The kids are grown, now what?: Guest Post: Heather Ostler Author of The Shapeshifter's Secret

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Guest Post: Heather Ostler Author of The Shapeshifter's Secret

Why I Started Writing

I didn’t always love reading. When I was in seventh grade I found it to be tedious, but
because my English teacher was forcing us to read for hours, I thought I’d try out Harry
Potter. I’d seen and liked the first movie, so somehow it made sense that I could just skip
to the next novel. By accident (and by being extremely nonobservant) I started reading
the third Harry Potter book, not the second.

Once I noticed I was on the wrong book, I decided to power through the novel anyway.
I didn’t really know what was going on in the chapters, but I just kept trying to get to the
end. That’s when I had a magical moment. I loved the ending of the novel. From there
I knew I had to get my hands on the rest of the series. Next came book one, two, and
four, then the midnight release parties for book five, six, and seven. I also began dressing
up like Hermione for Halloween, and I even named my cat Norbert—the fire breathing

Those books really changed things for me because I realized I liked reading. I often went
with my mom to bookstores and spent hours pouring through fantasy novels. Soon my
grades went up and I joined Honor’s English classes. The best part of all, however, was
that I decided I wanted to be a part of the magic—I wanted to become a writer.

Immediately I began enlisting in creative writing courses and declared to my family that
I wanted be become an author. I’ll never forget my dad telling me to go for it; he really
supported my dream. He passed away not too long after that, but I didn’t forget his belief
in me.

The following school year I took a creative writing class where everyday started with
writing prompts. I remember asking the teacher if I could opt out of the daily prompt and
instead work on my own story. It was in that class that I began writing about a young
protagonist named Julia.

As I got older I become distracted by high school and all the fun of driving, dating, and
going to dances. I still took my English and writing classes seriously, but I was no longer
working on one manuscript, or writing about the adventures of Julia Levesque.

In college, once again in a writing course, I wrote a short story and decided it would be
fun to name the heroine after my first character ever, Julia. It was then that I realized I
wanted to go back and finish that story I’d started so long ago.

I quit my job and took a full year to write The Shapeshifter’s Secret. I didn’t know
immediately that Julia was going to be a werecat, but I remember studying and
researching different paranormal creatures. When I found werecat shapeshifters I knew
that’s what I wanted to write about.

Once I was finished with my manuscript, and took another six months to edit, edit, edit,
edit, edit (you get the idea), I started submitting to publishers.

I’m so grateful that I learned to love reading when I did. I’m also undeniably appreciative
for all of my instructors and friends that helped me along the way, including my dad who
told me to go for it.

If you have a vision, goal, or dream, don’t ever be afraid to go for it!

Visit Heather's Web Site!

Pre-order The Shapeshifter's Secret!


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