As mentioned earlier in the week, I’ve got a guest post for you all today from A. M. Bochnack. She’ll be talking about what lead her to writing Fortitude Rising. I rather enjoyed reading this and I hope you do as well. Enjoy!

The Lifeline of Writing

For me, writing is a vital lifeline. Without it, I would not survive. Without it, I would not exist. It’s something I’ve been doing since I was a little girl. Long before I ever had a clue how to formulate a sentence or structure a book, I was imagining far off worlds and amazing characters that would show up at my doorstep any minute and save me from my reality.

By the time I hit middle school, I was writing poems and short stories. I wrote a new poem almost weekly, practicing my rhyming and letting my emotions lead me through each stanza. I made up new characters all the time and imagined where I would take them and what magical abilities they would possess.

And then something unspeakable happened. I listened to an adult. By this point, I was in high school and it was time to think about college. I was asked what I wanted to be when I grew up and, of course, I said an author. The same adult laughed at me and told me I had to reconsider. Aspiring authors were rarely successful, they said, and I would most likely starve for the rest of my life. I was devastated, and heart broken. Writing was all I ever thought about. I didn’t have anything else and I didn’t want to do anything else with my life.

Struggling for an answer to adulthood and college, my favorite teacher told me I excelled at science and encouraged me to pursue a career in science instead. So, I put away my pen and paper and headed down a new path.

For over twenty years I didn’t write a creative word. Nothing. Not a single story or poem. Instead I was a scientist and I told myself repeatedly that I did not have a creative bone in my body. Nope, it was all facts backed by data in my new life.

This held me over for a while. I was content working hard, making a name for myself in my field. I equally love science and the pursuit for knowledge. It was (or is, I should say) a great fit for me. But every time I finished reading a book, my days of dreaming up characters would seep to the surface of my mind and I would think about writing again. These characters nagged at me, forced me to think about them and create worlds for them to live in. I would make random notes to myself in the form of journal entries but that was the limit. I wasn’t creative, I couldn’t write. I was a scientist.

The more the characters nagged at me, the less content I was with my life and career. I tried to ignore them, but they were persistent. It took me several years before I finally decided to act on it. In early 2015, I bought a few books on how to structure a novel and my life began again. The thing is, nothing in life is easy. No career choice will result in an instant success. I didn’t wake up one day a successful scientist, I had to work at for over ten years before I achieved the level of success I was looking for. Some choices may take longer than others to achieve the same level of success as another, but success is always possible if you’re willing to do the work required.

I sometimes let myself wander down the dangerous path of what if’s. What if I never listened to that adult and I pursued writing instead of science? What if I had a degree in English literature instead of environmental sciences? What if… what if… what if… Would I have been a successful author a decade ago? These are dangerous questions that will never do me any good, so I must let it go.

The beautiful thing about life is, it’s never too late to try something new. As long as we’re breathing, we should be trying! I published my first novel, Fortitude Rising, earlier this year at the age of forty-three. Twenty years later than I planned on when I was a little girl. I could focus on the fact that it took me so long to do it, but I’m not. What’s important is that I finally allowed myself to be true to me and I did it!

If you too have been dreaming up characters and thinking you want to write a novel or short story, my advice to you is to stop thinking and start doing. I’m still a scientist, but I’m also a published author and it feels amazing! Nothing ventured, nothing gained. And there’s a lot to be gained by following your dreams.

 

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Author Bio:

A.M. Bochnak is a dreamer. With her head in the clouds or her eyes turned to the stars, she spends countless hours imagining new adventures and far off worlds for which to travel. When she isn’t dreaming, she writes science fiction and fantasy with her focus on epic fantasies, apocalyptic and dystopian fiction. Fortitude Rising, a sci-fi dystopian fantasy, is her first published novel. She is an American author, born and raised in southern Ohio and now lives in Gainesville, Florida. www.ambochnak.com

 

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Debut Novel: Fortitude Rising, Volume One of the Magical Bond Series

Ebony Hunter has spent her entire life isolated on an island institution run by her father, Dr. Daniel Hunter. When Connor Vance and his group of outsiders are brought to the institution, they cause her to question everything her father has ever told her about the world. But who’s telling her the truth? Her father or the outsiders?

Just when she starts to open up to Connor Vance, he admits that he and his companions are on a mission to kill her and her life-long friends. Connor’s mission to kill her is halted when he realizes Ebony is a pawn, albeit a powerful pawn, in her father’s game. They must join forces and work together if they ever hope to escape the clutches of the true enemy, Dr. Hunter and Vivian Way, a political reformist.

To find the truth, and hopefully earn her freedom, Ebony must overcome her fears and embrace her magical powers. Her life depends on the trust of people she hardly knows as the battle for control of her powerful magic escalates between her and her father.

Through her journey of self-discovery, she finds friendship, love, and a strength she never knew she possessed. Everyone around her is taking sides in the struggle for power, and the lives of everyone she cares about are on the line as the tension rises in this sci-fi dystopian fantasy. Available on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07DCF1XCP

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