My writing had its first opportunity to sprout in 2011, when I was told about National Novel Writing Month. My favorite teacher challenged a group of students to attempt it, and I chose to try. I can’t help but laugh looking back, when I remember how I was determined to write the fifty-thousand words expected of the adults who participate in NaNoWriMo. My mom dealt a crushing, but necessary, blow of reality to me, and I agreed to write half as much. After a month of incredible struggle, writers block, and unceasing effort, I had written my first book Step-Twins. It was a tiny manuscript, filled with plot holes and a few spelling errors. Yet, it was the first major accomplishment for my writing since 2008. When I saw I had the opportunity to self-publish it, I jumped at the chance; forgoing the remainder of the writing process. I can hardly recall how excited I was.
Looking back, I understand how immature of a writer I was; how silly, even laughable, it was for a twelve-year-old to publish a novel she hadn’t edited or revised. Yet, looking back, I wouldn’t change what I did, for it might affect the outcome of what happened for me, later. When the next National Novel Writing Month rolled around, I knew I would be participating. I had a fresh idea, largely influenced by Sharon Creech’s Absolutely Normal Chaos. Through various circumstances, I ended up abandoning that idea, which had been called Rebecca, and jumping into what I had previously regarded as a possible sequel. A plan was suddenly formulating in my mind, and after another thirty days of creative insanity, I had another book written.
I took steps to revise Triplets-in-Law, and then self-published again. Noveling was slowly seeping into my identity; and my identity into my novels. In 2013, I penned another book, Sisters-Thrice-Removed, which rounded out a trilogy I’d never planned. “The Toner Family Series” was born.