I remember a time when I was nine years old, thinking, "Man. I love to read. Is there a job where you could just read books?"
Well, yes, there is. It's called a book critic. But I didn't have a clue what a book critic was, so I decided the next closest thing would be to simply write the books instead.
I know. Simple, right?
The thing is, I was writing even before I wanted to be an author. In fact, I've been writing since before I could read. When I was about three, I'd give paper and a marker to my mom and dictate endless nonsense stories, making her write down every word.
I wrote my first "book" when I was ten--basically a fanfiction for my favorite series at the time--and I completed my first actual novel when I was thirteen. The summer after, I sold a short story at a small kids’ entrepreneur market, and later that fall I also wrote a sequel novella to the novel.
I was a busy middle schooler. But what I realized was that all of these projects had stemmed from the early want to cram as much information into my tiny little brain as possible. I wanted to know things—I wanted to know everything there was to know! I wanted to build crazy pillow forts and hang things from the ceiling and create a lifesize chutes-and-ladders game out of chalk on the driveway (complete with spinner!). All "just because." (Ask my parents, and they will tell you that these "projects" usually consisted of entire balls of yarn strung around my room for no apparent reason.)
All of that eventually spiraled into a passion for storytelling. I wanted to create things that inspired people. I wanted to change the world.
Now, I'm putting my work out there for the very first time in the form of my latest project: The Time Warden. And while yes, it's technically a story about time travel magic, it's also a story about having confidence, accepting yourself, and believing that what people say does not limit who you are or what you're capable of. All of us can find ourselves in this story—and every story. That's why I love them so much.