My Name is Janea. My pen name is J. Speer

I am celebrating today. Today is a great day for me. My family welcomed a new niece into the world this morning. My 14 year old daughter passed driving school. And today, I received a package from Amazon in the mail…….one I have been waiting on for a few days now. I opened the cardboard box to reveal the first copy of my first published book. It is called Searching for Fire. The book is a young adult fantasy fiction story with lots of action and adventure. It is a North American odyssey with some dastardly villains and interesting plot sequences. It is published with Archway.

This story started out a long time ago. Over ten years ago, I used to write a great deal of poetry and short stories. I wanted to be a writer someday. I wrote a giant file folder full of work and I submitted to several publishing companies and online contests. I waited and waited impatiently and finally received one acceptance letter from a Boston company. But here comes the hard part……….I lost confidence in myself. I never sent my work in.

Lack of confidence………I have a feeling many other people who write have felt this. I wonder how many have thought to themselves, “I’m just not good enough. This is not good enough.” I know I did. I put the file folder in the back of a cabinet and life went on as normal for over a decade……..

At this point, you are probably wondering what changed?

A friend helped me.

It was January 2019 shortly after Christmas and I was kinda in the dumps…..considering the winter weather and just general life malaise. She invited me on Facebook to her new entrepreneur meeting. At first, I thought, “No, not really interested.” But I went.

The meeting started with 20 minutes of motivational talk and then she said each of the 20 participants had to stand up one by one and say what their dream is or had been. She said, “If you don’t have the courage to say what you really want to a crowd of twenty people in a room, how do you ever expect to manifest it into your life?” One by one, each brave soul got up and said their secret dream. I, however, was too shy and remained quiet.

I went home that night and sat in my mini-van in the driveway and thought for twenty minutes. Then, I went inside the house and opened that old cabinet and searched for the old file folder. I pulled it out from the back and sat down at the kitchen table to read. I had just assumed over the years, that it was not worthwhile. But I was wrong. Some of the poetry and short stories were quite good. I picked one short story, my favorite in the bunch……….and eventually turned it into a novel. I worked six hours a day for six weeks, writing after daily 8 hour shifts at the factory. During the day at the factory, I would go through every detail of the upcoming pages in my mind and then jot down my ideas as soon as I got home.

And that is the story of how Searching for Fire came to be. It is my first book and admittedly perhaps more a lump of coal than a polished diamond. But I truly hope it does well on the market and most of all, I just want people to be entertained and happy reading it.

Thank you for reading about my adventures with writing and I would love to hear from you too on your creative works. Keep writing! Keep creating! Keep being more!

Bless you,

J. Speer

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