Monday, 5 June 2017

How #Twilight Changed My Life and Why I'm Proud To Be A #Twihard (Part I)

I feel as though this article needs a few 'disclaimers' due to the title of the post and the hype (both positive and negative) around Twilight. So...

Disclaimer 1: This post is really about what triggered the impulse to write again, and how I got from not writing anything creative for a whole decade to writing 4 books in the space of 2 years. Twilight played a big role in this and really did change my life.

And I'm not the only one who was influenced by this paranormal romance series by Stephenie Meyer ~ last year, when it was the 10th anniversary of Twilight, so many BookTubers shared how Twilight inspired them to read books again and blog/vlog about books in general.

Here's my favourite BookTuber, Christine from polandbananasBooks summing up what a lot of Twilight fans feel about the series:

Disclaimer 2: I love the Twilight Saga, but it's okay if you don't, or have no intentions of reading it if you've steered clear from it. This post isn't going to try to convince you to read/like it. The reason I feel like I have to say this out right is because of the look us Twihards sometimes get when we mention the series.

Here's Christine again, talking about her experience on the matter:

Right, with the disclaimers out of the way, let's get to my article. 

Starting Young

Us authors start off pretty young. From the moment we learn how to string together sentences into paragraphs, we're writing stories, sometimes even producing our own 'paperback' books in school ~ folding up stacks of A4-sized paper and stapling down the fold (or, the spine) so it looks like a book.

I started writing stories since the moment I learned how to read and write English. It's not my 'first language'. I was born in Bangladesh but have lived in the UK since I was 8 months old. However, because my family was always moving around in my early years, I only started primary school when I was 7-years-old, after we finally settled down in Bethnal Green, East London. It wasn't ideal, starting school so late and in the middle of the academic year, and I spent that whole year playing catch-up.

I had TV though, so I could speak and understand English well enough (when I bothered to speak; I was incredibly shy!), but it was in school that I discovered my love for books and reading, where I learned the basics of grammar and expanded my vocabulary. I'd always make up stories in my head, and as soon as I learned how to write them down, I did little else. When I learned that the people who wrote books were called authors and it was possible to become one, that's what I wanted to do when I grew up.

Oh, I was never short of ideas, always writing something, whether it was songs, poetry or short stories. All my 'works of fiction' had a supernatural element, though ~ witches, vampires, fairies and other make-believe creatures. These were the beings I loved reading about, so naturally, I'd spin stories around them, too. If I had Harry Potter back then, it would've been my favourite thing to read. And re-read (though I try to re-read this series whenever I can now, too!).

In secondary school, we didn't get to write stories as much as we did in primary school, but whenever I got the chance to write creatively, there would always be ~ where possible ~ a magical, fantasy, supernatural element to them.

Unfortunately, secondary school was also the time when I, like many others around me, stopped reading for leisure (though I loved it whenever we read anything for English class ~ from Shakespeare's Twelfth Night and Romeo & Juliet, to Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird, and how can we forget The Changeover, and of course Bridge to Terabithia) and TV took over my life (oops!). Not to mention homework. Thankfully, I remained determined to write when I had the chance. Writing wasn't something I gave up on.

Astonishingly, when I came to writing my first "novel" ~ I have to write the word novel in speech marks because I was only 13/14 when I started this "novel" and it was complete and utter rubbish ~ it was a contemporary. Yes, a contemporary! No magic, witches or vampires, just a simple story about a simple girl like the one I wished I was.

It took me a long while to finish the first draft ~ like I said, TV and homework had taken over my life ~ but I was proud to have accomplished that. I started planning a "sequel" ~ don't we all? ~ and even started writing the "prologue" for it. I could picture a whole series around these characters that I'd created and I seemed to have planted my feet firmly on the path to becoming a writer.

Continues in Part II. I hope you enjoyed Part I. If you're interested in my debut novel, click the image below to learn more about it:

Like all my other books, it's also available on:
iBooks   |   B&N Nook   |   Kobo |   Smashwords 

Book Details

Length: 110,000 words
Genre: Contemporary Romance / Clean Romance / Diverse Romance / Interracial Romance / Romantic Drama / Women’s Fiction

Mood: Inspirational / Feel Good / Coming of Age / Dark
Content: Sexy but No explicit sex scenes / No erotica
Audience: New Adult & College / Adult / Female Readers

Recommended for: Readers that enjoy romance novels with serious issues and characters with depth. This is a story about life, love, friendship, family, music, art, destiny and soul mates.

And the first two books in my teen urban fantasy/YA paranormal romance series, the Poison Blood series, can be downloaded for free via:

Amazon USAmazon UK|   iBooks US & UK   |   B&N Nook Store   |   Smashwords

PB1 Book Details

Length: 29,000 words
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance / Teen Vampire Romance / Young Adult Paranormal Fantasy / Teen & YA Urban Fantasy / Young Adult Science Fiction & Fantasy / Supernatural Romance / Fantasy Romance
Mood: Dark / Humorous / Coming of age
Content: No violence / No explicit sex scenes / No erotica
Audience: Teen / Young Adult / New Adult / Adult
Recommended for: Readers that love all things vampires, slayers and witches!

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