To Be a Troubadour

I don’t  know if it’s common to all authors, but I am frequently asked if I always dreamt of being an author. I mean, I suppose it’s a reasonable question. I’m already living the dream as a professional actor. Did I spend my childhood dreaming of writing novels between shows? The answer is no.

I grew up loving to read books, but I always wanted to be a performer. To be on stage, leading a hundred exciting lives with stage lights gleaming in my eyes. I wanted to tell stories, but I wanted to stand on stage to do it.

Long before The Tethering, I was in a production of King Lear. I had been assigned to create a children’s book for a class, and since I had soooooooo much time backstage, I ended up writing a middle grade fantasy novel. And I had so much fun doing it. I don’t think the book was truly wonderful. I have dreams of getting it published someday, but that would take a whole lot of reworking. But I loved getting to build a world and invent people all on my own. It was like being in a play, but I got to cast everyone and decide how the show ended.

Life happened, and it was a really long time before I started writing again. Not because I didn’t want to. It just wasn’t something that I actively sought out time to do. I had stories in my head, but I left them there. Then came Jacob, the character I couldn’t ignore, and after a lot of time, I had The Tethering. I loved writing that story. Book two is complete along with two short stories. Book three is in revision, and I have two unrelated works in progress as well.

But I still don’t dream of being a writer. I can’t go to conferences, I have shows on weekends. And I have no want to run away from my stage-bound day job. I want to write. I want to have my books published and read. I would love to have all my books in every library so that every teenage girl who reads about Jacob Evans will fall in love with him. Now that I’ve started, I don’t think I could ever give up putting the stories in my head out into the world. I love my characters, and as crazy as it may sound, I want to give them a chance to live in the world. The only way I can do that is by getting my books published.

But do I dream of spending all my time in a quiet library? No. Do I want people to recognize me? Sure, but only because it will mean my books were a success. Do I want to do book signings? I mean, it could be fun to have only my autograph on something instead of a whole cast’s. Will I do whatever I can to make my books succeed? Absolutely, but not because I want to be a big important writer. Because I want Jacob to do well, and I owe him my best effort.

Really, if you asked me what my dream job truly is, I would say troubadour, bard, or balladeer. I want to be on stage and perform, but  I want to make up my own stories, too. If you ever see a job listing for a tap dancing story teller, let me know. I think I would fit into that job perfectly.

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