Ever since I remember myself, I have enjoyed writing. At school, many of my classmates dreaded essay-writing, whereas I could count on my essays to be read in class. So, when I finished highschool, I figured I’d try writing for a living.
Expecting words of praise, I showed one of my short stories to a career councilor who was a family friend. Instead of the expected thumbs-up, she told me in no uncertain terms that I had no future in writing, and I had best focus my energy on a “proper” career.
So, I became an engineer, then an architect, then a web developer.
In 2009, I decided to try again my hand at writing. A newspaper had a segment called 9, that included a short science fiction story each week. Usually, these were translated into Greek, but every now and then you would see a story written by a Greek. So, I submitted my story, not expecting much.
They published it, and sent me a cheque for 150 euros. I was ecstatic. I quickly wrote another couple of stories and submitted them, but the newspaper had ran into financial trouble and discontinued that segment. So, I sent one of the stories to a short-story competition, and won. The story was (traditionally) published in an anthology called Invasion.
I then started working on my novel, Pearseus, which turned into a series. I first published that on Amazon in late 2013, certain that I was missing something: surely someone would call my bluff. Amazon would take a look and go, “hey, you’re not an author. What are you playing at?”
Instead, people bought Pearseus and reviewed it. They said nice things about it and actually paid to read my work.
Wow. People liked my work! This really was an eye opener, and I continued to write and publish. I’ve learned a lot, developed my voice and interacted with hundreds of wonderful people.
Then, the other day, the funniest thing happened. Remember that councilor* I mentioned at the beginning? Apparently, she read Runaway Smile and asked my mother for my phone number – remember, this is someone I had not talked to in over 25 years.
Her first words were, “I wanted to congratulate you on your book. It’s absolutely wonderful. It’s clear that this is where your future lies. Don’t give up writing, it’s who you are and what you’re meant to be doing.”
Needless to say, I almost dropped the phone with surprise. All I could say was “aha,” and “thank you.” Then, I hung up and turned to my wife. “You’ll never guess who that was…”
* Yes, this was same woman I mention in my Tour through Blogland, who insisted that I had misconstrued my book’s real meaning. If you want to see what she was talking about, why not read Runaway Smile, online for free and make up your own mind?