July 14, 2013

Why Do I Write?

By Katherine Polillo

It’s a simple enough question, so one would think it has a simple enough answer, but it doesn’t. Why do I write? Because I enjoy it, it makes me happy, I crave the creative release… yes, but there is more than that.

Many years ago when I packed my bags and went off to college I envisioned a life and career very different than the one I’m living. I wanted to make a difference, and the naïve 18 year-old I was thought that the best way to do this was through politics. I became a history and political science major and began pursuing internships with Congressional Representatives. After several years and key life experiences I became very disillusioned with the political system, and washed my hands of the entire affair. I transferred colleges and tacked on a key piece to my college major. I decided to enroll in the Secondary Education program. I wanted to make a difference and the way I saw to do that was by teaching.

Fast-forward six years and I find myself teaching high school students history and enrolling to pursue my Masters in Special Education. I had found a job I loved and my career made me happy. Yet something bothered me, so often students would announce without shame or reluctance that they were not readers, that books did not appeal to them. Every time I heard this, a tiny piece of my soul would hurt. I had grown up loving literature and had the benefit of having teachers who inspired me to read. I wanted all my students to experience the freedom that reading provides, and I believed that all I needed to do was find a book that would appeal to that student. As any good teacher does, I knew my students- their hobbies; their likes; their goals- and I would search for books that hopefully would ignite the reader inside them.

I’d like to say that I was wildly successful, but alas a handful I may have helped, but in the process I discovered YA literature. I moved away from the literary classics, although they certainly still captivate me, and began to appreciate a new generation of writers. In the process I found myself borrowing books that my students were reading and asking for recommendations. They began sharing their books and with the books came discussions. I had found a topic on which to connect with many of my students, something we could discuss and have in common. It was a door that swung wide open and allowed me the rare opportunity to have an entire conversation with a teenager without a single eye roll. Miraculous!

As I continued to read and with the purchase of my first Kindle, a strange thought began to build in the back of my mind, I could do this. These stories were great, their authors amazing, but what Kindle did was open the door to indie authors. These people were like me. They had jobs and were without large book deals and movie scripts, they simply had an idea, a character, a story they wanted to share.

Thanks to the support of my husband and the inspiration of my students I began to write my own story. I figured I would hopefully complete it and self-publish it for hopefully someone to read. All I really wanted was to write something that just one teenager would pick up and say, “this looks cool.” If just one kid enjoyed reading because of my story, success! In the pursuit to achieve this dream I stumbled upon an amazing lady. Through cosmic circumstances, that are wholly another story entirely, I met Stacey Rourke. Not only was she an amazing writer, but she believed in me. She believed in me so much that when she created her own publishing company, Anchor Group Publishing, she signed me as an author, promising to publish Destine. Words cannot express the gratitude I feel towards this woman who believed in me far more than I ever believed in myself.

So… Why do I write? Simply, so someone will read.

Katherine Polillo originally planned to grow-up and become an archeologist. Unfortunately the desert air dried out her skin, the dirt was impossible to get from under her fingernails, and she just couldn’t pull off a fedora like Harrison Ford. So instead she pursued a career in education. She currently teaches high school history and special education, while fabricating fictional stories in her free time. She never really outgrew her imaginary friends stage, and instead has created lives and stories for the creations of her imagination to live in. When she is present in reality and not off on an adventure with her imaginary friends, she lives in a small, New Jersey town with her husband, the man to which all fictional leading men are compared, and their two spoiled rotten, ungrateful cats.

Connect with Katherine through Facebook, Twitter, or Goodreads.

This guest post is part of Katherine's Blog Tour for Devoted, Book II in the Watcher's Trilogy, available on Amazon, B&N, or Smashwords!

As part of her tour, Katherine is offering a giveaway!  Entry is through the Rafflecopter form below.
  • Prize pack (1): key chain, postcard, 2 travel mugs, signed paperback (international)
  • Runner up prize (2): e-copies of Devoted

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