At age five, if you had asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would’ve said, “A waitress at McDonald’s! So I can make sure all the kids have toys in their Happy Meals!”
While my young heart was in the right place, I failed to realize that you can’t be a waitress at McDonald’s because McDonald’s doesn’t have waitresses. So I chose a new career path. A few months later, I decided I wanted to be a writer.
And I haven’t looked back. I’m now 22-years-old, an established journalist and freelance writer in Birmingham, AL, and a soon-to-be college graduate.
I’m also a soon-to-be published author. For the past year, I have been writing my first novel, White Elephant. The story is set over the course of 18 hours, detailing the present day life of a nameless narrator in his late 80s who is obsessed with his gun and whose mind is riddled by dementia. In flashbacks, the reader learns that the narrator turned 18 just in time to get drafted for World War II and go to basic training, but the war ended before he could fight. As an older Korean War, Special Forces-trained soldier, he embarks on a solo mission from which he returns a changed man with blood on his hands, having accidentally caused the deaths of a young Korean girl and a fellow American solider. Compelled to keep the secret of these deaths for nearly half a century, the details begin to unravel as his dementia worsens and he is struggles to retain the secret memories he holds dear.
White Elephant was born of a character sketch in my first advanced fiction workshop class. My professor and classmates enjoyed the short story version of it so much that I read it at the college’s Honor’s Day last year. After more people read it, they wanted more too.
Now, another advanced fiction workshop class, a contracted novel writing class, and a lot of work later, the story is pushing a whopping 60k words. My creative writing professor, Prof. Joseph Stitt has been my dedicated, yet brutally honest editor.
Now, the final touches are being put on the novel and I’m ready to see it in print. This blog will detail the publication of my first novel, White Elephant, as well as the progress on my second novel, which is currently in incubation. (“Incubation” sounds more intimate than production. But “marination” would also work.)