After 23 years in the armed forces, I retired, and traveled around the United States with a close friend named Jeff. He and I hiked and camped in the national and state parks for many years and, on one camping trip, he asked why I became a writer.
I told him it began with a dream when I was a young child. I had started writing short stories at the age of seven. After I graduated from high school in Pennsylvania, I was accepted at the University of Arizona, packed up my short stories, and moved. I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in science under vocational education in 1990 while I was stationed in the military in California. I later retired, and moved back to Arizona.
When I returned home, I focused on my brown box of old short stories at home, and how it was unorganized, and needed some tender loving care. It took me hours to separate the stories by type, and to then organize them chronologically. I discarded the bad ones, kept the good ones, and then put them into a binder.
After finishing working on the brown box, I set up a healthy environment, put myself on a schedule of four to five hours per day, and began transferring the old stories from the binders into journal books. And, I was writing new stories as well!
It took me over a year to finish my first book and it was published by (the now defunct) Tate Publishing. The Remarkable Red Rock, Timothy Adventure was followed shortly thereafter by Spirits from the Past, Timothy Adventure.
At that time, I introduced myself to the public as an author, writer, and short storyteller. I met several teachers who asked if they could use the books in their first-grade class, if approved by the school administration.
I later attended a Fair Market Sale in the spring in Arizona. As I walked around the grounds, I introduced myself to the announcer. She then handed me a microphone and my voice carried over the radio station to all listeners in Arizona. I answered her questions on how long it took to write the books, the targeted age of the children, how I selected the titles and the names of the characters, why I chose eastern Oregon around the 1920s, and how I got my ideas. As I stepped down from the booth, I had new customers asking me questions, and buying my books.
When Jeff and I were traveling in Oregon, we pulled into a campsite by the Pacific Ocean. I noticed I’d received a call from my brother, He told me that Tate Publishing had gone out of business due to criminal activity on their side and he emailed the article to me.
Tate Publishing never notified me that they were out of business. My thoughts immediately went to finding a new publishing company that was trustworthy. One day, as I was surfing the Internet, I ran into WritersWeekly.com and, subsequently, BookLocker. Their guidance was perfect for what I needed. The Remarkable Red Rock, Timothy Adventure was reprinted by Booklocker.com , Inc.
Donna Deines is a short-story writer and author who encourages the young generation of this world to dream of the possible. She holds a Bachelor of Science from Southern Illinois University, and is retired from the military.
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