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  • Writer's pictureblaine daigle

Sincerely, Me

This one is gonna get sappy, so go ahead and strap in.

None of this was supposed to happen. I honestly, not in a million years, predicted that I'd be sitting here writing this post. Of course, I hoped for it, but I never once imagined it. I've thought a lot about making this post. Every time I do, I end up going back and forth between the pros and cons of it, Those who know me well know that I am fairly reserved, and I really don't like putting my business out there. But, with everything in consideration, I figured you should at least know who's this guy your reading.

Ernest Hemingway once said: "Writing is easy. All you do is sit at your typewriter and bleed." I suppose this is true. Well, for some of us at least. I won't pretend to speak for other people, but I know that, for me, this quote is very accurate. I've wanted to do this since I was 12 years old. I distinctly remember devouring stories of Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Peter Benchley, and Michael Crichton upstairs in my second-floor bedroom for hours at a time, in the hallway before classes, and on the bus rides home from school. Wherever I was, I had my face deep in the pages of a book. And, bear in mind, this was years after I stumbled into the school library of Galvez Primary and discovered the bottom shelf on the right side (second stack) held all the Animorph books that had been published by that point. You get the picture. I remember going to Walmart on grocery runs and usually getting to pick one book from the large book display they had in the front of the store (it was waaaaayyyy bigger in 2000-2004).

But more than the reading, I remember the role-playing. I remember folding like twenty pages of white copy paper in half and stapling it into a booklet where I wrote my own stories. I remember tracing the outline of the most recent book I'd finished and drawing my own cover and coming up with my own titles. I promised myself that I would write these stories one day. I promised myself that I would make these imaginary vignettes actual living, breathing books.

I never told anybody about that.

I'm sure people knew. I'm sure my parents watched over my shoulder as I did it, oblivious to their gaze. I know my sister watched me do it. But even around my closest friends, I never told anybody about that. Because the truth is...I just wanted what any kid wants at that age. I wanted to fit in. I went to 6 schools from K-12. It wasn't behavioral issues or anything of that sort. We moved houses twice and my parents were both teachers, so I kinda went where they went. I won't lie, it was exceptionally tough to make friends in the first place, especially when I'd have to leave and then start the whole process over.

By the time I got to 8th grade, we moved for the last time and I was set for the next 5 years, but by then I was very shy and reserved. I hear stories of other writers who wrote their first stories during these years.

I didn't.

I never even mentioned my desire. I read in my room, in private. I still devoured stories, but there were other things that were more, I don't know, "acceptable" that I needed to make sure I was doing to blend in as best I could.

I don't mean for this to come across as a sob story. High school was fun, and after a few years, I was hanging out with the same group that I hang out with today. Two of them are actually my first beta readers for every book I write. They see it before anybody else does. But my point is, even they didn't know about this.

College was a whole other story, but that's for another post. It's funny how my first experience being taught "how to write" damn near turned me off to it completely.

But when I think about why I never told anybody about this passion, I keep returning to that Hemingway quote. Because when I write a story, I bleed all over the page. And I'll be honest, even now I worry about how people are going to see me if there's too much blood on that page. How will their perceptions of me change when they see my blood? See what color it is. See the genetic and personal makeup of its molecules? Because I'm well aware the stuff I write is not for everyone. The stuff I read is not for everyone. When I think about how shy and reserved I was (and still am to a degree) I realize that I never told anyone because I was terrified of what they would think of me. I was scared to death that all my blood would be the wrong color. Honestly, that still scares me.

But after The Broken Places was released, an incredible thing happened. People started buying it. Not only that, I received nothing but unanimous support from the people in my life without the slightest judgment. People I went to high school with, some of who I haven't spoken to in over a decade, shared the book on social media and celebrated its release and accomplishments.

I didn't know what to say. I still don't.

So, I'll settle for this. To everyone who has read the book, shared the book, or offered congratulations or kind words, I offer you my deepest thanks. Truly, from the bottom of my heart, thank you. This wasn't supposed to happen. Had my wife not pushed me, I don't know for sure if it ever would have. But I bled all over the pages of that book. There's a good bit of me spread out between those three characters, and I was terrified of how that would be received. How I would be received. How all that blood spilled on that page would be taken.

I'm finally living a dream I've had since I was a child. And it's because of all of you that I will have the opportunity to keep doing it. I know I've said it a lot already, but I'll go ahead and say it again.

From the absolute bottom of my heart, thank you all.



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