Have you ever wondered what it would be like if almost everyone on the planet could control an elemental force rather than a select few? Would there be an organization that maintained the peace, or would it be a free-for-all? What if I told you that there was a book out there that contained a story addressing these questions? Good news, there is, and you can read about it right here at the Authors’ Lounge!
A Whisper of Wind by Aaron Scott Wickel (that’s me, by the way) is a YA Fantasy that takes place on Ulypus, a planet linked to other worlds through an ancient portal system. It’s here we begin our journey with Kinara, a young Seeker serving in the Guardian Forces, and Zaelek, a young farmer who once dreamt of being a Guardian. When their strings of fate become entwined, Kinara and Zaelek must work together to avoid falling into the hands of an uprising terrorist group known as Javelar. The question is: will they succeed?
Now, I’m not too fond of spoilers, so that’s all the advertising I’m going to do. If you’re interested in learning more, go check out the book’s summary at www.wickelwrites.com or Amazon.com (https://bit.ly/AWOWKin). There is also a sample available on Amazon, so you can read that too if you aren’t sold on picking up a copy yet.
For the rest of this blog post, I’d like to talk about how I came to publish A Whisper of Wind. When I was about seventeen, it occurred to me that writing might be fun. Naturally, I sat down with a pen and notebook and went to work on the first draft of book one in the Elements Series’. The writing was and still is terrible. That didn’t matter, though. The important thing was that I sat down and created something—a dream.
Let’s fast forward a few years to my college days. The thoughts of plotlines came and went, but I hadn’t written anything in quite some time. My time in college taught me how important it was to take a break from the minutiae of life. I’d often find myself gravitating toward video games, movies, or TV series to get a fantasy fix. Then, like many other people, I realized that I wanted to be doing something more with my time. This is when my thoughts returned to the small, handwritten story in the thin red notebook tucked away deep within my childhood room’s closet.
I made the trek home that weekend to retrieve my beloved story. My wife, who was my girlfriend at the time, looked at me like I had lost my mind when I returned to college after the weekend, proclaiming that I wanted to be an author.
She said to me, “Wait… you write books?”
(I’m ninety percent sure she wants to go back to the bliss of not knowing about the Elements Series because I talk a LOT about my writing nowadays. Bless her heart.)
I, of course, didn’t know what to tell her. The 6 chapter work could hardly be called a book.
Two years later, I graduated with a degree in psychology, allowing me to focus all my efforts on writing. You could say that this was when I got serious about publishing. By blind luck, Annette, my publisher, came into my life. She read the first chapter of my work, then gave me a piece of advice that I’m now going to give you: find a local writer’s group and let them help you.
I joined the League of Utah Writers shortly after. Armed with a broad grin and a fantastic story, I took my place among them. Except, the grin turned to a sad frown and the fantastic story turned out to not be as wonderful as I thought, and I was devastated.
It took me about a week to recover from being raked over the coals and thrown to the ash pile. I almost didn’t. If ever there were a time where I thought I would give up my dream to become a published author, this was it. My lesson to not give up was learned with about as much grace as a baby seal falling off an iceberg.
You might be thinking to yourselves, “Well, why on Earth would I expose myself to something like that?”
My answer to you is: Because we must learn how to endure criticism and become an expert in our field. If we can’t learn to take criticism with grace, then we won’t know how to sift through the good and bad suggestions in critiques. Through trial and error, our works become more than we ever thought possible.
Again, those links from above are: