Deep inside each of us is yearning to connect with others. Writers take a look at their own soul, paste it across a page, and send it into the world. We want people to see who we are. We want to show them how we see the world. We offer our souls so that others can see themselves in us and know that they are not alone. That is why we send a piece of our heart into the world, knowing that rejection and criticism will follow. That is why I write.
I wrote my first story in second grade. It was about a pair of dogs who were left behind in a move and struggled to catch up with their former owners. It covered the front and back of one sheet of paper. I started my first journal when I was ten, and have never stopped. Writing became my native tongue to express my thoughts and feelings. When I was in fourth grade, my family got an ancient computer, and I would beg to go on it and type. I would turn in chapters to my encouraging teacher. In sixth grade, my Language Arts teacher assigned a journal, in which we could write whatever we liked. I started off writing the required half page, but soon got hooked. Through all of middle school, it was a rare thing to see me without a binder full of scribbled pages clutched to my chest.
One afternoon, the woman driving my high school’s carpool told me that my writing was a waste of time. I knew better than to argue with her, but I also knew she was wrong. I once told my mother that all I needed to do was to wait for the right idea, but I quickly learned better. Writing a good story has very little to do with ideas. It has to do with skill, and skill comes from practice. I still treasure the stories I wrote when I was younger, but even the ones lost forever were not a waste of time, no more than a piece of music is wasted if it is played where no one else can hear.
The Spectra began in middle school, when I began a story about a group of teenagers who personified different elements. They lived in my imagination for many years. Finally, in my last year of college or so, I had a dream where royal Spectra used hidden passages to reach a safe place during an attack. I began to write soon after. I worked on the story for about three years, and even started looking for an agent to publish it, when I realized that everything I had written was all backstory, and the story should begin where the first book ended. I started over on the book that would become The Spectra Unearthed. I finished the first complete draft about a year later, but continued editing for a couple more years, slowing down as children came along. I looked at traditional publishing for about a year (again slowed down by children and lack of internet at home), before deciding to self-publish. My first book, The Spectra Unearthed, came out in September 2015. You can read more about the origin of the book here.
I hope that my writing has touched someone. I know that not everyone will like what I’ve written. I know that criticism and rejection are coming. But I hope that I’ve touched someone, made them a little happier, and made the world a better place. I hope that maybe some young writer will read my words and put their own pen to paper. Maybe together we can make the world a better place.
This is why I write.
Christie Valentine Powell wrote her first story in second grade, and has been writing ever since. She loves writing fantasy, where she can make up her own rules. All of the Spectra books take place in the same fictional world, where elemental abilities are divided into six magical kingdoms. Her other hobbies include making toys, hobby farming, and daydreaming. She lives near the sunniest city in the world (Yuma, Arizona) with her husband, four children, and many critters.
I'd love to keep in touch! Find "The Spectra Books" on most social media (links at the bottom).