Hmmm...younger than Janet Jackson & older than Christina Aguilera~both amazing!
Birthplace: Lonestar State....Yee-Haw!!
Colors: Purple, hot pink, and black
I must confess that watching, "Squirm," written and directed by Jeff Lieberman, and "Carrie," written by the captivating and brilliant Stephen King, as a pre-teen, ignited my interest in horror and suspense. I'm very grateful to both Mr. Lieberman and Mr. King for tapping into the basement of my creative mind. I had no clue back then that I would eventually end up in the writing world. Hence, my journey began with various twists, bumps, and pitfalls.
My eighth grade English teacher, Ms. Peppers (fictional name of course), introduced me to writing. Ms. Peppers assigned a special, writing assignment to the class. At first, I dreaded it, but as I began to write words down in my notebook (decorated with the names of cute boy bands (remember New Edition, New Kids on the Block, and Menudo…) and actors (Alfonso Ribeiro, Ricky Schroeder, Corey Haim, Corey Feldman, Ralph Macchio, and a host of others…) with colorful hearts, birds, and stars on the front cover), I discovered how much I enjoyed this assignment. I recall listening to "Drive," by the Cars, during my creative process.
I just knew that I had the writing thing down. My freshman year in college changed all of that.
Freshman English I terrified me because of the Professor King rumors. Professor King was known as the toughest, out of all the professors, listed during registration.
Guess which professor I landed? Yep…
Well, the rumors were all validated within days. Professor King was beyond tough. I tell you that my returned papers were always dripping with red ink to the point, a trail formed on the linoleum classroom floor, as she handed my papers back to me.
I recall an unsettling meeting with Professor King, prior midterm. She told me to have a seat, as she adjusted herself in her squeaky chair. She pressed her half eyeglasses onto her nose and stared in my eyes, as she tapped her red pen, repeatedly, on her book. She roared out these words, "I'm being extremely generous to consider giving you a C- in my class, at the end of the semester. Your writing is just not improving."
I cried inside on the long walk back to my dorm room. My roomie was gone for the weekend, so I threw myself across the twin bed and continued with real tears, most of that evening.
The next morning I told myself that I wouldn't settle for the generous C-, so I researched, wrote, edited, and edited. I had three major assignments to transform my writing before the end of the semester. The library became my second home, while my weekend partying at the Lambda House ceased.
Several weeks later, before Christmas break, Professor King called me back to her office. She sat me down again and stated, "Well, I must say, that you've made some huge improvements in all areas."
Not only did I score an A-, but also one of my English papers was chosen for the "Good Papers" reading winter event, where your peers and professors from other disciplines gather to listen and comment. I was elated to say the least.
After that, I began to look forward to future writing assignments during my college years, especially in my sociology classes. I took Children's Literature I my senior year as an elective, on a whim. I'm glad that I did because that class exposed me to the various authors, books, and writing styles, which I may not have been interested in exploring.
I wrote poems here and there throughout my college years and tossed them aside. I didn't think much of them, to be honest, until later on in my adulthood.
Then the one big event happened.
You know the event that makes you stand still and just stare in the mirror for a long time, almost not breathing, as tears stream down your face...Well, that one painful event transformed my life for the better, which pushed me to realize how I needed to take writing seriously. I stumbled upon a writer's group, during one of my darkest moments and decided to join. The diverse writing prompts really ushered in my creative writing juices.
During my creative eruption, I recalled a powerful quotation from a past movie, which placed everything in perspective for me. In this powerful movie, "The Five Heartbeats," a critic made the statement below to one of the musicians in the group, which the same musician shared at an awards banquet:
" 'Donald Matthews will be a great writer one day, when he suffers more.'
And I said to myself what does that mean? Now, I know what that means."
Once I experienced my personal suffering, I understood those above lines too. I then knew that I needed to heal, but how? For me, it became words....writing. Writing became my therapeutic playground. You know that they say that everything happens for a reason. I'm a strong believer and supporter of that mantra.
If I wouldn't have experienced my past suffering, then I would never have been led to take writing seriously…to become an author. I believe that each of us possess a special gift. Sometimes, it is buried deep inside and unconsciously we discover it, after a trigger exposes our vulnerability.
To date, I have created over 70 diverse, mini-stories and 20 short stories.
As you may have already guessed, horror and suspense are my primary genres of choice, but I do like to tango with other genres with occasional mash-ups, as well.
My targeted audience range from young adults (13+ to 102+) , new adults, and adults. Therefore, I consider myself a YA/NA cross-genre author.
I work in the social work world by day, and I work in the writer's world at night and weekends. I'm currently working on publishing my first collection, a combination of mini-stories in free-verse style and short stories.
I possess many ideas for future mini-stories, short stories, and some future novels, I pray.
Finally, I reside in Texas with my family.
Thank you for visiting my website. Please do stop by anytime and do share with your reader friends.
"It's up to each of us to get very still and say, 'This is who I am.' No one else defines your life. Only you do."