With Ruin just being released I wanted to do something special for my fans. Some may have already read the book, some may have not, but know that I am grateful for every one of you.
So today, I want to tell you a little story.
Once upon a time, there was a little girl. Her heart and mind so big, she dreamt of scary monsters and talking crocodiles laughing with elephants. When she awoke, she could barely tell the difference between the real world and the one in her dreams.
When she was six, she picked up a pen and began to write words. She never stopped. She fell in love with the curls, the swishes, the language, the communication. Even though her teachers scolded her for ruining the sheet of paper by writing with her left hand instead of her right. She didn't care.
Her mind told her to write, and so she did.
She wrote stories about crocodiles and elephants laughing and talking. Her mommy even made little booklets of the pink and blue papers she wrote on, slapped together with glue and rope.
Her first little book.
The first of many yet to come.
She grew older, and so did her mind, and the stories mounted up into the sky.
During the day she'd dream of the stories she'd lived through the night before.
Dreams and reality started to mix, to the point where her mind floated off, far away from the people close to her. In the car, she would stare at the clouds, her mind in a world filled with magic and flying monsters. In class, she would dream of ways to escape the world around her and jump into the one she'd created with just her thoughts.
The stories never stopped, and so she began penning them down.
One by one, they poured out of her.
They needed to escape.
Stories about girls discovering their super power and fighting monsters.
Stories about a companionship travelling the world.
Stories about first love and finding a soulmate.
Stories about a distant future.
So many, they seemed to never end.
Her teachers used to ask, "What do you want to be when you grow up?"
And she used to tell them, "I want to be a teacher, like you." But she only said that because her daddy was one, and because she didn't know there could be a different answer.
But when she was older ... she changed her mind.
She showed her mom her writings, who was always proud. It gave her the courage to tell more people, and she said to everyone, "I'm going to be a writer."
Most people would commend her and smile, but only the grown-ups. Her classmates laughed, despite her insistance. They even talked about her behind her back, saying how stupid it was for her to believe in silly dreams. She kept writing, despite being told by everyone it couldn't be done.
But she persisted. She would become the next JK Rowling.
You see, this little girl always had a thing for books. No wonder, she loved to write them too, so it was only natural she devoured them too.
But then she also knew JK Rowling was someone who lived in the UK. Someone who spoke English.
She did not.
So she was determined to learn how to write all her stories in English.
It wasn't hard, because when she was younger, she used to have an American nanny who taught her a lot of words. Somehow, the language had been ingrained in her brain, and she never forgot.
However, writing in your native language is always easier than a second one.
She showed her teachers her hard work, and some complimented her for it, and told her to continue. So she did. She wrote and wrote until one day ... one day, she realized, she was sixteen, and she needed to do something after school.
Something. Besides writing.
Because you see ... writing was not a job that could earn you money. And money makes the world go round. You can't live without it.
That's what her mom always told her.
Just like her mom always told her that writing can never really be a job.
Because, let's face it ... who in the Netherlands (a blip of a country on a map so large) ever becomes famous enough to earn a decent living from writing stories?
So the girl gave up on writing and soon enrolled in college, taking up communication & social media classes so her second love (computers) might be her salvation. She forgot about her stories and put them aside, stuffed away in a corner of her computer where she wouldn't look for a long time, because they were burnt up dreams.
Dreams that she never knew she'd revisit one day.
One day, about three months before she'd graduate, she talked to her boss at her internship, and he told her the most striking thing.
"You love stories a lot, don't you?"
"Then why don't you write?"
"Because ... I can't make that my job." She laughed.
"Yes, you can."
"No." She frowned.
"Yes." He smiled. "You can. You only gotta believe. Just do it."
"Just do what?"
"Just go for it. If you want to write, just write. If you want to publish it, publish it. Why not? What's stopping you? No one. No one should be able to stop you, not even you."
She opened her mouth, but failed to find an answer.
Nothing was exactly right. Nothing was stopping her.
It was all she ever needed to hear.
So she finished her work with as an intern, went home, and started up her computer. She wrote and wrote until her graduation, until she had so many stories in her mind and on paper she couldn't ignore it any longer.
She was about to publish them under a newly made-up pen name.
Screw the naysayers.
Screw the dreams.
It didn't matter if she wouldn't become the next JK Rowling. If her English was bad. If her stories wouldn't even be read.
Because no matter what ... She would continue.
She would push on and on until death.
Because that is what people do when they have dreams.
They. Never. Give. Up.
When she sold her first book, she was ecstatic. On the moon.
And then another one. And another.
The first month was so awesome.
But the one after that was even better.
And all the months following the first were even more unbelievable.
And then came the moment when she realized people did actually read her stories. That people actually liked them. That they wanted more.
And more ... and more.
And she never, ever stopped writing ... with a smile on her face.
To this day she feels like a fraud in her own skin, selling stories under a pen name in a language that's not her own, but she will push on, never quitting, never giving up, because this is what she loves. This is who she is.
A writer. A lover of stories, no matter the language. No matter the age.
She's now twenty-five and soon to be married, and she couldn't be any happier and more grateful than she is right now.
And for that I know that I am forever indebted to you, my fans.
RUIN is now available on Kindle Unlimited!