Why I Write
When I was a child, my mother told me I should be a great many things, primarily a lawyer because of how I liked to argue with her and remind her that I had rights, but also a writer because I used to tell her stories that explained how she came to be my mother and why I decided I should give up my heavenly perch to be her child. My imagination was vivid from the beginning. As I grew older, I became one of those teenagers that most parents warn their “good” children about, the one who wandered through cemeteries, writing bad, or at the very least, dark poetry, and shunning the conformists because they could not see the real beauty of this world through their shackles of rules and mores.
At this same time, I had an English teacher who required us to keep a journal. We could write about anything we wanted. We could complain about having to write or we could write poetry and stories – anything as long as we were writing. I wrote poems at first but then I decided to try my hand at a story. I loved romance novels and had recently been turned onto the paranormal subgenre of romance so I wrote a ghost love story. It was quite possibly the worst thing I had ever written. No one will ever read it – not even my kids. In fact, I have left my daughter instructions to burn that journal upon my demise. It was that bad.
The next year, I had a new English teacher, Mrs. Smith, who I had worked with the previous year in drama club. She had heard about my horrible story but told me I needed to write her short story based on a time in my life. The trick was it had to be at least 750 words – a mere 750 words! I say that now but at the time it was more like “750 WORDS! Are you kidding me? I can’t write that much!”
A week later, she gave me the story back with enough red marks on it so that it looked like a murder scene rather than a short story. At the very top was the note every student dreads – “Please see me after class”. I sank down into my chair and pretended to be invisible until the bell rang and then slowly I made my way to her desk to see what I had done that was so awful. She explained that she had really enjoyed my story but that I abused commas more than any person she had ever seen. If I could correct my egregious comma abuse and rephrase a few sentences she had been so thoughtful as to underline, she wanted to submit my story to Scholastic magazine for consideration. So I did as she asked and she submitted it as she promised.
The magazine did not choose my story but it was enough for me to keep on writing. Someone liked it. Someone read it and did not promptly say “Burn this and never speak of it again!” So I kept writing. I cranked out 750 words; a book could not possibly be that hard, right?
Fastforward twenty years to August 2011.
My novel, Darker Shades of Midnight, has just been released. It was built around different scenes I wrote in that journal twenty years ago. The story is a historic paranormal romance about Adrian, a centuries old vampire who is haunted by the memory of his mortal life, and Gabriella, an orphan who grows up to discover that she is royalty. Adrian rescued Gabriella from certain death and raised her as his own daughter, who she strongly resembles. When the time comes for Gabriella to marry, she realizes that she is in love with Adrian but believes he only feels toward her like a father would his daughter. While watching her grow into a woman has been a privilege, now he must protect her from an abusive husband and from his maker. More importantly, he must protect her from the feelings that her presence has stirred to life deep within his heart.
Writing has been the one thing I have in which I can completely lose myself. My characters all take on traits of me, good or bad, and Gabriella even shared my birth date because it was easier to keep up with her age if we were the same age exactly. There are a few authors who have impacted me, such as Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, Maggie Shayne, and Dan Simmons. I get inspiration when I read their work because it moves me. It makes me feel and when I finish a book by them, I want to be able to make people feel too. Hopefully, I have accomplished that in this novel. As for now, I’m going to keep writing and see what comes up.
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K.D. Pitner lives in the beautiful, scenic Tennessee Valley with her husband and two children. From the age of two, K.D. entertained family members with her stories, often explaining the intricacies of Heaven and how she came to be here on Earth with her parents.
When not writing, she also enjoys gardening, playing the piano and violin, and doting over her four legged babies. She is the human mother of a very co-dependent kitten named after one of her favorite authors, Ernest Hemmingway.
Visit http://www.champagnebooks.com/ to get a copy of her debut novel Darker Shades of Midnight. You can keep up with what K.D. is doing by visiting her website http://kdpitner.bravesites.com/