From the time I learned how to write, until I was ready for college, I have always enjoyed writing. I belonged to a literary club and I wrote short stories that were well received by my teachers. I scribbled in a journal. However, when it was time to choose a career path, as it was done back in the day (one career for life), writing definitely was not encouraged as a profession. And there was a point to this. I grew up in Croatia and if you were a successful Croatian author your edition might run a few hundred copies. Clearly, a person couldn’t make a living writing books.
I had a good head on my shoulders. I excelled at school. I wanted to make a difference. And I wanted to move away from Croatia. To me, there seemed only one available path: A path of an academic. I obtained my Master’s in Alaska, PhD in Oregon, and settled back in Alaska as an Associate Professor. It seemed I have accomplished what I wanted and could then simply enjoy the ride. But something felt terribly wrong. What I did wasn’t what I loved; it was simply what I was good at.
Given the shortness of one’s life in general, I am now a firm believer that if one has a passion they should follow it. If this wasn’t possible for me when I was younger, simply because I didn’t understand it, the path I took allowed me to build a very solid base from which I could then plunge into my passion.
During my time in academia I had dreamed about writing a novel. Three years ago, I quit academia (by then I have moved from Alaska to Scotland) and moved to an island in the Croatian Adriatic. I read through my old journal notes and short stories. I wrote some more short stories. I blogged (upngon.wordpress.com). And after a while, I found enough courage to start my long-awaited novel.
Two years later, which is about a month ago now, my novel The Lady of the Sea came out! I published it indie style because I have by now became a thoroughly independent type of a person. I love being an author. It is not only what I do, it is also who I am. I write. I am a writer. Stories are always at the back of my mind, brewing in that creative pot, waiting to be released.
Writing takes me into a meditative state, where I can observe my thoughts as they form and capture them on paper. Yes, I still write time with a pen on paper, at least until it is time to put things into a computer. In fact, I write with an old fountain pen my father once gave me. Writing relaxes me. When I write it is like coming home.
Now I am home. I have my passion and I am following it. I am living Life, yes, with a capital L. I would love for my novel The Lady of the Sea to be read. I have thoroughly enjoyed the process of writing it, but I didn’t write it for myself. I wrote it so it could be read. I wrote it so someone somewhere might say to a friend, “you know, this reminds me of a novel I read”. So that somewhere in the recesses of someone’s mind a cog might turn and they could realize that they too can follow their passion.
There are many more books that I hope will come out of my pen. Over time, and one reader at a time, I can now truly make a difference.
The Lady of the Sea is available for purchase at brankavalcic.com