I wrote my first story when I was in middle school.
First, I wrote a short introduction and showed it to a friend. He was amazed and encouraged me to keep writing.
So I did.
I wrote a story about a brave warrior who discovers a special fire bow and arrow he used to defeat a dark wizard. As I shared more pieces of the story to my friend, his reaction changed. Although he wasn't interested in the way the story came together and took form, I didn't stop writing.
The story was only focused on two characters, a good guy and a bad guy, and had a predictable plot line with very basic action scenes. In the end, the main character defeated the dark wizard and all was right with the world again.
I don't have the story anymore, but I can still remember different parts of it. It was only ten pages, but to me, that seemed incredibly long at the time. I felt impressed. I finished it, but I didn't know what to do after that, so it sat around until one day, I threw it away.
I didn't write another story for a long time after that. In my mind, it was a dream to write my own book, but that felt so grand that it wasn't a real option.
During university, I really enjoyed reading, but I was into non-fiction books. I read a lot because I always wanted to learn more. Opening a book was like opening a gateway into another world, into another person's mind.
And then my friend introduced a fiction book to me, and that reawakened my passion for writing stories. I had been writing my blog, but it was all short poems and random thoughts, nothing similar to a novel with dynamic characters and an intense plot line.
After I was re-introduced to the world of fiction, it opened my mind up to even more worlds. I quickly read everything I could find, whatever was popular, and soon my passion for writing stories was reawakened. And even more importantly, I believed for the first time in my life that I could write a novel, too.
After one year out of university and a month before going to grad school, I started writing my first novel. After reading so many novels and waiting so long before I started writing stories again, everything came to me very quickly. I developed different characters in my mind, a basic plot line, and started writing.
I spent all day writing, every day, and finished the novel in one month. This time, I had forty thousand words. I edited through everything several times before I was satisfied and then was ready to publish it.
Since I didn't believe that anyone would want to publish my story, I didn't try to contact publishers or find an agent. I simply self-published it online and then sent an email to all my friends with the good news.
I waited for all of them to congratulate me or just be shocked that I actually did it, I finished a novel, but nothing came. No one seemed to notice or realize what it meant to me. Only a few people bought my novel and read it. Again I felt like that middle school kid, not sure what to do with my story.
Eventually, I unpublished the novel and put in on my blog and then was too busy with grad school to continue writing. It wasn't until after I moved to Taiwan that I wrote again.
In Taiwan, my whole world flipped upside down. Everything I believed about anything was challenged. I went through cultural shock and intense spiritual oppression and attack. My whole being was rewired as I submerged fully into another language, culture, and way of life.
After almost a year living in Taiwan, I got fresh inspiration for my next novel, Amphibians. My experiences in Taiwan were built into the story and it came together in a way I didn't expect it to. It's a novel I couldn't have written without going through everything that I went through here in Taiwan.
I first conceived of Amphibians on the roof of my apartment complex in Taiwan in 2015. I had a vision of people who could swim up and down buildings and dive into the ground like it's a swimming pool. Immediately this vision was imbued with purpose as these people became heroes bringing balance between the environment and our world.
The novel is divided into three parts, which each has its own story line and adventure. The first part is a mystery seeking to explore the origins of the Amphibians. The second part is a story of identity and calling. The third part is an adventure and climax where the Amphibians make their final stand.
It took a year and a half of writing on and off to finish the complete novel. Then I went searching for a publisher, believing this time that someone would be willing to publish my story. And they were.
When I received word from a publisher that they reviewed my manuscript and were interested in publishing, I literally danced for joy. My dream was coming true.
The publishing process took another nine months and then it was finally ready for distribution. My first published novel was ready to come out.
The novel is full of mystery and awe. You will meet the Amphibians face to face and join them on their journeys and mission. If you enjoy reading those novels where you get lost in fantasy and wonder, this novel will take you places you've never seen and yet you'll realize that you've experienced all of it before in your own life.
This is more than just a childhood dream being fulfilled. It's more than just sharing my story and being heard. It's about being faithful to the gifts God has given me. All of the countless hours it took to turn a simple idea on my rooftop into a published novel is ultimately about my relationship with my Father.
I purposed to make everything in the novel clean and to share truths from scripture within its pages. In doing so, I always ask God to bless my art and use it for His kingdom.
Publishing a novel is one of the greatest hallmarks of a writer and I would love it if you fell in love with Amphibians as much as I have. Thanks so much for your support and comments and reviews. Everything makes a difference.