Updated: 4 days ago
I have been writing for as long as I can remember, even just as a little kid with my favorite purple crayon (Purple Mountain Majesty - not Plum). I remember writing stories, mostly about princesses, and pretending my stories were my real life. It was a creative and fun way to make everything a little more magical. Plus, who didn’t want to wear beautiful gowns and have people wait on you? Excuse me, garçon? Another chocolate milk, please!
As I got older, people asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I answered: a tattoo artist (during my goth phase), oh and an author; a marine biologist (during my save-the-planet, pre-my-crippling-fear-of-water phase) oh and obviously also an author; a singer (during my country phase, YEE-HAW!) and a world-famous author. No matter what odd and eccentric phase I was in, the author part always stuck. The first official piece I wrote was probably in school for an assignment I forgot about as soon as it was over, but the first I remember was the story of Myryssa the Hamster (note the spelling, during my unique names phase). It was about my recently-departed hamster, Myryssa, and her life. I wrote the daily ins and outs of her hammy day and spiced it up with a few embellishments heavily inspired by the then-popular show Hamtaro. This was the first story I ever showed my mother, again, that I can remember. If I’m not mistaken, I have this very story in a tote in my closet with all the other stuff I can’t throw away. What a fun find that will be later on.
Eventually, I started on my first young adult novel--still in progress to this day--and even was able to finish a few to their best completion. I dabbled in poetry and song lyrics before coming back to my unfaltering love for young adult novels. I just love their juicy, sappy, confusing, relatable and captivating storylines. They inspire me to write stories like them, to give back that glowy feeling I get from a good book.
Children’s books, on the other hand, were a fluke that came along when my little cousin was born. I was sixteen, with one fully-completed YA novel under my belt and one constantly in the works. For her birthday one year, instead of more toys, I wrote her a story: "Hannah and Her Heffalump". After that, for every occasion, I wrote her more of their adventures. Everyone who read them would tell me how fun and cute they were, and that I should write one to get published one day. As if this wasn’t my dream already. The Adventures of Bob and Avery were based on my cats and done in the style in which I did Hannah’s stories. I sat down at the kitchen table one day and just wrote 5 of Bob and Avery’s stories one after the other, with titles for another 5 right after that. I read them to my mom, and my boyfriend and his mom, and my friends, and even started drawing illustrations for them myself (no, not in purple crayon). They were so cute and cheesy I dreamed of getting them published, though never really believed it would happen. It is thanks to one of my dearest friends, Steph, who introduced me to Colton, that it’s actually happening! And now, thanks to the incredibly talented artist we found, my stories get to come to life!
PS: If asked, my ultimate daydream of all daydreams is to be the next (or at least on her level) JK Rowling, and not just because I have an obsessive love of Harry Potter. Go Slytherin!
--Kay J Douglas
August 28, 2019