I’m Jacqueline Trotter. I have a blogspot (http://jacquelinetrotter.blogspot.com/), too. Right now I’m just seeing which I prefer wordpress or blogspot.
My dream is to get published someday. I know I share that hope with many others. I am determined to achieve it. I don’t care how long it takes—I’ll spend the rest of my life on this journey if I must.
I can’t say that ever since I was a little child I had a dream to become an author. I can’t even say that ever since I was a little child I loved reading or writing. I actually hated both of them until Jr. High. Why? I struggled with dyslexia growing up. (By the way, picking a difficult word to spell for a learning disorder that defines people who can’t spell was a bad idea!)
I got horrible grades in elementary school. (I wasn’t even good at math as a back up plan.) I dreaded every spelling quiz, any reading assignments, and pretty much everything school related because of that. I used to fake feeling ill to get out of going. Luckily, I have an amazing mother who realized I had a problem and needed extra help.
So, around third grade she took me out of my public elementary school to home school me. She worked at home as a medical transcriptionist and taught me history, math, and science. Every day she would drive me to a private lesson with a nice woman, Billy, who specialized in learning disabilities. I would spend an hour to two there Monday through Friday.
By the fifth grade I was reading a sixth grader’s level and felt I had the right skill set to overcome my problems. I went back to school for the fifth and sixth grade. I would have rather been there with my friends than at home. Weirdly enough, I didn’t really read anything but biographies for fun (like Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and other politicians). I don’t really know why.
Then I went to Jr. High and got into reading other things in my spare time. Still, because of dyslexia, I had a phobia of reading full length books so I got into comic books (I have two brothers and only male cousins) and managas because they had pictures to go along with their stories. It was around then that I made two important friends.
And that’s when I began to write. We decided to write a story together with hopes of making it into a published work (never happened). We worked for almost a year on a collaboration story until we got into a fight over creative differences and stopped that (but stayed friends).
I never stopped working on that story and I’ve never stopped writing. That story was filled with plot holes amongst other novice mistakes so that will never see the light of day. I joined a couple online writing communities and slowly got better. I remember the first character I created was a complete Mary Sue… and how bad I was about telling instead of showing.
From critics and a continuous passion for writing I got better and better. I finished my first novel (which I started the winter of ’08) sometime in my sophomore year of college. I want to eventually publish that paranormal romance story but not right now. Since it was my first attempt it has a lot of plot and character development issues that I need to go back and fix before that ever happens.
I can’t remember when I first came up with the idea for my current manuscript. It’s a modern fantasy, young adult story titled Descendant’s Diary: Vanishing Valerie. I know I was working at the University Press at my college, so that means around the summer of 2009. Whenever I had spare time in between course work and actual work I would be writing that story.
I spent way more time writing than doing normal college extra-circular activities, actually. That definitely helped my writing skills but, at times, put a damper in my social life. It took me until my last year of college to finish the first book (sometime in 2011). I’ve been editing it ever since—which seemed like an endless process. I had a huge problem with length.
I haven’t started the querying process yet, but I’m positive that the word length is going to be my biggest problem (after, that is, I get someone interested). I know most YAs are around 40,000 to 70,000 words. Oh… and actually writing a query and two-page synopsis will be a pain.
Currently, I’m researching agents (I have been for over two months now) and avoiding minimizing my manuscript into only three sentences. I would say the most annoying part about it is the advice I keep getting and how different all of them are… in the end, I know it’s all an agent’s personal preference so I’m learning as much as I can about each agent and the market in general so I can tailor my query to each agent individually.
Anyway, that’s my quick life story. I’ I’m absolutely positive that I’m not the only one in this rocky boat. I’m ready for this journey to take a while (probably 1-3 years) and I’m prepared for the painful rejections that are to come, too.