So I’ve been looking forward to a lot of books coming out in 2014, and on my list is definitely LANDRY PARK by Bethany Hagen. It’s been blurbed as THE SELECTION meets DOWNTOWN ABBEY. How can that not sound awesome? I also love the cover… I exchanged a few emails with Bethany and luckily she agreed to do a great guest post on what the writer journey was like for her and how the occupation of writer came to be for her. Check out the book below!
Bethany Hagen: Becoming a Writer
It’s true that I’ve always thought about being a writer, ever since I made my first book in preschool (it included a list of my favorite desserts and a story about an escaped gingerbread man [that ended with the gingerbread man living happily ever after in a toy store.]) But there were actually a lot of other things I dreamed about doing as a child. Here they are, in vaguely chronological order:BallerinaDance teacherKindergarten teacherAstronautNunMissionaryTheologianKarate School OwnerJournalistLibrarianThese were discarded mostly once I found out how much work they entailed. When I was four, I remember telling my dance teacher that I wanted to be a ballerina and she told me that ballerinas have to practice for hours every day, and also that they had to be very careful about what they ate. That nipped my dream in the bud, since even then I knew I didn’t want a life that didn’t include cheeseburgers, but then I realized that my dance teacher very patently did not look like she was very careful about what she ate, plus she got to wear cool dance shoes all day. So I wanted to be a dance teacher until kindergarten, where I had so much fun covering the carpet in paper scraps and glue that I decided I wanted to do it for the rest of my life. But, inevitably, kindergarten passed and brought with it the realization that each successive grade would be cooler and more interesting than the last. Then, to be brief, it was:Astronaut (discarded because of the amount of math they had to learn)Nun (discarded once I realized they wouldn’t let me keep my NSYNC posters at the abbey)Missionary (NSYNC posters travel well, don’t they?)Theologian (I had images of wearing tweed jackets and smoking a pipe, surrounded by ancient manuscripts…and apparently they don’t let you smoke pipes around the ancient manuscripts)Karate school owner (I came close–I still study kenpo, but have avoided the headache of being a small business owner)Journalist (they make how little a year?!)And finally, librarian. It’s sort of cheating to add it to the list since it’s the career path I ended up following (more or less.)I wish I could see some common thread (other than delusion) here, but I can’t. All I know is that alongside all of these ambitions was the idea to do something that had meaning–to me and to others–and also that not many other people were doing. Not to be special or unique, mind you, but to avoid a life where I punched cards, where I stared at lifeless spreadsheets and grew ulcers and hated the thought of working every day. And from junior high on, where teachers started complementing me on the stories I was writing, where I read books at every opportunity–even at the dinner table, even at the stoplights while driving–I began to realize that the thing I was looking for might have something to do with books or writing.So my advice to people who want to become a writer is that it’s okay to take a somewhat circuitous path to get there. Enjoy lots of things–want to be lots of things–because in the end, that’s what you get to do as a writer. You get to pretend anything you want.
Thanks so much to Bethany Hagen for doing this guest post and I’m really looking forward to her books!