talk to their handsome new neighbor. Will Liam and Laxshmi defy expectations and embrace a shared destiny? Or is the risk of choosing one's own fate too great a price for the soulmated?