Mermaids don’t have many marketable skills.
So, perhaps it’s for the best that my original career ambitions as a child didn’t work out. After my mermaid internship fell through, I transitioned to the business sector and opened a flower shop that sold gorgeous, albeit fake, bouquets. For some reason, my grandmother was my sole customer (Not sure why. My crayon-drawn advertisements were top notch!). Unfortunately, it’s hard to run a small business when you only have one customer.
Sad fact of life.
When the flower shop folded, I decided the best gig was to be a princess, marry a prince, and then do princess-y things. Just one problem—the market for princesses is saturated with endless of hordes of nine-year-olds competing for the job…basic, minimum-wage positions, too.
The application I submitted was rejected. Alas.
Fortunately, my imagination and my desire to tell stories outlasted my childhood rejections. As a teen, I wrote my first book, a young adult fantasy novel (shocker, I know). I wrote for the sheer joy of storytelling, and that first novel reached about 150,000 words. For a fifteen-year-old, that’s not too shabby.
Whenever I wasn’t busy writing my break-out novel, I was voraciously reading books by authors such as C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lewis Carroll, L. Frank Baum, Kenneth Grahame and many others. Around that time, I decided if I couldn’t be an elf, then I could at least marry one.
When none of Legolas’s kin arrived with an engagement ring (or at least a severed orc head for good measure), I attended a local university. There, I bounced from major to major—music, psychology, theater—and eventually settled on an English major (again, shocker). A bit more schooling and a Master’s degree led to a career that actually earned me a paycheck. I became an English professor.
Trust me, this sounds more glamorous than it actually is.
I also became a freelance copy editor for various publications and publishers (also more glamorous-sounding than it is). While I might not have envisioned these as viable career options when I was a kid, there was no better way for me to learn the fundamentals of literature, grammar, and publishing.
Once the indie revolution started, I knew the path of my true destiny: life as an indie author.
And hey, if it doesn’t work out, there’s always goblin hunting.
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