The story behind “People Like Us”

67402951_127330658574772_3050347179340135022_nI’m officially a published author!

My short story, a fantasy thriller titled “People Like Us” is out in the 2019 American Night Writers Association short story anthology Wards and Rumors of Wards, available on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle.

This is particularly special to me because I initially wrote this story to prove to myself that yes, I can actually complete something.

In middle school I hand-wrote my first complete book and started another one. Then right before high school, my family moved half-way across the country and I stopped writing, partly because I didn’t want to be the weird girl. I’m pretty certain I never mentioned my dreams of becoming an author or an editor to any of my high school friends because by the time I started college, I no longer thought of it as a possibility. It was something I wanted to do someday, whenever I was good enough.

Despite being an English major and an editing minor, I never wrote for fun. Then when I was interviewing for my first full-time position for after graduation, the man interviewing me asked if I liked to write. I very nervously tried to down-play it, but yes I did and I had even tried writing a book. He said “Great!” and wrote it down in his interview notes.

Turns out, the man who became my boss and several team members all wrote as well. Outside of work. Frequently we’d chat about writing and after a few months, I shared my writing with him. Then I went to a couple of writing conferences.

Fast forward a couple years and I somehow was accepted to Brandon Sanderson’s writing workshop and had my first baby. That was a rough semester. I had extreme impostor syndrome and was absolutely convinced that I would be kicked out as the fraud that I was. I was still working on that book I started as a 13- or 14-year-old AND I was taking care of a premie baby, so I wasn’t even making that much progress. But somehow I still managed to write more than I had prior to this class.

For a YEAR after the class ended, I felt awful about my writing. Something was broken with my story and I didn’t know how to fix it. I wrote only 1000 words in that time period, which made me feel even more pathetic.

Finally I told myself I was going to work on a short story for Camp NaNo. Something completely different, just to get me into a regular writing routine and to prove that yes, I could finish something and that *I* wasn’t broken.

I started writing about a narcoleptic martial arts instructor. But then the story changed on me. It became a story about a telekinetic and telepathic martial arts student who would save her instructor’s father in a world where telepathy and the like were illegal. Basically it was a world where the Mutant Registration Act (from the first X-Men movie) existed. Next, I dropped the plot with the instructor and his father and focused on the student.

Finally, the story became “People Like Us.”

Almost two years after I initially wrote the story, I made a couple tweaks to include a Marsha Ward character per the call for submissions from the American Night Writers Association (ANWA) and pushed submit.

This story is completely different than anything I’ve written and I can’t wait to share it with you.

Story blurb: Registered micro-kinetic Hannah Medina fought hard to be accepted into med school but Dr. Booth would kick her out in a heartbeat if she knew about Hannah’s secret power. When Dr. Booth’s life is threatened, Hannah can walk away to keep her secret safe, but doing so goes against everything she stands for.

 

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