• J. Elias Epp

My Journey to My First Book

Updated: Oct 22, 2019

I wasn't born a writer, but I certainly started early.



My love of writing grew out of my love of reading. Reading was a passion of mine all the way back to elementary school. I loved fantasy and space opera but often found it difficult to find quality books in the genre. They were either too close to hard scifi and filled with technical jargon or the fantasy stories were too shallow with little depth to their world. That, or they were desperately out of date with their writing style.


So, I figured I could write something better. In middle school I did the research into what it would take to be a novelist for my career fair assignment. Even before then I had been taking notes on the ideas of my brother and I, but afterwards I began to more seriously ensure all of our ideas were retained on paper. Some of those notes were lost and later found again. A treasure of forgotten thoughts.

In the last years of high school my brother had gone off to college and I had to make a choice. The question "What college are you going to?" was less a question about location for me and more a question of "What do you want to do with your life?" I made a decision then to major in English so I could obtain the writing skills I needed to share my universe with others.

If only things were so easy in life as that. The pressures of school, living on my own and being exposed to a multitude of new ideas almost made me forget why I had gone to school in the first place.

In college I overcame my fears of sharing my writing with others. After college I started sharing my writing online with strangers and overcame that mental hurdle. I also started participating in a local writing group.

Even after that it wasn't easy to consistently sit down and write. I started writing my first book, Acrabha Stone: Blessing and Curse in college. It was just a short story I wanted to expand upon. It would be another four years before I finished writing and revising it.

Thing is, writing and finishing a novel is the hard part. After that, it's actually kinda fun getting it out there, getting a book cover and learning more about publishing.

In order to complete my first book, it took more work in growing myself in maturity than the work of writing it. There were many times I considered pursuing something entirely different. I would say the best thing I ever did was try out new things. It gave me the assurance and knowledge of what I did and didn't like. I actually found it was harder to "try out" being a novelist than it was with anything else.

That's because it was my dream. What do I do when I don't like doing my dream job? When I find I'm actually bad at it? If I lose my dream, what do I have to live for?

I determined then that I would write even if it meant it would come to nothing. Even if all it would ever become was a hobby, I would continue to write. Why? Because I liked writing and sharing my universe with others, no other reason.

Most importantly, my fear was removed because I stopped living for my dream and started living for Jesus. He made it simple, pursue Him and trust in Him. So, as a part of that I trusted that He had made me who I am. I was free to explore what I liked to do because I had been made to like what I did.

Writing isn't my only passion. I love encouraging and inspiring other artists too. I hope to one day share my universe with others in a way that hasn't been done before. Not only do I want to encourage and inspire fanfiction and fanart of every kind for my universe, but I want to supply a service for it too.

Right now, every kind of commercial attempt to allow fanfiction or fanart creators to make money off of their writings and art has failed. Amazon even tried this but it was eventually shut down. Someday, I hope to create a system where artists of every kind can participate in a fanart market for my universe. Perhaps even for other creators as well someday.

But, I suppose that's just another dream of mine.

;)

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