There were three specific items which led me to be an indie author.
1) A desire to be creative.
2) My introduction to drama.
3) My ten years living in Vietnam.
I have always wanted to create. I remember writing songs and plays as as teenager, just trying to find an outlet for what was going on in my mind. In college it was poetry that caught my fancy, and I wrote lots of various genres of poetry as an outlet. After that, I wrote various plays and small production in my church. I’ve always wanted to create and write, but I went for twenty years not doing much of it.
Drama. Drama changed everything for me. Once I had an opportunity to write drama with some of my students, it started this drama-like epoch which still hasn’t finished. I love writing dialogue and creating scenarios where extraordinary things happen. I’ve been writing drama for eight years now, and there’s no end in sight.
Lastly, my ten years in Vietnam expanded my horizons beyond that of any normal Western PA native. I learned a language, I learned a new culture, and I was constantly overwhelmed by the sights, sounds, and smells of the amazing country of Vietnam. My time in Vietnam led me to my passion for history and an understanding of what really happened here, both before and after and Americans landed.
So in 2007 when all three of these (creativity, drama, experiences in Vietnam) all came together, I was once and for all hooked on writing. Since then I’ve written more than a dozen full-length dramatic productions and four novels. (The fifth almost there!)
All of these led me to become an indie author in December of 2012.
Since then, I’ve released three novels (the fourth just weeks away) and all of them somewhat based on my experiences in Vietnam.
How couldn’t that affect me? It was such an important and profound experience for me that as soon as I left Vietnam, I was ready to process it through my writing, which I did with “Beauty Rising,” “The Recluse Storyteller,” and “The Reach of the Banyan Tree”: my first three novels.
I needed Vietnam. I needed it to provide the context, history, and inspiration for my writing
But no more.
I’ve moved beyond Vietnam. My new novel doesn’t even mention Vietnam. SHOCKING!
Vietnam was my original inspiration, but now I am burdened with an endless supply of internal inspiration, which I hope I have time to release!
With my fourth novel, I realize I have moved beyond Vietnam. It’s a crutch I no longer need.
That doesn’t mean I won’t revisit Vietnam anymore in my writing. I already have a political thriller based on Vietnam that I want to write.
But I no longer rely on Vietnam. I am beyond Vietnam, and that’s a wonderful feeling.
Vietnam, thanks for the inspiration. But I can take it from here.